What Defenses can be used against Reckless Driving Charges?

Author : Joseph Franks | Published On : 23 Aug 2021

The definition of reckless driving varies from state to state, although a general definition would be “driving of a motor vehicle with deliberate or intentional indifference towards the safety of people and/or property". You shall be considered a reckless driver if you broke or ignored traffic rules and consciously operated the vehicle in a way that was unmistakably dangerous. Reckless driving is distinguishable from negligent driving by the fact that it can be noticed even when no accident or damage occurs.

Behaviors on the road that are frequently perceived as reckless driving, include:

  • Driving while intoxicated or profoundly distracted
  • Running red lights/stop signs
  • Road Racing
  • Running from cops
  • Excessive speeding
  • Stealing the right of way from pedestrians and other drivers

If you are facing charges for reckless driving, conviction may lead to as far as six months in jail, fines amounting to $1000, mandatory hours of community service, and restitution (for victim) if applicable. Florida Traffic Law Attorney can help you beat charges for any traffic violation or criminal offense, and preserve your flawless driving record.

Below are 5 defenses that can be used to bypass charges of reckless driving:

1. I didn’t do it

The prosecutor is expected to prove that you were the reckless driver in the identified vehicle. Your lawyer can always argue that you were not the one driving the vehicle at that point. If the prosecution can present no clear evidence to confirm that it was you behind the wheel, there’s a good chance that the charges against you will be dismissed.

2. I had no choice

An emergency situation would be a legit excuse for driving recklessly without realizing. You shall have to demonstrate why your actions were justified; you can do this by demonstrating that the crisis truly existed. You must have reasonably believed that someone’s life or property was in real danger. Bear in mind that you shouldn’t be the cause of the alleged emergency.

3. It was mere negligence

Ordinary negligence does not qualify as reckless driving. The prosecution has to prove that you were defying traffic law on purpose. For example, you may have failed to notice a pedestrian on the highway from a distance, thereby dodging abruptly or making a sharp turn at the last minute. You could have been momentarily distracted by some commotion on the road and not noticed the traffic light turning red.

4. I wasn’t going that fast

If the charges of reckless driving are based on speeding, the prosecution requires a lot more than a statement to verify that you were indeed driving at a speed that was utterly outrageous. Firstly, the equipment used to measure your speed must have been recently and properly calibrated. The speed measuring device has to be used correctly and the speed displayed by your vehicle at the time should match. Your vehicle’s speedometer may also get checked to ensure that it is functioning as it should.

5. It wasn’t my fault/I didn’t know

Intentionally disregarding traffic rules is the primary criteria for reckless driving. Therefore, if you were oblivious to the fact that your driving was reckless, you are probably not the one to blame. You may have been driving a bit too fast on an open road because there were no speed limit signs along the sides. Similarly, a clear wide road with barely any speed breakers and noticeable sign posts may have given you the wrong impression.