Traffic Ticket Attorney

Careless Driving v. Reckless Driving

January 7, 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.