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Knowing the Difference Between Careless Driving and Reckless Driving in Florida


When people hear the terms “reckless driving” and “careless driving,” they often think that the terms are similar, if not exactly the same. However, this can be a very dangerous mistake, since these two terms are different. Out of the two, one of them can carry serious felony charges, while the other one can carry a whole different set of penalties and punishments. Knowing the difference between the two can be key.

What is the Difference Between the Two

It is important to know the difference between careless and reckless driving. To begin with, careless driving is the lesser of the two, and is described as any “person not driving with care to other’s life and limb, and with disregard to the curve, grade, and corners” of traffic. For such a crime, the punishment is usually some sort of moving violation. The degree of the moving violation depends on the exact nature of the careless driving.

Reckless driving, however, is a much more serious charge and is almost always accompanied by some amount of prison time and a fine. Reckless driving is defined as “any person driving in a wanton manner with no regard for person or property.” While this definition is similar to the one of careless driving, reckless driving is further specified by any event where serious bodily injury, damage to private property, or fleeing the police occurs. The real danger for reckless driving is that, if you happen to rack up multiple charges of reckless driving, you are going to face more serious fines and longer prison sentences.

Overall, though, careless driving is failing to drive in a careful manner, while reckless driving is intentionally driving in a wanton or dangerous manner.

What are the Charges for Each?

The charges for careless driving are relatively minor. Usually it will be some sort of moving violation, which will constitute a fine and points on your license. These points won’t be enough to suspend your license all by itself, but if it is added to some other pre-existing violations, it could suspend the license. For reckless driving, the charges can range from $1,000 and a six month imprisonment. These charges can be added to if alcohol is in the mix.

What to Do When Injured By a Reckless Driver

When injured by a reckless driver, it is important to begin by talking to the police and giving them all the details that you can. From there, it is important to go to the hospital and let a doctor treat any and all injuries. After that, it is important to contact an Orlando reckless driving accident lawyer and to discuss your case with them. While the police will likely handle all criminal issues, we can help you receive the financial remuneration for any injuries received. This is no doubt a stressful time for you, but it is important to remember that we here at Payer Law are here to help. To learn more about your rights after being injured by a reckless driver, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free, no-risk consultation.



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