Living recklessly can be fun sometimes—maybe it inspires you to go on a last minute vacation or call in sick from work one day to enjoy some weekday fun. But when it comes to approaching driving in Tampa recklessly, be prepared to suffer some serious legal consequences.
A driver is considered to be “reckless” when he or she has a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the people and property around them. In Tampa, this definition can be applied to a variety of driving scenarios and can be alleged against a driver even when there has not been an accident of any kind. Driving too fast may not necessarily get you a reckless driving charge but playing a game of bumper cars in a parking lot can. A reckless driving analysis in Tampa and all of Florida has less to do with a certain speed (although it can) or minimum amount of damage and more to do with the mental intention of the driver. If a driver is found guilty of fleeing a law enforcement officer then that is considered reckless driving per se in Tampa.
Because of the possibility of serious bodily injury or death as a result of reckless driving, being found guilty of this charge can result in fines, driver’s license suspension, jail time, an increase in your insurance premiums and four points on your Florida driving record.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the punishments attached to first and second time reckless driving offenses in Tampa:
- First Time Offenders: Your first reckless driving charge can result in a jail sentence of up to 90 days and a fine of $500.
- Second Time Offenders: A second reckless driving offense in Tampa can land you in jail for up to six months and a fine of $1,000.
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Tampa, get in touch with the attorneys at Finebloom & Haenel P.A. today. We can discuss the legal options ahead of you and work to reduce your charges. In many scenarios, a reckless driving charge can be reduced to a careless driving or speeding charge, both of which are civil infractions carrying lesser penalties.
Although a reckless driving charge is never a good thing to have on a criminal record, there are instances in which this is a much more desirable charge than the alternative. In the case of a DUI in Tampa, an attorney can help you avoid a DUI conviction by reducing it to reckless driving. Doing this does not avoid any and all legal consequences but the punishments attached to reckless driving are far less than those attached to a DUI. In the state of Florida, there is no other charge for a DUI to be reduced to other than reckless driving. When you call us, we can explain the difference between the two charges and how reckless driving on your criminal record is a much better alternative for many reasons.