Reckless driving in the Florida Panhandle is one of the most commonly charged criminal traffic offenses. Unlike minor traffic violations such as speeding, failure to wear a safety belt, or running a red light, reckless driving can result in criminal penalties. Although the punishments for reckless driving may not seem that serious, a conviction will appear on your criminal record. Additionally, a conviction for a reckless driving offense can lead to jail or prison time, steep fines, and/or increased auto insurance rates. Reckless driving is commonly charged as a misdemeanor offense but may result in a felony conviction if another person was seriously injured.
An individual can be charged with reckless driving for engaging in numerous acts, including speeding, racing, or simply driving in a way that endangers the lives and safety of others.
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Destin, it is important to know you do not necessarily have to face a conviction. The state prosecutor is required to prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a difficult burden to meet and any doubt in the mind of the judge or jury can result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you.
Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a consultation about your alleged reckless driving offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola and Panama City.
The attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are experienced in all areas of Florida’s reckless driving laws and will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today at if you have been charged with reckless driving throughout Destin and South Walton.
As defined in section 316.192 of the Florida Statutes, an individual can be charged with reckless driving if they operate a motor vehicle with intentional or complete disregard for the safety or welfare of others or property.
The state prosecutor is required to prove the driver’s state of mind in order to convict the alleged offender of a criminal reckless driving offense in Florida. The driver’s state of mind means the driver must have acted intentionally or with complete disregard. This can be difficult to prove as everyone’s state of mind is subjective, or unique to each person, and is generally not determined by factual, concrete evidence.
Florida law also provides for a per se reckless driving law. This means if an alleged offender commits a certain act, they will be charged with a criminal offense, regardless of their state of mind. Anyone who flees or eludes a police officer is considered to be per se reckless driving.
Additionally, if an individual causes damage to another person’s or public property during the commission of the reckless driving, they can be convicted of a more serious reckless driving offense. Further, if the property damage was the result of an accident, law enforcement officers will often investigate to determine if the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A DUI in Destin can result in a felony conviction and more serious repercussions than general reckless driving.
Reckless driving that results in serious bodily injury to another person can lead to a felony of the third-degree reckless driving conviction.
Florida law defines the phrase serious bodily injury as any injury to a person that creates a substantial risk of serious disfigurement, impairment or loss of the function of any limb or organ.
The penalties for reckless driving offenses are defined in sections 775.082 and 775.083 of the Florida Statutes and can vary depending on whether the alleged offender has any previous convictions, whether serious bodily injury occurred, or whether property damage occurred from the offense. The basic statutory penalties for a Florida reckless driving offense are:
Under Fla. Stat. § 316.1926, an individual can be charged with careless driving if they fail to operate a motor vehicle in a careful and prudent manner. Although similar to reckless driving, this offense can result in less serious penalties and does not have a state of mind requirement.
Generally, if the state prosecutor is unable to show the alleged offender had the state of mind for a reckless driving offense, the prosecutor will instead try to convict the alleged offender of a careless driving offense. Careless driving is a form of traffic violation or moving violation and can result in fines and/or community service.
If you have been accused of a serious criminal traffic offense anywhere in the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Okaloosa County, Santa Rose County, Bay County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County and Escambia County, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today.
Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is an experienced South Walton criminal defense attorney who will make every to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your reckless driving allegations. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your alleged reckless driving offense today.