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.
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