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The Facts

Case #: 00####9


The Results

The client was driving her vehicle on Alico road and, while adjusting the radio, she struck a vehicle which was stopped at a red light. The officer issued the client a citation for reckless driving. In the report, the officer indicated that the client was driving the speed limit and that the cause of the accident was due to her being distracted by the radio. We filed a motion to dismiss alleging that the State did not have the facts necessary to convict under the reckless driving statute.

In our argument we pointed out that the crime of Reckless Driving is defined under Section 316.192, Florida Statutes. Under the statute, Reckless Driving consists of two factual elements:

The defendant drove a motor vehicle, and
The defendant did so with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
Determining whether behavior is reckless is a factual inquiry. In this case, all that we have is a rear end collision with no tire marks and a confession of playing with the radio which is most likely excluded from trial under the accident report privilege.

As indicated in the statute, neither carelessness nor ordinary negligence in the operation of a vehicle are sufficient to support a conviction for reckless driving. See State v. Lebron, 954 So. 2d 52 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007); D.E. v. State, 904 So. 2d 558 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005). The defendant’s actions must be knowing and purposeful, or carried out with a conscious and intentional indifference to consequences and while knowing that harm was likely to be done to persons or property. W.E.B. v. State, 553 So.2d 323, 325-26 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989). We presented the argument that the actions of the client were merely negligent and did not constitute a blatant disregard for the safety of others and therefore were not sufficient to satisfy a conviction. The State agreed and dismissed the case on 1/23 before the motion was heard.

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