Careless Driving Ticket
First of all, every driver on a Florida road has a duty to use due care and caution for their safety and his or her property. As well as, for the person and property of others who are on or about that roadway. But, traffic, road, and weather conditions all factor into that duty. Thus, a driver doesn’t need an accident to occur to receive a careless driving ticket. Yet, if an accident does occur, it’s highly likely that a careless motorist will get ticketed.
Contact RHINO Lawyers
We are a tough, thick-skinned law firm. Not to mention, we offer a robust approach to traffic ticket defense and all Florida driver’s license issues. So, our lawyers know the importance of keeping you in the driver’s seat with a clean driving record. In fact, moving violations can result in increased automobile insurance rates and large fines. Or, even worse a suspended driver’s license. Thus, disputing your citation is your only chance of getting it dismissed, even if you think you are “guilty.”
The Careless Driving Statute
Additionally, Florida Statutes section 316.1925(1), states careless driving is as follows. Any person operating a vehicle on the streets or highways within the state must drive in a careful and prudent manner. Thus, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances. So, as not to endanger the life, limb or property of any person. Because failure to drive in such a manner will constitute careless driving. Although, careless driving isn’t a criminal act, but it does constitute a moving violation.
Given that, police officers are rarely eyewitnesses to accidents. Hence, the prosecutor in your case has the burden of proving that you were driving carelessly. Next, what comes to issue is Florida Statute section 316.066. It includes language stating not allowing what you say to the investigating police officer into evidence in a civil trial. Nor, will they allow it in a criminal trial.
So, if you fight a careless driving ticket the only witnesses against you would be any independent witnesses or the other driver. Thus, in the unlikely event that somebody does appear in court to testify against you, the law doesn’t need you to testify. Yet, an effective cross-examination by your attorney might dispose of the ticket before you ever have to make a decision on testifying.
Aggressive Careless Driving
This isn’t a traffic offense in and of itself. It’s governed by Florida Statute section 316.1923. The intent of the statute is for obtaining data on whether operators of motor vehicles were driving their vehicles in a careless manner. So, if an officer determines that a driver was aggressively careless, the officer can note it in a box on the ticket. It will draw the attention of a prosecutor and a judge. Additionally, aggressive carelessness focuses on whether a driver allegedly committed more than one of the following traffic violations simultaneously or in succession:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit.
- Carelessly and improperly changed lanes.
- Followed a vehicle without leaving a safe interval.
- Failed to yield the right-of-way.
- Passed another vehicle improperly.
- Violated any type of a traffic control device.
Even though, aggravated careless driving isn’t a recognized stand-alone traffic offense in Florida. If there is a finding of aggravation, penalties pursuant to a plea or finding of guilt can be more severe than those with no finding of aggravation. The fine alone can be up to $500, and then, there are surcharges and other penalties that a judge can impose.