In 2013 Putnam County had 24 reckless driving cases. Many people think that reckless driving in Palatka or Putnam County is just a traffic ticket. Reckless driving is not an ordinary traffic infraction that you just pay and it goes away. Paying any traffic ticket can result in your insurance rates increasing for years. Reckless driving is one of Florida’s hybrid misdemeanor charges that is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine (this is greater than the typical 60 days maximum jail sentence for a second degree misdemeanor). A second reckless driving can be punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If the reckless driving results in damage to person or property it can be punished as a first degree misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail, 1 year probation or any combination of the two and up to a $1,000 fine. If serious bodily injury occurs the case can be charged as a third degree felony with a maximum punishment of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. In addition to any other penalties if the court has reasonable cause to believe that the use of alcohol, chemical substances or substances controlled under chapter 893 contributed to the reckless driving, the court shall direct the driver to complete a DUI program substance abuse education course and evaluation. The DUI program conducting the evaluation can refer the driver to a substance abuse treatment provider for substance abuse evaluation and treatment. If the driver does not complete the treatment the court shall suspend their driver’s license. These are real sanctions that can have a dramatic impact on your life far beyond simply increasing your insurance rates. Being accused of a crime is serious and a Putnam County reckless driving ticket can result in jail or probation with substantial conditions.
To prove a reckless driving case in Putnam County the State Attorney’s office must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver willfully endangered person or property of another. Driving fast is not enough to establish reckless driving. Negligence is sufficient to prove a Putnam County careless driving but not reckless driving. The challenge the prosecutor faces in a reckless driving case is to prove to a jury that the driving in question was willful. Our Palatka reckless driving attorneys are former Florida prosecutors that have defended and prosecuted reckless driving cases. Just because a police officer says it does not mean they can prove it. If you are accused of reckless driving in Palatka or Putnam County call our Palatka reckless driving attorneys today at 386-451-5112 to set up a free consultation.