When you get onto the road with your fellow drivers, you enter into a social contract with
everyone around you. This social contract is known as a duty of care, and it dictates how
you’re expected to interact with your peers. Drivers who behave recklessly on the road are
said to violate this contract and can meet criminal consequences for their behavior.
That said, police officers and related parties can often misinterpret the behavior of drivers
around them. Should you find yourself contending with unfounded reckless driving charges,
your future is at risk. You can work with a Naples reckless driving lawyer to contest the
accusations brought against you in criminal court.
Reckless driving constitutes deliberate misconduct, or “wanton misconduct,” while
on the road. Florida outlines the nature of its reckless driving charges in
Florida Statutes §316.192.
The behavior that can result in a reckless driving charge can range from speeding
to the violation of pedestrian right-of-way. That said, police officers can
misinterpret your behavior behind the wheel and inappropriately pull you over
and potentially press reckless driving charges against you.
The consequences for reckless driving charges vary depending on your existing
criminal record and the behavior you allegedly engaged in. The first time you
face reckless driving charges, the maximum penalties that Florida law
enforcement can foist upon you include fines of up to $500 and jail time of up
to 90 days. If you’ve been charged with reckless driving in the past, the
consequences for a second offense can see penalties increase to up to six months
in jail and fines of $1,000.
If you’re accused of engaging in reckless driving on the road, you need to engage
as professionally as possible with Floridian police officers. Officers who pull
you over may take any opportunity to compound the charges leveled against you.
With that in mind, remember that you have the right to ask why you’re being
detained when interacting with a police officer. You also have the right to
remain silent in the face of a reckless driving arrest. You can contact a legal
representative as soon as you enter into police custody if you want to prevent
police officers from misrepresenting your case.
Contacting an attorney does not, as police officers might suggest, mean that you
are guilty of roadway misconduct. Instead, it puts distance between you and the
law enforcement representatives who might want to misinterpret your case.
The consequences you face for alleged reckless driving become more severe in
cases involving grievous personal injury and alleged drinking behind the wheel.
If, for example, your reckless driving charge includes serious bodily injury,
you may face a third-degree felony alongside up to five years in prison and
$5,000 in fines.
If you’re accused of a DUI along with reckless driving, Florida will require you
to complete a DUI education course alongside the other fines and jail time
attributed to your case.
Once you have a reckless driving lawyer from Naples on your side, you can
challenge the accusations leveled against you. The best way to fight back
against charges of reckless driving is to:
Assess the nature of the equipment used to detect your reckless driving for
Challenge the reason a police officer chose to pull you over
Use evidence to indicate that your behavior on the road wasn’t in violation
of the law
Provide evidence of an inaccurate speedometer
You may also have the opportunity to pursue a plea deal, particularly if you’ve
never been accused of reckless driving before. If you enter into a plea deal in
the wake of reckless driving charges, you may have the opportunity to reduce
your sentence and fines.
If police officers have the opportunity to compound the charges brought against
you, your reckless driving charges may join additional charges on your criminal
record. The best way to keep these charges off of your record is to challenge
them in criminal court. There is a chance, however, that your first attempt to
challenge these charges may be unsuccessful.
You can, however, appeal a court’s decision with the help of a Naples reckless
driving attorney. The appeals process does require you to pay a fee, but it
gives you the opportunity to present new evidence challenging the charges on
your criminal record.
If you choose not to appeal your reckless driving charges, there may come a point
where you can have the record of those charges expunged. You can collaborate
with the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford to determine when that time may come
and whether or not it may benefit your personal and professional life.
Overcome Reckless Driving Charges With a Reckless Driving
Attorney in Naples
Floridian reckless driving charges can be unfounded. These charges can inaccurately represent
a driver’s behavior on the road and even result from police officer bias. If you suspect
that the charges leveled against you may be borne of ill-intent or a misunderstanding of
your roadway behavior, it’s your right to contest those charges in criminal court.
Reach out to the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford to schedule a criminal defense consultation
after a reckless driving charge. Our reckless driving attorneys in Naples can help you
defend your financial and professional future. You can learn more about our approach by
calling our office at (239) 351-1904 or filling out our online Contact form.
Hanaford Law Offices is a criminal defense attorney providing
high-quality legal services in Florida across Naples SW Florida and Chicago Illinois.