Criminal Traffic Laws in Florida

Florida Criminal Traffic Offense: What You Need to Know

Criminal traffic crimes can be serious. Certain types of driving behavior can put life, limb, or property at risk. Our attorneys achieve high levels of success in aiding criminal traffic offenders to have their charges reduced or dismissed. However, the State of Florida does not take these charges lightly. Making it important to know what defines each crime, and the consequences you could face, if convicted. Before you do anything, be sure to talk to one of our lawyers first.

Stay on top of your criminal traffic knowledge with these informative videos.

Criminal Traffic Offenses and How They’re Defined

  • DUI – Driving while under the influence. Also commonly known as drunk driving. A DUI charge occurs when the operator of a motor vehicle has impaired faculties. Therefore, making a driver unable to safely operate their vehicle. You can read more about DUI felonies here, and DUI misdemeanors here.
  • DWLS – Driving while license suspended. This happens when a driver operates a vehicle with the knowledge that their license is suspended.
  • Reckless Driving – Defined as: Any person who drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. 
  • Racing on the Highway – This can be a civil or criminal charge. This occurs when a traffic offender competitively drives their vehicle in a contest of speed or acceleration. Charges of racing on the highway can also apply if you engage in facilitating racing or if you act as a participating passenger in the vehicle. Spectators could also receive citations.
  • Vehicular Homicide – Defined by The Florida Statutes as: The killing of a human being, or the killing of an unborn child by injury to the mother, caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by another in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of, or great bodily harm to, another. 
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Often referred to as “hit and run,” this offense occurs when a driver of a vehicle fails to remain at the scene of the crash if death, bodily injury, property damage occurred.  
  • Attaching an Unassigned Tag – When a driver knowingly attaches a license plate that is not assigned to their vehicle by law.

Consequences of Criminal Traffic Offenses

  • DUI 

    • DUI penalties can be wide ranging depending on the specifics of the case.
    • Penalties can range from probation all the way up to significant prison sentences. 
    • All DUI cases carry mandatory driver’s license suspensions ranging from 6 months up to life.
  • DWLS

    • A first offense can result in up to 60 days of jail time, up to 6 months probation, and up to $500 in fines. A second offense can result in up to 1 year jail time and probation, and up to $1,000 in fines. A third offense can result in a Habitual Traffic Offender charge, prosecution as a felony, and license revocation for 5 years. Read more here on how your license can get suspended. 
  • Reckless Driving

    • Consequences for reckless driving are dependent on each circumstance and take into consideration bodily injury, property damage, and prior convictions. A first offense without injury or property damage can result in fines up to $500 and up to 90 days in jail, while a second offense can result in fines up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail. If property damage is part of the equation, individuals could be subject to fines of up to $1,000 and a maximum jail term of 1 year. If there’s bodily injury, the situation is classified as a third-degree felony, carrying potential fines of up to $5,000 and a maximum jail sentence of 5 years.
  • Racing on the Highway

    • This is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor and could lead to a maximum of 1 year in jail and fines amounting to $1,000 for a first offense, and a minimum of $3,000 in fines for a second offense. Other consequences include driver license revocation, vehicle impoundment, and vehicle forfeiture. 
  • Vehicular Homicide

    • This is categorized as a second-degree felony. It could lead to a maximum of 15 years in imprisonment, along with fines of up to $10,000.
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident

    • Convictions are dependent upon accidents involving injury, death, and property damage. If only property damage occurs, this is a second-degree misdemeanor and can result in up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. If there’s an injury involved, the offense becomes a third-degree felony. Which, could lead to a maximum of five years in prison, probation, and fines of up to $5,000. If death is a factor, the offense advances to a first-degree felony. This could result in a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years and fines of up to $10,000.
  • Attaching an Unassigned Tag

    • People consider this a second-degree misdemeanor, and it can lead to a jail term of up to 60 days or a probation period of up to 6 months, along with a potential fine of $500.

If you face charges for a criminal traffic offense, you can consult with an attorney from Dale Carson Law for free.

Our lawyers will make sure you understand your charges. They also may be able to help you avoid or lessen large fines, jail time, and license revocation. There is no charge or obligation for this initial consultation.  To schedule a free consultation with a Florida DUI attorney go to our Complimentary Consults page. Or call a Florida DUI attorney at Dale Carson Law today at 904-355-6777.