What are the 'elements of the crime' of Reckless operation of vessel'. What are the jury instructions?
327.33(1) States in part; [A person is guilty if they operate with] willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property at a speed or in a manner as to endanger, or likely to endanger, life or limb, or damage the property of, or injure any person. It seems to me this statutes leans towards a requirement of 'intent'. Is this in fact the case?
Criminal Defense Attorney
You can find most common jury instructions on the Florida Supreme Court website.
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Here is the statute. It includes all the elements. http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/327.33
Each element must be proven by the state, beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt. Look at the elements in either the statute or the jury instructions and determine where all of the reasonable doubt lies. A reasonable doubt can arise from the evidence itself, a lack of evidence, or a conflict in the evidence.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239
The statute is honestly pretty vague and there is no standard jury instruction. It will honestly require a bit of wrangling between the State Attorney and the Defense Attorney to arrive at a mutually agreeable Jury Instruction. Much of it may depend on the specifics of your case. What are they alleging that you did exactly? (Do not post the answer here, send me an email). You're looking at a first degree misdemeanor. It's a serious enough criminal offense punishable by up to a year in jail, probation, and fines. You'd be better off hiring a criminal defense trial attorney and fighting back aggressively if you don't feel you did anything wrong. No sense in agreeing to a plea if you're not guilty.