Surprisingly, it doesn’t take a lot to be charged with reckless driving. You may not even realize how far over the speed limit you are until you’re pulled over.
But then, bam. Here’s the ticket. And that little piece of paper that signifies you received a reckless driving charge can impact your life for years to come.
If you are charged with reckless driving and aren’t sure what to do next, keep reading. Here are the 7 things you must do after getting a reckless driving charge.
1. Stay Calm
We get it – no one wants a ticket, especially one that has the ability to escalate into more serious charges. You might feel like giving the police officer a piece of your mind, and who could blame you?
However, if you want to avoid further trouble, you must remain calm. The police officer may have to show up in court to testify against you. Wouldn’t you rather leave him with the impression that you are respectful and polite?
Not to mention, there are different degrees of reckless driving charges in Florida, with some being more serious and carrying harsher penalties. Don’t give the officer an excuse to up your charge.
2. Slow Down
Sounds obvious, right? But you should drive more carefully not just to avoid getting a second charge, but also to avoid making your first charge even worse.
Reckless driving charges in Florida can escalate all the way into a felony. If you catch a second ticket while still awaiting your court appearance for the first, it could stay on your record permanently.
Felonies can prevent you from getting a job or an apartment and can significantly impact your life. It’s not worth the risk for a few extra miles per hour.
3. Educate Yourself
Take time to read up on Florida’s reckless driving laws. It’s never a bad idea to learn more about the situation you’re in. You’ll also be aware of where to draw the line the next time you feel like speeding up.
If you know anyone who has also received the same charge, call them up. Ask them about their experience and what they would do differently if they could go back. You may learn something that could improve your situation.
4. Research and Hire a Lawyer
Because this charge can escalate, you can’t afford to not have a lawyer. But you should always do your research first.
There are lawyers, such as our team at RHINO, that specialize in traffic law and reckless driving charges. Our lawyers have years of experience working with this type of charge, so we’ve seen it all. We can handle your case like an expert.
Any reputable firm (including RHINO) will offer a free consultation to determine whether your case is a good fit. You want an attorney who is a hundred percent sure they want to take your case before an engagement letter is signed.
5. Listen To Your Lawyer
If you’ve done your research and hired a good attorney, you should remember you are paying them to tell you what to do to get the best outcome. They’ve done this before, and they know how you should act.
Even if you don’t want to do something, listen to your lawyer. Get a new suit, take driving classes, volunteer – whatever it is, they are telling you to do it for a reason, even if it isn’t immediately clear to you.
The legal system is a confusing, tangled web. You’ll have an easier time if you listen to the expert at your side.
6. The Hearing: Be Serious, Have Evidence
Your lawyer will prep you for the finer points of the hearing, but it’s important to remember to take it seriously. They should communicate what you do with your appearance, expressions, and body language.
Getting charged with something where someone could have ended up injured or dead, and acting nonchalant about it, is an easy way to annoy the judge. The judge has the power to sanction you or increase your punishment, so it’s better to try and stay on their good side.
At the hearing, both sides can present evidence. The officer that gave you the ticket may testify. There may be other witnesses if other people were involved, such as in an accident.
If you had anyone else in the car with you, you may want to call them to testify as well. If you have a dashcam or are able to ask a nearby home or business for their security camera footage, that’s even better.
Because you’ve educated yourself about your charges, you may even be able to dispute parts of the officer’s testimony or parts of the charge itself. It will ultimately be up to your lawyer to pursue that, but make sure to pay attention. See if you notice any discrepancies about how the prosecution portrays what happened.
7. Learn From This Experience
Your punishment can range from a fine to a short time in jail, to a full felony charge with significant prison time. But whatever happens, you should accept your penalty with grace and carry it out with your head held high.
Afterward, think about what you can take from this experience. It’s unrealistic to think that you will never speed again while driving, but maybe you’ll be more careful in the future.
If You Have a Reckless Driving Charge in Florida
If you’ve received a reckless driving ticket recently, don’t delay in reaching out for help. The longer you wait, the less time you have to prepare for your court appearance.
Our team at RHINO Lawyers works collaboratively on each case. We’re always learning from each other so that we can provide the best possible outcome for each and every client.
Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation about your reckless driving charge. You’ll be glad you did.
CONTACT TAMPA TRAFFIC TICKET ATTORNEY
RHINO Lawyers can help and guide you through a system molded by law enforcement, judges, and lawyers for decades. Having won cases for our clients in similar circumstances, our criminal defense team knows what it takes to fight on your behalf.
Let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.329.3491.