In most situations, bad driving gets you a traffic ticket. However, for some driving offenses, traffic tickets are not enough as far as the law is concerned. You can be arrested for being a bad driver. Recently, a woman was arrested in Virginia after being caught driving over 90 mph on three separate occasions within an hour. The third time she was stopped, Kai Kitchen was arrested for reckless driving.
Florida has its own version of reckless driving. Florida Statute 316.192 states, “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” Reckless driving is a criminal offense that can lead to jail, even prison in some cases, depending on whether it’s the first conviction or whether there are injuries or property damage. Reckless driving is deemed more serious than simple careless driving. Careless driving leads to a civil citation and is defined in Florida Statute 316.1925, which states, “Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the [vehicle] in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.”
Reckless driving can be punished more severely, because it looks at situations where the driver is actively doing something that can be dangerous, while careless driving is more like being absent minded while driving. Causing property damage, an injury, or even a death while driving carelessly isn’t a criminal offense, but doing either while driving recklessly can result in a stiff punishment.
In the case of State of Florida vs. Del Rio, a man had been charged with vehicular homicide when he hit and killed a person after not stopping at an intersection. Del Rio was found guilty by the jury, but the trial judge granted an acquittal based on the fact there was no evidence that Del Rio drove recklessly, which is required to uphold a vehicular homicide conviction. There was no evidence of excessive speed, drinking, or anything else to make his driving reckless. The fact that he did not see the person crossing the street was negligent, which is what the careless driving statute addresses, but was not reckless.
Driving nearly 100 mph will typically be deemed reckless driving, especially if you are caught doing it on three separate occasions within an hour. If you or a loved one need assistance with a reckless driving case, or other criminal case, call the Law Office of David M. Goldman today. Initial consultations are always free. Our experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys can help you get the best results for the facts of your case, including DUI’s and other related traffic offenses.