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Criminal Law in Orlando and throughout Central Florida
As many Floridians have discovered, to their dismay, a careless driving ticket is a frequently issued traffic citation, often as the result of involvement in a traffic accident. Because many accidents, especially those where one vehicle rear ends another, are not witnessed by police and are absent other evidence a careless driver citation may be issued. However, this one-size fits all ticket is not always upheld by the Florida court system.
The issuance of a careless driving ticket does not negate the need for the state to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Without a specific cause for the accident, guilt cannot be determined, even in a case of careless driving. A competent lawyer should be able to have such a citation thrown out unless there is evidence to support the charge.
Often a driver will feel he has no recourse due to having made what may sound like an admission of guilt. However, neither an apology by the driver being charged nor an accusation by the other driver, made at the time of the accident, will affect the outcome of a hearing or trial. In fact, any statement made at the accident scene is inadmissible as evidence. It is up to the state, via the police officer, to make a strong enough case using the physical facts related to the accident.
In order to prove a case of careless driving the state of Florida must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Florida statute 316.1925 has been violated. This statue, which states, “Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. Failure to drive in such a manner shall constitute careless driving and a violation of this section,” is specific. Only if the state can prove that life, limb or property were endangered by your choices behind the wheel can you be found guilty.
With an attorney to represent you, other reasons for the occurrence of the accident can be introduced that can install a reasonable doubt. Road conditions, medical emergencies and equipment failure are all viable alternative for the cause of an accident where someone has been charged with careless driving.
If you have received a traffic citation for Careless Driving in Orlando or Central Florida, let us educate you of your rights and protect your driving record. Contact our traffic defense attorneys today for a free consultation.