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What Constitutes Reckless Driving In Florida?


One person is now deceased and six people are dealing with serious injuries after a car crashed into a local restaurant in Miami Beach recently. The driver of the vehicle, an elderly woman, was apparently attempting to parallel park when instead she floored the gas and struck patrons in the outdoor café area. Now one woman is dead and a child is among those who suffered injuries. The investigation is still pending so it’s not clear whether the driver will face charges. However, it begs the question, what exactly is reckless driving in Florida? Would this be considered an example?

What is reckless driving?

Reckless driving in Florida is defined as a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. See Fla. Stat. 316.192. This means there must be some intention and conscious understanding of the negligent conduct on the part of the driver before an incident occurs. In this case, it appears in elderly driver made a mistake. This brings up a logistical issue about whether the elderly should be subjected to mandatory driver’s license retesting (or at a minimum, vision testing) for their safety and the safety of other drivers. States are reluctant to act on this, partially due to outside pressure from interest groups like the AARP. Drivers are still required to take a knowledge test every eight years regardless of their age.

What happens if you drive on a suspended license?

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), has a database for all licensed Florida operators. The FLHSMV can suspend a driver’s license for delinquent child support payments even if his or her license was not previously suspended.  If a driver is caught driving on a suspended license for the first time, they may be convicted of a second-degree misdemeanor, which includes a punishment of six months in jail along with a $500 fine. Another conviction results in a first-degree misdemeanor punishable with increased fines and up to 1 year in jail. Three or more convictions is considered a third degree felony. Fla. Stat. § 322.264 (2020).  If a driver is still caught driving on a suspended license for a fourth time, and they were previously convicted, that driver could serve up to five years in prison for the offense.

Contact Attorney William Wallshein

If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense in West Palm Beach, it is crucial you get the help that you need, and quickly. Everyone is entitled to a criminal defense regardless of the circumstances, and everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty. A criminal conviction can have serious consequences and repercussions on your life. It may affect your livelihood, income, housing, family dynamic and very freedom. Don’t let one mistake change your life forever. William Wallshein is a seasoned West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney with more than three decades of experience helping clients. Call today to schedule a consultation and get on the right path.




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