A recent utilization of a 2009 Florida Statute by DHSMV is resulting in individuals who plea to Florida reckless driving to be required by DHSMV after the resolution of the case to complete a four hour driving class. The class can be completed online and is generally affordable. The class usually runs around $30. It is not the type of thing that would cause most people to change their plea but was not enforced for over a year and caught many clients, defense attorneys and prosecutors by surprise. Language about potentially suspending the privilege to drive increased the concern. The statute has been on the books since October of 2009. A few months ago clients started getting letters from DHSMV to complete the class or their license would be suspended. The surprising part of the additional class is that all parties agreed to a resolution of the case. The additional class was not part of the resolution. It is what is known as a collateral consequence. This recently was observed in Daytona Beach reckless driving cases that are DUI reductions. It is also a requirement for dry reckless cases. It is a Florida statute and will likely apply to Seminole County reckless driving cases, Volusia County reckless driving cases and all other Florida reckless driving cases. DHSMV is the cause of many of the collateral consequences of entering a plea such as being designated as a habitual traffic offender, DUI suspensions (if you plea to a first offense DUI and DHSMV finds out it is a second within 5 years your license will be suspended for 5 years not the 6 months or a year that was discussed in court), point suspensions and most recently an additional class requirement for reckless driving, racing, not stopping for a school bus, not stopping at a steady red indicator and failure to observe a traffic control drvice.
The law comes from Florida Statute 322.0261(4). The department shall identify any operator convicted of, or who pleaded nolo contendere to, a violation of s. 316.074(1), s. 316.075(1)(c)1., s. 316.172, s. 316.191, or s. 316.192 and shall require that operator, in addition to other applicable penalties, to attend a department-approved driver improvement course in order to maintain driving privileges. If the operator fails to complete the course within 90 days after receiving notice from the department, the operator's driver license shall be canceled by the department until the course is successfully completed. It appears to apply to violation of a traffic control device, steady red indicators, stopping for a school bus, racing on the highway and reckless driving. While a four hour basic driver improvement class that can be completed online is not an extreme measure it was not previously contemplated in many cases that were resolved. If you are charged with reckless driving and plan on entering a plea be prepared for the additional class requirement. If you have been arrested for a Daytona Beach reckless driving or Seminole County reckless driving contact Daytona Beach reckless driving attorney Seminole County reckless driving lawyer Kevin J. Pitts