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Is Reckless Driving a Criminal Offense, a misde., or a felony?

Miami, FL |

I was charged with a DUI non alcohol related, no accident or bodily harm to anyone. My attorney wants to enter a plea for Reckless Driving due to the issue that I am currently on Conditional Release and he is affraid that my probation officer might violate my parole for this case. According to my parole officer, she will not violate me unless I am convicted for a criminal offense and/or a felony. Please advise. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 4


She says she will not violate you if you are convicted. A withhold of adjudication is not a conviction. Maybe that is what your attorney is going for. DUI's are lousy. Anything other than a DUI is a good deal. Unless you are innocent or the State cannot prove your case, AND you have strong defenses, then it is a bad deal and you should not plead guilty or no contest. We don't like to step on other attorneys feet and I'm sure he or she is looking out for you.


In FL, there is no withhold of adjudication for DUI. Your attorney is right; a conviction of DUI will violate your probation. The reckless is a traffic infraction and although you'll probably get the same penalty (as part of your plea) your conviction is for an infraction, not a misdemeanor. Your lawyer is doing right by you and if he can get you the reckless - grab it!


Reckless driving is a Misdemeanor just like a DUI. Also your probation can be violated whether or not you receive a withhold of adjudication. In fact your case can be dismissed and you can still be violated. Also, just because your probation officer says she will not violate you does not mean that a supervisor or another officer, who can be assigned any any time, will not violate you. It is also possible that the State Attorney's office could intervene and violate you.

You need to communicate with your lawyer and determine the stregnth or weakness of the State's case and then decide. In many cases the State is willing to reduce the charge to reckless because they can't prove the DUI.


Let me clarify something the other attorneys said that is incorrect. A reckless driving is a criminal offense, not an infraction. It is a misdemenaor traffic violation. You need to ask your parole officer if this will violate you and explain that you are being offered a reckless driving. They may let it go, but they don't have to since it is a criminal offense. Then again, if you have no defenses to the DUI, sometimes that is better to take the reckless despite the possible violation. Talk to your attorney AND your parole officer to see what is best. Good luck.