Orlando Reckless Driving Lawyer

As leading criminal defense attorneys in Florida, we understand how difficult it is to navigate reckless driving charges. If you were charged with reckless driving or a similar offense, Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense can help. Contact us online to get your defense started. 

When most people think about criminal charges, they typically don’t imagine driving offenses — but they should. Driving offenses, including reckless driving, are among the most commonly incurred criminal charges, resulting in serious penalties and, in some cases, life-altering consequences. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving in Florida, you need to understand what’s at stake. Not sure where to get started? Don’t worry — Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense is here to help. This article will explain everything you need to know about reckless driving charges in Florida, including pertinent laws, legal defenses, penalties, and related criminal offenses.

How Can an Orlando Reckless Driving Lawyer Help?

As a top-tier firm, Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense provides the critical legal advice you need to navigate reckless driving charges. In an initial consultation, a knowledgeable reckless driving attorney will review the details of your case and explain the nature of your charges in plain language so that you’re fully informed.

After you’ve partnered with us, our law firm will do a deep dive for evidence, including documentation, police reports, photo and video evidence, eyewitness accounts, and more, gathering any pertinent information that supports your case. We will use all of our available resources to design a robust defense strategy as we fight aggressively to have your charges dismissed or reduced.

If your case goes to trial, we will present compelling evidence to support our arguments for your innocence, working tirelessly to corroborate your version of events. Ultimately, our reckless driving defense lawyers will fight for you like we would fight for our own — because to us, you are.

What Is the Reckless Driving Law in Florida?

According to Florida Law Statutes, Chapter 316.192, reckless driving is defined as operating a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Here, “willful” means knowingly, purposely, or intentionally, and “wanton disregard” refers to extreme negligence.

Essentially, a reckless driving charge asserts that the driver had a conscious and intentional indifference to any potential consequences, with the knowledge that damage to property or persons was likely. This can include fleeing law enforcement or police officers in a motor vehicle. Depending on the circumstances, penalties for reckless driving in Florida can include fines of up to $1,000, driver’s license suspension, higher insurance rates, damage to your driving record, and even jail time.

Are There Legal Defenses?

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There are numerous defenses to reckless driving charges in Florida, and the right one for you depends on the specific details of your case. The outcome, however, not only depends on case specifics and defense strategies but also on the caliber of your legal representation.

Fortunately, when you partner with Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense, you can rest assured that your case will be handled efficiently and with the highest degree of professionalism. Keep reading to learn about a few of the most commonly used legal defenses to reckless driving charges in Florida.

You Were Not the Driver

In Florida, reckless driving laws typically only apply to the person operating the vehicle. Passengers wouldn’t be charged with reckless driving unless they influenced the driver’s behavior or actively participated in reckless conduct. If we can prove you weren’t the one behind the wheel, you are unlikely to be convicted.

You Were Not Acting Recklessly

Maybe there was a legitimate emergency that you were speeding to rectify, or maybe you simply weren’t acting recklessly. If we believe this is the case, we may be able to challenge your charge by arguing you had a lack of willful or wanton disregard, since those are key elements of reckless driving in Florida.


If the driver can demonstrate that they had no reasonable alternative but to drive recklessly, the defense of necessity might apply. This could include driving in such a way as to prevent accident or injury or to avoid greater harm. Additionally, if the driver can prove that reckless driving was in response to an emergency situation, including a medical emergency or to avoid imminent danger, a necessity defense could also apply.

Improper Signage

You may be able to avoid a conviction for reckless driving if you can prove there wasn’t proper signage in the area where you were charged, such as an unrecognizable stop sign. This also pertains to signage that was inadequate, obscured, or missing altogether. A qualified attorney can assess the circumstances surrounding the alleged infraction and determine the most advantageous path forward.

What Are the Penalties?

If you are convicted of reckless driving in the State of Florida, you could face a range of penalties, some of which could affect you for years to come. That’s why avoiding conviction in the first case is so important.

Under Florida Statutes Section 316.192, a conviction of reckless driving can carry severe penalties, depending on the circumstances. For a first offense conviction of reckless driving, you may be punished with a fine of up to $500 or imprisonment for up to 90 days. A subsequent conviction of reckless driving can be punished by a $1,000 fine or imprisonment of up to 6 months.

Are There Related Offenses?

There are several offenses related to reckless driving, including careless driving, aggressive driving, speeding, driving under the influence (DUI), vehicular homicide, and manslaughter. These offenses are just a few examples related to reckless driving, and no matter which one you’re facing, your freedom depends on working with a qualified reckless driving lawyer to navigate the many legal complexities of your case.

Reckless Driving FAQs

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If you’ve been charged with reckless driving in Florida, you probably have lots of questions. The best way to find clarity is by speaking with a trusted criminal defense attorney. In the meantime, check out the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

• What is the difference between reckless driving vs. careless driving?

Reckless driving is typically considered a more serious offense than careless driving, as it involves operating a motor vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. This means that the driver acted with intentional disregard for potential dangers or risks of their actions. In many cases, reckless driving involves excessive speeding, deliberately ignoring traffic signs, or weaving in and out of traffic.

Careless driving, on the other hand, involves operating a motor vehicle without the level of care that a reasonable person would exercise in a similar situation. It can encompass negligent behavior and simple mistakes that result in unsafe driving, including following another car too closely, failing to signal when switching lanes, or becoming momentarily distracted by a cell phone or passenger.

The key difference between reckless driving and careless driving involves the driver’s level of intent and the degree of risk involved. Where reckless driving involves a conscious decision to disregard safety, careless driving typically involves negligence or a lack of awareness.

• How do I appeal a reckless driving conviction?

The first step to appeal a reckless driving conviction is to hire a qualified attorney who can review your case, identify potential errors made at your trial, and, most importantly, determine the grounds for your appeal. Our law firm can guide you through the following steps to ensure that your appeal is handled professionally and efficiently:

  • Filing a notice of appeal within 30 days of conviction
  • Preparing appellate briefs outline the legal arguments and grounds for appeal
  • Presenting persuasive arguments to the appellate court on your behalf

Our legal team will provide the aggressive strategies you need to approach your appeal with confidence and efficiency. We will work tirelessly to make sure you get the best shot at a successful appeal, but, ultimately, avoiding conviction in the first place is much easier. That’s why you should contact Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense as soon as you’re charged.

• Are there immigration consequences?

In some cases, a reckless driving conviction can have serious immigration consequences. This depends on a variety of factors, including the driver’s immigration status, the specific circumstances of the cases, and any prior convictions.

A reckless driving conviction could potentially impact the immigration statuses of non-citizens, including permanent residents and visa holders. Under United States immigration law, non-citizens who are convicted of certain crimes, especially those classified as “aggravated felonies” or “crimes of moral turpitude” are at risk of deportation. Reckless driving could be considered a crime of moral turpitude depending on the court’s interpretation. Although reckless driving is generally considered a misdemeanor offense, certain factors could elevate it to an aggravated felony under immigration law.

• Can I get a conviction expunged?

Expungement, or sealing, is a legal process that allows certain criminal records to be removed from public view. In most cases, a reckless driving conviction in Florida cannot be expunged from your criminal record. Florida Statutes Chapter 943, which outlines the criteria for expungement, generally excludes offenses involving motor vehicles. However, it is essential to work with a qualified attorney who can provide advice based on your specific circumstances and criminal history.

• Does a conviction affect gun rights?

A reckless driving conviction in Florida generally does not have a direct impact on your gun rights, but it could indirectly affect your ability to legally possess firearms. For example, if the reckless driving offense is elevated to a felony due to aggravating factors, it could potentially result in the loss of firearm rights. That’s because, under federal law, convicted felons are generally prohibited from possessing firearms. While a misdemeanor reckless driving conviction will not generally impact your gun rights, it is essential to consult with a qualified attorney who can speak directly to your situation.

Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense: Top Reckless Driving Lawyers In Central Florida

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If you’ve been charged with reckless driving in Florida, you need to act fast. Contact Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense to start building an aggressive defense strategy right away and defend your future. Our criminal defense lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected and your best interests are put first.

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