While some people use the phrases "careless driving" and "reckless driving" interchangeably, the two acts constitute very different kinds of traffic offenses in the State of Florida. Reckless driving is a criminal offense that carries the possibility of fines and jail time, while careless driving is a noncriminal moving violation punishable by a fine.
While a careless driving ticket can often be resolved by paying a fine without having to make a court appearance, the payment of any fine is also the same as a guilty plea. Careless driving convictions do carry additional consequences in the form of points being added to a motorist's driving record, so a person often has a compelling reason to fight the ticket to possibly have it thrown out and avoid any penalties.
Attorney for Careless Driving Tickets in Florida
Were you recently cited in the Miami metropolitan area for an alleged careless driving offense? Do not pay your ticket without first contacting Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
are skilled traffic ticket lawyers in Fort Lauderdale who defend clients accused of moving violations in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and several surrounding areas of South Florida.
Call (561) 500-5000 today to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Careless Driving in Florida
- When does a person commit careless driving?
- What constitutes aggressive careless driving?
- Where can I find more information about careless driving in Broward County?
Florida Statute § 316.1925(1) establishes that a person commits a careless driving violation when he or she fails to drive a motor vehicle in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. Under Florida Statute § 316.1925(2), careless driving is a moving violation.
Motorists are frequently cited for careless driving following traffic accidents. One major reason that an individual should consider contesting a ticket following a crash is that the police officer who wrote the ticket usually did not see the collision occur. The lack of a witness to validate a prosecutor's case can frequently result in the ticket being dismissed.
Careless driving involves an alleged offender's failure to drive in a careful and prudent manner. A police officer's opinion as to what constitutes failure to drive in a careful and prudent manner can be very subjective, whereas reckless driving offenses involve people allegedly driving in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
Florida Statute § 316.650(1)(a) states that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) will prepare and supply to every traffic enforcement agency in the state an appropriate form traffic citation.
The form contains a notice to appear, is issued in pre-numbered books, meets the requirements of this chapter or any laws of this state regulating traffic, and is consistent with the state traffic court rules and the procedures established by the FLHSMV. It must also include a box to be checked by law enforcement officers when they believe that traffic violations or crashes were due to aggressive careless driving.
Under Florida Statute § 316.1923, aggressive careless driving is defined as committing two or more of the following acts simultaneously or in succession:
- Unsafely or improperly changing lanes;
- Following another vehicle too closely;
- Failing to yield the right-of-way;
- Improperly passing; or
Handbooks & Manuals | FLHSMV — On this section of the FLHSMV website, you can access the Florida Driver’s Handbook as well as the Florida CDL Handbook and Florida Motorcycle Handbook. You can also find practice knowledge exams in multiple languages. The website also lists what to take with you to the driver license office.
Chapter 316 Section 1925 | 2012 Florida Statutes | The Florida Senate — View the full text of the state law for careless driving. You can also read the statutes for aggressive careless driving and reckless driving. Laws governing fines can be found in Chapter 318 of the Florida Statutes.
Find a Careless Driving Lawyer in Florida
If you received a citation for careless driving anywhere in South Florida, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel for help possibly getting the ticket thrown out. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents residents of and visitors to communities throughout Martin County, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County.
Fort Lauderdale traffic ticket attorneys will help protect your driving privileges. You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (561) 500-5000 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.
From left to right: Ari Goldberg, Lawrence Meltzer, Steven Bell, Kristie Cohen, Matthew Shafran
West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 283-3259
330 Clemantis St Suite 113
West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 500-5000
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 716-8538