Common Florida reckless driving defenses provided by Daytona Beach DUI lawyer Kevin J. Pitts.
Florida reckless driving defense attorney has some options in how to defend your case.
Reckless driving defense strategies and case law will be listed in this section.
Speeding: Operation of motor vehicle at rate of speed greater than the speed limit does not constitute reckless driving per se.
Evidence was insufficient to convict defendant of reckless driving in Florida, even though police officer estimated defendant's speed at 50 to 55 miles per hour in posted 35 mile per hour zone, where defendant had control of his vehicle, defendant's speed decreased as he approached intersection, and traffic was light to moderate. Miller v. State, 636 So.2d 144 (Fla. 1st Dist. App. 1994). Often speed is accompanied by other factors but by itself does not amount to reckless driving in Florida. Evidence that automobile of defendant crossed the center line of the highway did not authorize an arrest for Florida reckless driving. A driver crossing the center line of the highway two or three times does not constitute reckless driving in Florida where there is no claim of speeding or driving on a curve or over a hill, at the time, or of heavy traffic. Graham v. State, 60 So.2d 186 (1952). Crossing the center line alone without additional facts would not justify an officer stopping the vehicle. Defendant's failure to maintain a single lane did not provide probable cause for traffic stop, where defendant's lane change was done safely, and defendant's driving was not sufficiently erratic to give rise to a reasonable suspicion of impairment. A turn signal is not required when traffic is not affected by the driving, Hurd v. State, 958 So.2d 600 (Fla. 4th Dist. App. 2007). The failure to maintain a single lane alone cannot establish probable cause in Florida when the action is done safely. Crooks v. State, 710 So.2d 1041 (Fla. 2nd Dist. App. 1998). A violation did not occur where evidence showed driving did not place any other vehicles in danger. Jordan v. State, 831 So.2d 1241 (Fla. 5th Dist. App. 2002). If the driving is abnormal the stop may be justified. Weaving several times within a single lane was held sufficient in Florida to justify a stop where there was no evidence to show endangerment to others and where no traffic violation had occurred. Roberts v. State, 732 So.2d 1127 (Fla. 4th Dist. App. 1999). An officer observes a driver cross the white line on the right side of the road three times within a mile, each time crossing the line by approximately one-half of the vehicle's width, provided sufficient evidence to stop the vehicle. Yanes v. State, 877 So.2d 25 (Fla. 5th Dist. App. 2004).
A law enforcement officer is authorized to make a warrantless arrest for a misdemeanor only when it is committed in the officer's presence. Baymon v. State, 933 So.2d 1269 (Fla. 2nd Dist. App. 2006). Offense is committed in presence or view of officer, within meaning of rule authorizing arrest without warrant, when officer receives knowledge of commission of offense in his presence through any of his senses, or by inferences properly to be drawn from testimony of his senses, or when facts and circumstances occurring within his observation, in connection with what, under the circumstances, may be considered as common knowledge, give him probable cause to believe or reasonable grounds to suspect that such is the case. Steiner v. State, 690 So. 2d 706 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1997). Private security guard's observations, which were relayed to police officer, that defendant had attempted to operate car while intoxicated did not provide officer with probable cause for arrest. Steiner v. State, 690 So. 2d 706 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1997).
If a crash occurs the officer is not required to be present. During a crash the officer can establish the case against the accused during an investigation. A police officer who makes an investigation at the scene of a traffic crash may arrest any driver of a vehicle involved in the crash when, based upon personal investigation; the officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the person has committed any offense under the provisions of this chapter or chapter 322 in connection with the crash. State, Dept. of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles v. Williams, 937 So. 2d 815, 816 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2006). If you are arrested for reckless driving The State has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This outlines some possible defenses to reckless driving. If you want to find out more about a possible reckless driving defense contact a local reckless driving attorney. A reckless driving criminal defense lawyer will be able to advise you of what reckless driving defense is best for your case. If you are arrested for reckless driving in Central Florida contact Central Florida DUI Attorney Kevin Pitts. If you are arrested for a reckless driving in Volusia County go to Daytona Beach DUI Attorney.
* Disclaimer: This summary was prepared by Criminal Defense Attorney and former prosecutor Kevin Pitts. The Law Offices of Kevin J. Pitts, P.A. 209 West First Street, Sanford, FL 32771 (407) 268-3688 – (407) 268-3682 (Fax) – (407) 883-6853 (Mobile). It should be used as a reference only. Interested parties should refer to the full text of the law before drawing legal conclusions. This is not legal advice and if you have hired an attorney you should follow their advice in resolving your Florida reckless driving case. Daytona Beach DUI lawyer Kevin J. Pitts has a Volusia County office at 747 South Ridgewood Ave., #105 Daytona Beach, FL 32114