Reckless driving is a criminal traffic offense in Florida codified by Florida Statute 316.192. Florida reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. The penalties for reckless driving in Florida are up to 90 days in jail on the first offense and a $500 fine. The second offense is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 fine. If the Florida reckless driving results in damage to the property or person of another it is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 fine. If the Florida reckless driving results in serious bodily injury to another it is punishable as a felony of the third degree. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $5.000 fine. Court costs are assessed in addition to the fines. If convicted and adjudicated guilty of reckless driving four (4) points will be assessed on your license. If adjudication is withheld points will not be assessed. If reasonable cause of alcohol or drugs is involved with the reckless driving the court shall order a DUI class and substance abuse evaluation. Reckless driving Florida penalties vary by Judge but the maximum sentences are rarely imposed without aggravating circumstances or substantial criminal history. The State Attorney's office in Florida must prove each and every element of reckless driving beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt. Bad driving alone is not enough for The State to carry the beyond a reasonable doubt burden. Speeding does not constitute reckless driving per se. Evidence was insufficient to convict defendant of reckless driving in Florida, even though police officer estimated defendant's speed at 50 to 55 miles per hour in posted 35 mile per hour zone, where defendant had control of his vehicle, defendant's speed decreased as he approached intersection, and traffic was light to moderate. Miller v. State, 636 So.2d 144 (Fla. 1st Dist. App. 1994). Often speed is accompanied by other factors but alone does not amount to reckless driving in Florida. Attorney Kevin J. Pitts handles Daytona Beach reckless driving, Volusia County reckless driving and Seminole County reckless driving cases. Call 386-451-5112 or 407-268-3688 to set up a free consultation.
Evidence that automobile of defendant crossed the center line of the highway did not authorize an arrest for Florida reckless driving. A driver crossing the center line of the highway two or three times does not amount to reckless driving in Florida where there is no claim of speeding or driving on a curve or over a hill, at the time, or of heavy traffic. Graham v. State, 60 So.2d 186 (1952). Crossing the center line alone without additional facts would not justify an officer stopping the vehicle. Defendant's failure to maintain a single lane did not provide probable cause for traffic stop, where defendant's lane change was done safely, and defendant's driving was not sufficiently erratic for reasonable suspicion of impairment. A blinker is not required when traffic is not affected by the driving, Hurd v. State, 958 So.2d 600 (Fla. 4th Dist. App. 2007). The failure to maintain a single lane alone cannot establish probable cause in Florida when the action is done safely. Crooks v. State, 710 So.2d 1041 (Fla. 2nd Dist. App. 1998). A violation did not occur where evidence showed driving did not place any other vehicles in danger. Jordan v. State, 831 So.2d 1241 (Fla. 5th Dist. App. 2002). If the driving pattern would cause a reasonable officer to believe that the driver was ill tired or impaired the stop could be justified. Weaving several times within a single lane was sufficient in Florida to justify a stop where there was no evidence to show endangerment to others and where no traffic violation had occurred. Roberts v. State, 732 So.2d 1127 (Fla. 4th Dist. App. 1999). Observing a driver cross the white line on the right side of the road three times within a mile, each time crossing the line by approximately one-half of the vehicle's width, provided sufficient evidence to stop the vehicle. Yanes v. State, 877 So.2d 25 (Fla. 5th Dist. App. 2004).
A law enforcement officer can make a warrantless arrest for a misdemeanor only when it is committed in the officer's presence. Baymon v. State, 933 So.2d 1269 (Fla. 2nd Dist. App. 2006). Offense is committed in presence or view of officer, within meaning of rule authorizing arrest without warrant, when officer receives knowledge of commission of offense in his presence through any of his senses, or by inferences properly to be drawn from testimony of his senses, or when facts and circumstances occurring within his observation, in connection with what, under the circumstances, may be considered as common knowledge, give him probable cause to believe or reasonable grounds to suspect that such is the case. Steiner v. State, 690 So. 2d 706 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1997). Private security guard's observations, which were relayed to police officer, that defendant had attempted to operate car while intoxicated did not provide officer with probable cause for arrest. Steiner v. State, 690 So. 2d 706 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1997). If a crash occurs the officer is not required to be present. During a crash the officer can establish the case against the accused during an investigation. A police officer who makes an investigation at the scene of a traffic crash may arrest any driver of a vehicle involved in the crash when, based upon personal investigation; the officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the person has committed any offense under the provisions of this chapter or chapter 322 in connection with the crash. State, Dept. of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles v. Williams, 937 So. 2d 815, 816 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2006).