Reckless driving is a criminal traffic offense in Florida which carries four points and a criminal misdemeanor record.
The FL driver's manual states that your license can be revoked if you are found guilty of three cases of reckless driving within one year. Forfeiting bail and not going to court to avoid being convicted of reckless driving counts the same as a conviction. Also it is noted that your license will be revoked for at least three years if you kill someone because of reckless driving.
Careless driving is not as serious as an offense as reckless driving in Florida. Police say careless driving should not be confused with intentional reckless driving, which is a crime. Careless driving is usually an unintentional act, such as not paying proper attention while police find reckless driving an intentional act.
Florida Statutes 316.192 is titled Reckless Driving, 316.1923 is Aggressive Careless Driving and 316.1925 is Careless Driving, so these are the FL laws that govern these offenses.
Reckless Driving is defined in (1)(a) as any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. This also included (b) Fleeing a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle is reckless driving.
The punishment for reckless driving is listed for a first conviction as imprisonment for a period of not more than 90 days or by fine of not less than $25 nor more than $500, or by both such fine and imprisonment. On a second or subsequent conviction the punishment is imprisonment for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
There are even harsher penalties if the driver damaged property or a person. This then is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree. Causing serious bodily injury to another while recklessly driving is considered a felony of the third degree.
Also if the court has reasonable cause to believe that the use of alcohol, chemical substances or controlled substances contributed to a violation of this section of law then the court shall direct the person so convicted to complete a DUI program substance abuse education course and evaluation.
Aggressive Careless Driving you can read about in the FL Statute 316.1923. Here it lists the traffic violations that committing two or more simultaneously or in succession is defined as aggressive careless driving. The violations include speeding, following too closely, improper lane change, etc.
Careless driving is found in 316.1925 of the Florida Statutes. Here it states that any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner, 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. Failure to drive in such manner shall constitute careless driving and a violation of this section.
It goes on to say that any person who violates this section shall be cited for a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318 (the chapter of law on disposition of traffic infractions).
As you can see from the information above reckless driving is can come with jail time and thus is a criminal offense while careless driving is a traffic infraction. You can contact the Florida department of highway safety and motor vehicles (HSMV) for more information on reckless driving and careless driving.
Either a careless or reckless driving conviction on your motor vehicle record
(MVR) could affect your car insurance rates depending upon the rating system of your insurance company. Reckless driving though in Florida is considered a more serious offense both in court and to an insurer.