Injured in an auto accident, medical malpractice, facing criminal charges, or need help with a traffic ticket? Our mission is to form a lasting partnership with every client. Our passion is the people we help and the lives that we help change. So, if you have questions or need assistance—we are here to help.

  1. Home
  2. Traffic Tickets
  3. What Is Considered Careless Driving?

Free Video Consultation
Text Us Now

What Is Considered Careless Driving?

Every year in Florida there are more than 400,000 car accidents. Many of these are careless driving antics.

As a driver, you must drive responsibly and courteously. When you’re behind the wheel of a car, you could cause an accident simply through carelessness. If you’re caught out driving in this fashion, you could receive a careless driving ticket.

If you have received a careless driving ticket, you may be wondering what the next step should be.

In this article, we’ll talk about careless driving in Florida and what you can do to defend yourself if you have a ticket.

What Is Careless Driving?

In Florida law, careless driving is defined as anyone not operating a vehicle on the roads in a careful and prudent manner.

The law states that you need to pay attention to the width, grade, curve, corners, and other traffic on the road. You must not endanger anyone else’s life, nor cause injury or damage to any person’s property.

To be clear though, no injury or harm needs to come to anyone and no damage needs to have occurred for the charge to be given.

How Much Is a Careless Driving Ticket?

Careless driving is a moving violation.

If you get caught and charged with it you can expect to receive a fine of up to $500 as well as any court costs if you are adjudicated guilty. Adjudication is a term that is used in place of ‘convicted’ on a non-criminal case.

The minimum fine that you can expect to receive for careless driving is $160.

How Many Points Is Careless Driving?

In addition to having a fine, you will also get points on your license.

You can expect to receive four points on your driver’s license if you are adjudicated guilty. In some cases, you can have the number of points you receive reduced if you are willing to take a driver education course.

Drivers who have had points applied to their license can expect to see an increase in the cost of their automobile insurance.

Careless Driving vs Reckless Driving

So what is the difference between careless driving and reckless driving?

Careless driving is not a criminal offense, whereas reckless driving is. Reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle with a disregard for other people’s safety.

Some examples of reckless driving include:

  • Drag racing on a public road
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence of drink or drugs
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians or anyone that has the right of way
  • Swerving through traffic in a dangerous way
  • Running red lights and stop signs without any regard for the safety of others

The penalties for reckless driving could be up to 90 days in jail, and a fine of up to $500. If a person is convicted more than once, the penalties become steeper.

The fines could be up to $1,000 and a person may go to jail for up to six months.

In the event that a person’s reckless driving causes serious injury or death, they will face a fine of $5,000 and up to five years in prison.

Defending a Careless Driving Ticket

A careless driving charge is reliant on the opinion of the officer making the accusation. A person may face these charges when their driving was not actually a danger to other people.

Another reason that someone may face a careless driving ticket is if they were swerving to avoid a dangerous situation.

There may be times when a driver needs to make a decision that makes it look as though they were not driving with due care and attention when in reality they were trying to stop something bad from occurring.

Other defenses for careless driving tickets include:

  • If you were wrongly accused as you were not the person who was driving
  • You hit another vehicle, however, you were driving in a way that was careful and prudent
  • If you hit another vehicle because of bad weather
  • You hit another vehicle because another vehicle crashed into the back of yours
  • There was a defect in your vehicle which caused you to drive in a way that looked like you were being careless
  • Your mechanic failed to maintain your vehicle which caused an operating error that made it look as though you were driving carelessly

Regardless of the reason for the careless driving, a person being charged will be based on the opinion of the officer. This means that the case can be challenged and won with the right defense.

Challenging Your Careless Driving Ticket

If you get a careless driving ticket, you should challenge it. The first thing that you will need to do is to hire an experienced traffic defense lawyer.

Having a lawyer on your side that understands the specifics of the traffic laws and who has represented numerous clients in similar situations to yourself will put you in good stead for winning your case.

Hire an Experienced Lawyer

Careless driving is when you are driving without due care and attention.

Getting a careless driving ticket doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll end up with a $500 fine and four points on your driver’s license. It is possible that with the right defense you can have your ticket overturned.

Have you had a careless driving ticket? Rhino Lawyers are here to help you. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.


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.