Attorney Christian A. Straile, LLC
Available 24/7 | Hablo Espanol :

Reckless Driving, Standing Your Ground by Accident.

Reckless Driving, not to be confused with careless driving, is a criminal traffic offense in Florida. An accusation of Reckless Driving does not require a crash, but property damage does enhance the offense. In a recent case, an attempt at defending a charge of Reckless Driving was made via a motion for immunity under the Stand Your Ground law.

The Defendant was the only person allowed to testify (the appeal court did not like that). The Defendant in the case claimed that the alleged victim shot at the Defendant as they were driving. The Defendant then followed the alleged victim, to obtain the license plate to give to 911 and he called 911. The Defendant claimed the alleged victim was shooting while the Defendant followed the alleged victim. Then the alleged victim stopped suddenly and swerved; the Defendant testified that he was unable to avoid the collision and it was an accident. Other than the fact a crash occurred there did not seem to be other evidence of recklessness, but that defense lawyer sought a dismissal based upon a lawful use of force.

The Court ruled that a person cannot claim immunity under the Stand Your Ground law when the force was used by accident or unintentionally. The law states that "a person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony." The Court held that this defendant did not reasonably believe the force was necessary because the force was inflicted unintentionally. Furthermore, the Court pointed out that the following of the alleged victim by the Defendant to obtain the tag information, was not done to protect the Defendant and increased the risk to the Defendant.

While this attempt failed, each case involving either Reckless Driving or a self-defense immunity claim under Stand Your Ground depends on the specific facts of each case. As this example shows, opinions can always differ on whether conduct was appropriate. Do not face the government alone. Please fill out the form, click or call to hire a lawyer.

ยง 776.032 and 776.012

Hart v. State (5th Circuit)

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response
Firm Logo Small

Learn How I Can Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Gainesville Office
1031 NW 6th Street
Unit A-2
Gainesville, FL 32601

Phone: 352-371-9141
Fax: 352-371-9142
Map & Directions

Mailing Address
PO Box 5355
Gainesville, FL 32627

Phone: 352-371-9141

Ocala Office
108 N. Magnolia Avenue
Suite 501
Ocala, FL 34475

Phone: 352-694-4529
Map & Directions

  • Location
    Mailing Address
  • Location
    Gainesville Office
  • Location
    OCALA - By Appointment