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FHP Cracking Down on "Aggressive Drivers"

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Reports indicate that the Florida Highway Patrol will be "cracking down" on aggressive drivers. Whenever a police agency announces that it will be "cracking down" on something, it means that they will be stopping more drivers than usual. This can lead to the issuance of more traffic tickets, as well as more PTAs and arrests for criminal traffic offenses.

The most common "aggressive" criminal traffic offense is reckless driving. Reckless driving is normally a misdemeanor, however it can be a felony if a person is seriously injured in a crash or somebody dies.

According to FHP statistics, 88 percent of crashes can be blamed on drivers' behavior. Only 12 percent are the result of vehicle defects, road conditions or bad weather, the FHP said.

From February 27-29, troopers will be ticketing drivers who follow too closely, make unsafe lane changes or speed.

For non-criminal infractions (such as speeding or failure to maintain a single lane), you will not be arrested or issued a promise to appear (PTA). If you are only issued a non-criminal infraction, you could either set the ticket for court yourself or hire one of many Miami-Dade County ticket lawyers. I am not a ticket lawyer. I handle only criminal matters (although I will be happy to handle your non-criminal traffic ticket if it accompanies a criminal charge).

If you are stopped on suspicion of reckless driving, the officer/trooper can issue you a written promise or notice to appear or can physically arrest you. Both have the same effect legally. However, it is worse to be arrested because you will have to go to jail and post a bond. But make no mistake about it - being issued a PTA for a criminal offense is still an arrest. You will still have an arrest record.

Police can often mistake non-criminal infractions (such as speeding or following too closely) for reckless driving. However, non-criminal infractions taken together (such as speeding AND following too closely) can be interpreted as reckless driving.

If arrested for reckless driving in Miami-Dade or Broward, call me to discuss possible defenses. Reckless driving can carry penalties such as jail time, probation, fines, and points on your license.