What is Reckless Driving?

What does Reckless Driving really mean?

Just what is reckless driving?  Certainly it can be deemed as subjective as it is a certain behavior behind the wheel of an automobile or on a motorcycle.

Reckless driving is defined in Florida Statute 316.192 as when someone “drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

The only specifically defined action which can get you arrested for Reckless Driving is if you are driving and attempting to flee a law enforcement officer.  Other than that, the charge of Reckless Driving is up to the arresting law enforcement officer and what they personally observed of your driving pattern along with other witnesses, if there are any.  

During normal traffic stops the driving pattern may be captured on the law enforcement officers dash camera or body cam video, if not, then the law enforcement officer testimony will be essential.  Of course, if there is property damage and/or personal injury, those findings will also be documented.

So, any person who drives a vehicle in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, who by driving the vehicle, causes damages to the property or person of another, commits a first-degree misdemeanor.

If the driver’s actions cause serious bodily injury to another, the driver can then be charged with a third-degree felony.  Serious bodily injury means “an injury to another person, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”

If you are convicted of this charge, and it is the first time you have been convicted of this charge you face a possibility of being imprisoned for a period of not more than 90 days or fined not less than $25 but no more than $500, or both a fine and imprisonment.

On a second or subsequent conviction, you can be imprisoned for up to 6 months or fined not less than $50 but no more than $1,000, or both a fine and imprisonment.

If you have been charged with Reckless Driving you may want to consult with an attorney before going to court.


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