Reducing a DUI to Reckless Driving in Florida
Just because you have been charged with a DUI in Florida does not mean that you will be convicted, or that your case will even make it to trial. Under some circumstances, your defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal on your behalf, which would reduce your charge to reckless driving.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
Although it is still a serious traffic violation, a reckless driving charge carries far fewer penalties and less social stigma than a DUI. Penalties for a first offense reckless driving charge include fees ranging rom $25-$100 and four points added on to your driving record. You may also face either a maximum of 90 days in jail or a maximum of six months of probation.
Compare a first offense reckless driving conviction with a first offense DUI, which has penalties including $500-$1,000 in fines, license suspension for up to one year and up to six months in jail or on probation. You may also be sentenced to serve community service hours and to attend DUI school. An ignition interlock device, or IID, may also be part of a sentence for a first-offense DUI.
When is a Reckless Driving Plea an Option?
A reckless driving plea is obviously preferable to going to court on a DUI charge. However, this plea may not be available in all cases. If you have a prior DUI on your record, for example, the prosecution may be less inclined to negotiate a plea. If you are facing a first offense DUI, your attorney may be able to make a case for a reckless driving plea if your blood alcohol level was close to the legal limit and if the incident did not result in an accident or injury. Having your case reviewed by a qualified and experienced defense attorney is one of the first steps you can take to determine if a reckless driving plea may be a possibility for you.