With the popularity of the Fast and Furious movie franchise, street racing has been glamorized by Hollywood film producers. Even the spectacular rollover crashes appear harmless. The same cannot be said for the real implications of accidents that result in injuries as a result of 2 or more cars racing on the streets of Tampa, and throughout Florida.
The Florida Legislature has enacted a series of laws that when applied to street racing, or other willful driving conduct that can result in harsh punishments that will change not only the families of the injured, but the families of the charged. “Reckless manner” means in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others.
Vehicular Homicide. According to Fla. Stat. §782.071, anyone who causes the death of another
by the reckless operation of a motor vehicle that was likely to cause
the death or great bodily injury to another.
- This is a 2º Felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.
- If a person leaves the scene of the crash, it is a 1º Felony punishable by up to 30 years in Florida State Prison.
- In both of the above classifications, the court shall revoke the privilege to drive for at least 3 years.
Reckless Driving with Serious Bodily Injury. According to Fla. Stat. §316.192(3)(c)1, anyone who as a result of
operating a motor vehicle in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety
of others that results in injury that creates a substantial risk of death,
serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of bodily organs.
- This is a 3º Felony that is punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison.
Racing on Highways. According to Fla. Stat. §316.191, it is a 2º Misdemeanor punishable
by up to 60 days in the county jail for anyone who:
- Drives a motor vehicle is a race, competition, acceleration contest, or exhibition of speed,
- Assists in the coordination of a race,
- Knowing rides as a passenger in a race, or,
- Slows or stops traffic for a race.
The penalties also include a fine between $500.00 – $1000.00, as well as a 1 years Driver’s License Revocation.
If a prior racing offense has occurred within the last 5 years, this charge is considered a 1º Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail, a fine between $1,000.00 – $5,000.00, as well as a 2 year Driver’s License Revocation.
If this is a 3rd offense within 5 years of a prior offense, the charge is still considered a 1º Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail, as well as a 4 year Driver’s License Revocation.
Spectators to such a race can also be issued a civil violation that is finable up to $500.00 as a moving violation in which points can be assessed against their Driver’s License.
The above statutory scheme of punishing willful and reckless driving conduct creates a confusing and multi-statute scheme to punish the driver.
The attorneys at Taracks & Associates have extensive experience in handling accusations of driving conduct that implicate one or multiple of the above statutes. Call today for your Free Consultation with a Tampa Traffic Fatality Attorney today at 813-827.2897.
We at Taracks & Associates know how factually intensive these cases become and we are well aware of the emotions that often play a key role in a successful defense against any of these charges.
Did you know that often times the authorities only gather the evidence at the scene of the crash that only supports their initial conclusion? Many times there are other factors and other evidence that still may be present at the scene of the crash that can help defend from the serious allegations of a traffic fatality.
Since the weather here in the Tampa Bay area can adversely affect any remaining evidence at the scene of the traffic accident, time is of the essence for us to discuss the facts of the case in order to determine if there is additional evidence that needs to be gathered for a successful defense.
So call today and speak with one of the Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys at Taracks & Associates, so that we may begin to protect your livelihood, your freedom, and your reputation.