A Seminole County reckless driving citation is not like a speeding ticket that can just be paid at the clerk of court. Reckless driving is a criminal traffic offense with mandatory court appearances. Forgetting a speeding ticket gets you a letter in the mail forgetting a reckless driving arraignment gets you a warrant for your arrest. In 2012 Seminole County had 105 reckless driving cases. Reckless driving in Seminole County is classified as a second degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail, 6 months of probation, 4 points on your license, cost of prosecution, cost of investigation, 4 hour driver improvement course and a $500 fine plus court cost for a first offense. Reckless driving is not an ordinary second degree misdemeanor because the 90 day maximum jail sentence exceeds the 60 day statutory maximum sentence for a second degree misdemeanor. This makes reckless driving one of the few hybrid misdemeanors in Florida. DUI is another example of a hybrid second degree misdemeanor. If the judge believes alcohol contributed to the reckless driving they can require the driver to complete a DUI class on top of the previously listed sanctions. The 12 hour DUI class can require alcohol treatment and costs around $260. If the driver does not complete the class and treatment their driver’s license will be suspended. If the driver has a prior reckless driving conviction they can be sentenced to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine plus court cost. Being convicted of a Seminole County reckless driving also prevents the accused from ever having their record sealed or expunged. That means a criminal record for the rest of your life. Fortunately Seminole County reckless driving cases have defenses. The state must prove beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt that the driving endangered person or property and that the alleged bad driving was willful. Negligence is sufficient for a Sanford careless driving but not for the criminal charge of reckless driving in Seminole County. In Florida speeding alone is not reckless driving if the driver does not endanger person or property. Swerving without endangering others has been found to be insufficient for a reckless driving conviction. If you are accused of reckless driving call Seminole County reckless driving attorney and former prosecutor Kevin J. Pitts at 407-268-3688 for a free initial consultation.