Naples Reckless Driving Attorney
When you get onto the road with your fellow drivers, you enter into a social contract with everyone around you. This social contract is known as a duty of care, and it dictates how you’re expected to interact with your peers. Drivers who behave recklessly on the road are said to violate this contract and can meet criminal consequences for their behavior.
That said, police officers and related parties can often misinterpret the behavior of drivers around them. Should you find yourself contending with unfounded reckless driving charges, your future is at risk. You can work with a Naples reckless driving lawyer to contest the accusations brought against you in criminal court.
Reckless Driving and Its Consequences in Florida
Reckless driving constitutes deliberate misconduct, or “wanton misconduct,” while on the road. Florida outlines the nature of its reckless driving charges in Florida Statutes §316.192.
The behavior that can result in a reckless driving charge can range from speeding to the violation of pedestrian right-of-way. That said, police officers can misinterpret your behavior behind the wheel and inappropriately pull you over and potentially press reckless driving charges against you.
The consequences for reckless driving charges vary depending on your existing criminal record and the behavior you allegedly engaged in. The first time you face reckless driving charges, the maximum penalties that Florida law enforcement can foist upon you include fines of up to $500 and jail time of up to 90 days. If you’ve been charged with reckless driving in the past, the consequences for a second offense can see penalties increase to up to six months in jail and fines of $1,000.
How Do Police Officers Misrepresent Your Interactions?
If you’re accused of engaging in reckless driving on the road, you need to engage as professionally as possible with Floridian police officers. Officers who pull you over may take any opportunity to compound the charges leveled against you.
With that in mind, remember that you have the right to ask why you’re being detained when interacting with a police officer. You also have the right to remain silent in the face of a reckless driving arrest. You can contact a legal representative as soon as you enter into police custody if you want to prevent police officers from misrepresenting your case.
Contacting an attorney does not, as police officers might suggest, mean that you are guilty of roadway misconduct. Instead, it puts distance between you and the law enforcement representatives who might want to misinterpret your case.
Complicating Your Reckless Driving Charges
The consequences you face for alleged reckless driving become more severe in cases involving grievous personal injury and alleged drinking behind the wheel. If, for example, your reckless driving charge includes serious bodily injury, you may face a third-degree felony alongside up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
If you’re accused of a DUI along with reckless driving, Florida will require you to complete a DUI education course alongside the other fines and jail time attributed to your case.
Challenging Accusations of Reckless Driving
Once you have a reckless driving lawyer from Naples on your side, you can challenge the accusations leveled against you. The best way to fight back against charges of reckless driving is to:
- Assess the nature of the equipment used to detect your reckless driving for defects
- Challenge the reason a police officer chose to pull you over
- Use evidence to indicate that your behavior on the road wasn’t in violation of the law
- Provide evidence of an inaccurate speedometer
You may also have the opportunity to pursue a plea deal, particularly if you’ve never been accused of reckless driving before. If you enter into a plea deal in the wake of reckless driving charges, you may have the opportunity to reduce your sentence and fines.
Appealing and Expunging Reckless Driving Charges
If police officers have the opportunity to compound the charges brought against you, your reckless driving charges may join additional charges on your criminal record. The best way to keep these charges off of your record is to challenge them in criminal court. There is a chance, however, that your first attempt to challenge these charges may be unsuccessful.
You can, however, appeal a court’s decision with the help of a Naples reckless driving attorney. The appeals process does require you to pay a fee, but it gives you the opportunity to present new evidence challenging the charges on your criminal record.
If you choose not to appeal your reckless driving charges, there may come a point where you can have the record of those charges expunged. You can collaborate with the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford to determine when that time may come and whether or not it may benefit your personal and professional life.
Overcome Reckless Driving Charges With a Reckless Driving Attorney in Naples
Floridian reckless driving charges can be unfounded. These charges can inaccurately represent a driver’s behavior on the road and even result from police officer bias. If you suspect that the charges leveled against you may be borne of ill-intent or a misunderstanding of your roadway behavior, it’s your right to contest those charges in criminal court.
Reach out to the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford to schedule a criminal defense consultation after a reckless driving charge. Our reckless driving attorneys in Naples can help you defend your financial and professional future. You can learn more about our approach by calling our office at (239) 315-9750 or filling out our online contact form.