If you been accused of careless driving, this is a traffic ticket that should promptly be handled by experienced Florida traffic ticket lawyer. Florida statute 316.1925 outlines that careless driving is operating a vehicle without the careful and prudent regard for the safety of others and their property.
Defining Careless Driving
This is a moving violation that can lead to points on you license, higher insurance rates and high fines. This citation is most often given when a police officer cannot find another specific violation associated with traffic accidents. It is most commonly given out to a driver when the officer believes that you may be at fault for a car accident but he or she did not witness the actual events leading to the crash.
This violation is different from reckless driving; although confused with reckless driving. Reckless driving is a criminal offense. You do not have to automatically pay a careless driving ticket simply because you feel like you might have caused the crash out of your own guilt. When you pay the citation, you officially admit guilt and will have to cope with the consequences like higher insurance premiums and points on your license.
If the officer who issued you this ticket did not witness the accident, he or she does not know what happened, and there are many possible ways that you could defend yourself in court. Traffic court is less intimidating if you hire an experienced Florida traffic ticket attorney to review the facts of your case and determine the best course of action to get it dismissed.
Don’t make the mistake assuming that you should pay the fine and put this behind you because admitting guilt for the accident carries its own set of unique consequences. In a careless driving allegation most often tied to a vehicle accident, it is your word against another person’s and not the police officer. Furthermore, remember that in the event that your case moves forward with the other driver alleging that you are responsible, accident reports are not admissible in court in Florida. The officer also cannot testify in court as to exactly what happened if he or she did not see the accident. Anyone who may have heard or seen something is allowed to testify but can be unreliable.
Police officers testify in courts frequently and are very professional in doing so in most cases because they know the element of the charge that are necessary for the ticket to stick. Individuals who may be in court for their first time, however, are most often nervous when they have to testify and many people also don’t realize what they are testifying to in court and the importance of other pieces of information and how it can influence their future. Being able to put the defendant behind the wheel is something officers are taught to do when testifying in court, because otherwise the judge cannot assume that the defendant was the one operating the vehicle.
A good traffic attorney, however, will be able to jump in on pertinent facts of information such as the fact that most drivers in an accident are likely outside of the car by the time a police officer arrives on the scene. This means that the officer cannot stipulate who is driving the car at the time. The accident report often plays less of a role in a future court claim than you think. They may be concerned that the accident report states that they have been at fault for the accident. However, Florida statute 316.066 states that no such statement or report could be used as evidence in any trial, criminal or civil.
In summary without a police officer testifying against you, with no accident report and only another person who may have seen what happened and this person’s ability to relay the story appropriately six months later to overcome the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard is difficult. Hiring an experienced traffic ticket defense attorney when you have been accused of careless driving is important because the consequences for your record can be severe. Call 1-800-CITATION for a free consultation.
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