Posts Tagged ‘ careless driving ticket ’

Careless Driving v. Reckless Driving

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Careless driving and reckless driving citations are often confused.  However, there are some important distinctions.  While both citations indicate that a motor vehicle is being operated in an irresponsible fashion, the potential penalties are very different.

In Florida, careless driving is defined as failing to drive a motor vehicle in a careful and prudent manner. There is no analysis as to the driver’s state of mind.  Conversely, reckless driving is defined as driving a motor vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people and/or property.  The intent of the driver should be taken into account when issuing a reckless driving ticket.

Careless driving can carry a hefty fine and points on your license but it is not a criminal infraction, whereas reckless driving is a criminal offense that can carry a jail sentence in addition to fines and points.

If you receive a ticket for reckless driving, the prosecution must prove your state of mind – that you operated the vehicle with willful disregard for the safety of other people and/or property.  This is often difficult to prove, so given the hefty penalties of a reckless driving ticket, you should consider fighting it if you receive one.

If you have received a careless driving or reckless driving ticket and have questions, call The Ticket Clinic at 1.800.CITATION.  We handle careless driving and reckless driving tickets in Florida, California and nationwide.

Can you Get Out of a Careless Driving Ticket?

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Careless driving tickets are often issued after an accident when the police officer, who generally arrives after the accident has already occurred, issues a ticket based upon what he or she has been told.  Careless driving tickets are issued pursuant to Section 316.1925, Florida Statutes, which defines careless driving as follows:  ”Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same 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.”

There are a few things that you should know if you chose to fight your careless driving ticket:  Because the officer issuing the ticket most likely did not witness the accident, he or she cannot testify in court about what occurred to cause the accident.  Without a testifying officer, the state is left questioning the drivers and any witnesses who may have provided their information to the officer.  This is important because while police officers have experience testifying in courtrooms, lay people generally do not and may be nervous or unprepared.  Also, while a police officer’s title and uniform might cause a judge to assume an officer is telling the truth, that unwritten rule does not apply to lay people.  Finally, it is important to remember that accident reports are not admissible as evidence pursuant to Section 316.066(4), Florida Statutes.  Thus, the accident report and its contents are not evidence.  Most people do not know that!

Do you have a careless driving ticket?  If you want to speak with a traffic ticket attorney for more information, the lawyers at the Ticket Clinic have defended over 1 million traffic tickets, including careless driving tickets, in Florida, California and nationwide.  We concentrate solely on traffic-related offenses.