The Differences Between Unsafe Driving, Careless Driving and Reckless Driving

When driving in Broward County at any time of day, you will see many drivers “multitasking” while trying to navigate its highways and byways. What you may not notice is how guilty each of us can be of doing the same thing. It always comes as a surprise to us to be pulled over for careless driving. We tend to think that it is always the OTHER guy.

Figuring out the difference between a “careless” driving traffic ticket and a “reckless” driving traffic ticket can be quite confusing to the average driver. The one major distinction between the two is that you can be fined and go to jail if you get a reckless driving ticket.  More importantly, you can be charged with a felony if the reckless driving results in serious injury to someone.  With careless driving, it is a misdemeanor violation and results in just a fine. As a non-criminal traffic ticket, violating the Careless Driving statute (Florida Statute 316.1925) is kind of like getting a speeding ticket in Florida. If you pay it, you will get points against your license, but that is all. It focuses on your driving, not your mental state. It is often the result of your making poor choices, not being willfully dangerous.

reckless drivers only sign

Violating the reckless driving statute (Florida Statute 316.192) can result in jail time for up to 90 days, even for a first offense.  Unlike the lack of focus associated with careless driving, reckless driving is determined by what’s going on in your mind at the time of the offense. Your actions must prove that you just don’t care about anyone else’s safety. One component to be proved is that you thought about the safety of others, but chose to disregard it. This could result in up to six months in jail for a second conviction.

Many times, your actions will determine how you will be charged. I have learned that there are certain things that matter a lot in how you will be charged. Were you observed by the cop to be weaving or driving aggressively? Were you unpleasant to the officer when he pulled you over?  Reckless driving can be considered aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is the combination of two unsafe driving actions. Although aggressive driving is not a punishable offense in Florida, it can be notated on the traffic ticket for the purposes of data collection.  (It would not be unrealistic to think that the cop may use the concept of “aggressive driving” as a determining factor in charging you with reckless, as opposed to careless, driving.)

Don’t Justify Your Behavior – Careless(Unsafe), Reckless Driving

In my experience, attitude counts for a lot, so when it comes to a reckless driving ticket versus a careless driving ticket, check your attitude. If you are adjusting the radio, touching up your lipstick, and trying to negotiate your way onto I-95 when you get pulled over, you may want to keep a positive disposition to sway the officer into giving you the less serious traffic ticket. Your best bet is to keep smiling, be polite, and never admit to engaging in “reckless” behavior such as cutting others off. Justification for reckless behavior is seldom successful.

Keep in mind that the Broward County Sherriff’s Office employs over 6,000 employees, many of whom are looking for those drivers who are committing traffic violations while multitasking.  They have 6,000 you need only one. What I mean to say is that the cards are always stacked against you when you are fighting a traffic ticket or dealing with the police in general. Thus, you should always seek out the advice of an experienced traffic ticket attorney if you ever find yourself in a jam. Try to stay focused on your driving, but if you get a traffic ticket, please give us a call as soon as you can for your free consultation. Hopefully, you won’t get either, but if you find yourself in Broward County getting either of these citations, I can help you figure out what would be your best course of action.

If your not sure what to do, join the over 2,000,000 clients we have helped. Call us today at (866) 433-3363 for a FREE consultation and see if we can help with your unsafe driving, careless driving or reckless driving ticket.

Reckless Driving FAQs

You just pick up the telephone and call us and we will discuss your traffic ticket. No strings attached. We will tell you if we think we can help you and let you know what your options are.

Most likely you can not just pay the ticket as it’s usually a criminal charge. Call us ASAP.

Due to it usually being a criminal charge you should call us ASAP for a consultation.

You could go to jail, call us ASAP.

Unfortunately yes it is, call the Traffic Ticket Team now for your free consultation and let us fight back for you.

Maybe, every case is different but it is a serious charge that needs to be taken very seriously. Call us ASAP.

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