What is reckless driving?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Traffic Violations

Most people would admit to having driven less than optimally at some point. Yet that does not necessarily mean they were driving recklessly.

If the police charge you with reckless driving, it is crucial to understand exactly what that means. If they have overstretched the definition, then you may be able to beat the charge.

Recklessness is about being a danger

You do not have to injure anyone or damage anything for a reckless driving charge to reply. If you did, that would likely result in more serious charges.

Rather, reckless driving requires you to drive without regard for safety. The Florida statute defines it as “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

Willful and wanton disregard implies you made a conscious choice not to care. Doing something that you never realized might be dangerous should not count. For example, driving the wrong way down an empty road because you never saw the one-way sign should not be reckless driving. Taking that route because it was quicker, even though you knew it was a one-way street, would qualify.

It may come down to the officer’s interpretation of events versus yours

You carry on driving after an officer flashes you to stop. They assume you are fleeing but what if you just did not notice they were flashing you down?

You cross through a light just as it is turning red. The police decide you did it intentionally. But what if you just misjudged how fast it would change? What if you are sure you made it through before it changed?

Getting legal help gives you the best chance to beat a reckless driving charge and any others that the police may try to issue you with.