If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident, you’re likely familiar with the litany of issues that come along with it: Filing a claim with your car insurance, possible litigation, car repairs, missing work, medical bills, aches and pains… As if that weren’t enough, you also have to worry about accumulating points on your driving record. But what does that mean?
How Does the Driving Record Point System Work in Florida?
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department (FHSMV) has a progressive point system in which a specific number of points are assigned to each traffic violation.
For example, if you’re pulled over for speeding, three points will be assigned to your driver’s license. If your speed was fast enough to be considered reckless driving, you’ll be assigned four points. An accumulation of 12 or more points within one year can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. If you’re approaching the 12 point mark (or if you’d prefer not to have the points assigned), you can enroll in traffic school at the time you pay for your ticket.
What If I Leave the Scene of the Accident?
If you fail to leave your information after hitting a parked car, you’ll have six points assigned to your driving record. If you hit a moving vehicle, the number of points you’ll receive will depend on the cause of the accident (i.e. reckless driving, failure to yield, running a red light, speeding). For the specific points associated with these scenarios, learn about them here.
However, if you’re involved in a hit and run, points on your driver’s record will be the least of your problems. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime.
If it was a minor accident that only caused property damage, it’s a misdemeanor in the second degree. This means that it’s punishable by jail time of up to 60 days. That’s in addition to fines and having your driver’s license suspended.
If the accident resulted in someone being injured, it’s a third-degree felony, which is punishable up to $5,000 in fines and five years in prison.
If the accident resulted in death, it’s a first-degree felony, which is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison.
What If the Accident Was Caused by Reckless Driving?
Florida law defines “reckless driving” as any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Any person pulled over for reckless driving will accumulate four points on their driving record.
In addition, the punishment for reckless driving is as follows:
If it’s a first-time offense, the driver faces imprisonment for up to 90 days or a fine of up to $500, or both.
If it’s a second or subsequent offense, the driver faces imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Call Clark Law If You Were Involved in a Car Accident in Tampa Bay
When you’re involved in a car accident, the first thing to do is seek medical attention. The second most important thing is to consult with a car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss the details of your collision and to determine the best course of action.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.