Reckless Driving – Section 316.192
Florida Statute Section 316.192 provides the punishments, sanctions, maximum jail time and fines, and possible driver’s license suspension upon a finding of guilt.
Although most reckless driving cases do not involve an accident on the roadway, the more serious versions of the offense involve a crash with property damage, non-serious personal injury, serious bodily injury or death.
If you have been charged with any misdemeanor or felony offense for reckless driving in the Tampa Bay area then call us at 813-250-0500 to discuss the case.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Florida
A conviction for reckless driving in Florida can lead to the following consequences:
- a suspension of your Florida driver’s license;
- four (4) points on your driving record (if you are convicted but not if adjudication is withheld);
- increased insurance premiums; and
- other direct and collateral consequences.
Before you go to court for any charge of reckless driving, discuss the details of your case with an experienced attorney. The prosecutor is required to show a “willful and wanton” disregard for the safety of another person or property. This requirement of the driver’s state of mind is often difficult for the prosecutor to prove.
In many cases, the prosecutor will charge the offense of “reckless” driving when a more appropriate civil infraction such as speeding, failing to maintain a lane, or careless driving. Especially in cases in which no accident occurred, it may be difficult for the prosecutor to prove that the driving was reckless as opposed to merely careless.
The Reckless Driving Statute in Florida
Florida law, 316.192(1)(a) defines the crime as a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of property or persons. Furthermore, Florida law, Section 316.192(1)(b) provides that reckless driving “per se” occurs when the person flees a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle.
Subsection 2 of Florida Statute Section 316.192 provides for the punishment for reckless driving. For a first, conviction of reckless driving, the court may impose jail time of up to 90 days.
- First Offense: the minimum fine for a first offense of reckless driving is $25 and the maximum fine is $500.
- Second or Subsequent Offense: the minimum fine for a second offense of reckless driving is $50 and the maximum fine is $1,000.00.
Enhanced Penalties for Reckless Driving
Enhanced penalties are provided in subsection (3)(c).
- Property damage or non-serious personal injury – Under Section 316.192(3)(c)1, if the reckless driving causes non-serious personal injury or property damage, then the person commits a first-degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a one thousand dollar fine.
- Serious bodily Injury – Under Section 316.192(3)(c)(2), if the reckless driving causes serious bodily injury to another person, then the offense is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison and a five thousand dollar fine.
For the purposes of the reckless driving offense set out in Section 316.192(3)(c)(2), the term “serious bodily injury” is defined as any personal injury to another person, including a physical condition which causes a substantial risk of death, impairment of function in any organ or bodily member, personal disfigurement or scarring.
Difference Between Dry and Wet Reckless Driving in Florida
Section 322.0261 of the Florida Statutes provides:
(4)(a) The department shall identify any operator convicted of, or who pleaded nolo contendere to, a violation of s. 316.074(1), s. 316.075(1)(c) 1., s. 316.172, s. 316.191, or s. 316.192 and shall require that operator, in addition to other applicable penalties, to attend a department-approved driver improvement course in order to maintain driving privileges.
The department shall, within 10 days after receiving a notice of judicial disposition, send notice to the operator of the requirement to attend a driver improvement course.
If the operator fails to complete the course within 90 days after receiving notice from the department, the operator’s driver license shall be canceled by the department until the course is successfully completed.
Lawyers for Reckless Driving Charges in Hillsborough County, FL
If you have been charged with reckless driving under Section 316.192 of Florida law, contact a criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss this criminal charge and possible ways to avoid a conviction.
Click here to read more about why many DUI cases are reduced to Reckless Driving in courts throughout the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough County, FL
Call 813-250-0500 to discuss the facts of your case with an attorney today.
This article was last updated on Thursday, May 8, 2020.