For many people in Florida, driving is so much more than a luxury; it is a privilege. If you abuse your driving privilege by engaging in reckless behavior, you may find yourself facing a reckless driving charge. A reckless driving charge is very serious and can have a significant impact on your future. Not only does it put you at risk for accidents, but your actions could result in the injuries and deaths of others.
Here is what you should know about the penalties for a reckless driving charge.
A first-time reckless driving conviction is a second-degree misdemeanor. In addition to having to pay fines, restitution and court costs, you may also end up spending up to 90 days in jail. If the courts are lenient, they may offer you six months’ probation instead of jail time, assuming there were no injuries and little to no property damage. If you are a subsequent offender, the penalties are more severe. The fines and restitution costs are much higher, and you could end up spending up to six months in jail.
Bear in mind that if your reckless actions result in bodily injury and property damage, you could be facing a third-degree misdemeanor. It carries tougher penalties and more jail time if you are convicted. Instead of having to serve up to six months in jail, you could end up serving up to five years behind bars or spending five years on probation. A conviction also means you will have to pay up to $5,000 in fines, and that may not include any court fees and restitution. Additional consequences of a reckless driving charge include higher car insurance rates, possible employment issues, points on your driving record and possible driver’s license suspension.
If you are dealing with a reckless driving charge, you should speak to an attorney about your situation to learn your options.