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Careless Driving

Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys

Careless Driving with Serious Bodily Injury or Death Defense Attorney in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida

Did you receive a traffic citation for a moving violation after a crash involving serious bodily injury or death?

We can help with both the civil infraction side and the civil side.

At the law firm of Fernandez and Hernandez, LLC, our careless driving defense attorneys represent individuals charged with a crime including careless driving with serious bodily injury or death throughout the State of Florida.

Our firm handles criminal defense throughout the state of Florida, including Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, Hernando County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, and Citrus County.

Why work with us and why we are the best choice?

Award-Winning Firm

We are known to “go to the mats” for our clients. That carries extraordinary weight and respect with prosecutors and other lawyers.

Experience Counts

Both Daniel J. Fernandez and Martin J. Hernandez have more than 500 trials between them.

5 Star Rating

We are consistently rated among the top criminal defense lawyers by our peers, major independent legal authorities, and others in the community.

Direct Attorney Access

We will provide you with a free consultation where you will speak directly with one of our attorneys. Call us at 813-229-5353.

We Fight for You

Our practice consists solely of trial attorneys and we dedicate ourselves to securing the best result for each and every client who enlists our services.

I Received a Traffic Citation for a Moving Violation After a Crash Involving Serious Bodily Injury or Death, What Do I Do?

These are one of the most serious types of Civil Infractions moving violations you can receive. The traffic ticket carries a driver’s license suspension and you are most likely going to get sued. Basically, you will be in two different courts with the intent of avoiding a third (i.e., bankruptcy). You, therefore, need someone in your corner to fight for you in traffic court and with the insurance company by telling the insurance company that they need to properly protect you or we will go after the insurance company for failing to properly protect their insureds and breaching a contract.

Why so Serious? It was Just an Accident!

Careless Driving with Serious Bodily Injury or Death citations usually involves an investigation by a traffic homicide investigator. Most of these cases are tragic accidents where no criminal arrest is made because they cannot show malice or reckless (willful or wanton) indifference, only negligence. Therefore, the investigator might just issue you a citation for a civil (non-criminal) traffic violation.

However, even a Careless Driving traffic ticket after a crash resulting in death or serious bodily injury comes with very serious consequences. For instance, if you are convicted of the civil traffic offense then the court must impose a 3-month driver’s license suspension for a citation resulting in serious bodily injury or a 6-month driver’s license suspension for a citation resulting in death. A conviction also comes with a mandatory fine of $1,000. The court may also require you to perform 120 hours of community service, although the court is not required to do so.

Also, you pay for auto insurance. Now, the insurance company will hopefully represent you and they are legally required to hire you an attorney, but that attorney is paid by them. Are they going to fight for you or for the insurance company? Ethically, they are required to represent you, but sometimes your interests and the insurance company’s interest conflict. That’s where we can come in and explain everything to you. We only represent you. Not insurance companies.

If you were involved in such a crash, you should retain an experienced traffic ticket defense attorney to discuss the best way to resolve the case. We will set the case for a hearing to fight for a dismissal of the charge or a finding by the county judge that you did not commit the violation.

What if They Upgrade the Charges to a Criminal Charge?

We also represent clients on criminal charges that can result from a traffic homicide investigation into felony DUI offenses or vehicular manslaughter. We can represent you for DUI Manslaughter, Felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury, DUI with Property Damage or Injury, Vehicular Homicide or Leaving the Scene of a Crash with or without Injury. After a criminal investigation begins into a crash involving a fatality or serious bodily injury, your first call should be to an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney who can protect you during the traffic homicide investigation to make sure your rights are protected and you get the best defense possible.

What was so Careless About my Driving? Tampa Attorney for Non-Criminal Citations Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury or Death?

Being charged with careless driving with serious bodily injury or death will undoubtedly have a lasting effect on an individual if they are found guilty.

If you have been charged with a very serious crime you are going to need a Tampa careless defense lawyer that will be able to offer various different defense strategies that will help an individual avoid having to face the most severe penalties.

What About My Rights?

In those cases that do not involve driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or reckless driving, the case is not a criminal case. In some of the non-criminal cases, the traffic homicide investigator will find that the driver was only negligent by committing a civil traffic infraction that interfered with other traffic such as:

  • speeding in a school zone;
  • speeding;
  • speeding when construction workers present;
  • careless driving or aggressive careless driving;
  • running a stop sign;
  • violation of a traffic control device;
  • running a red light;
  • failure to yield;
  • improper lane change or course;
  • failure to stop at a traffic signal;
  • failure to maintain lane;
  • improper U-turn;
  • violation of right-of-way;
  • improper passing

If a serious bodily injury or fatality occurred then the officer will check the box indicating that the infraction requires a mandatory court appearance. That’s when you need to get Lawyered Up.

The attorneys at the Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC represent clients involved in a crash resulting in death or serious bodily injury. We will also fight for you with the insurance company and tell the insurance company that they need to properly protect you or we will go after the insurance company for failing to properly protect their insureds. Call to speak with an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney at 813-229-5353.

Traffic Infractions with a Mandatory Court Appearance?

Under Florida Statute § 318.19, certain types of traffic citations require a mandatory court appearance including:

F.S. § 318.19- Infractions requiring a mandatory hearing.

— Any person cited for the infractions listed in this section shall not have the provisions of § 318.14(2), (4), and (9) available to him or her but must appear before the designated official at the time and location of the scheduled hearing:

  1. Any infraction which results in a crash that causes the death of another;
  2. Any infraction which results in a crash that causes ‘serious bodily injury’ of another as defined in § 316.1933(1);
  3. Any infraction of § 316.172(1)(b);
  4. Any infraction of § 316.520(1) or (2); or
  5. Any infraction of §§ 316.183(2); 316.187, or 316.189 of exceeding the speed limit by 30 m.p.h. or more.

Only County Court Judges Can Hear Citations that Require a Mandatory Hearing

Per Florida Statute § 318.32 limits the jurisdiction of hearing officers and does not allow them to hear a case involving a crash resulting in injury or death. If the case involves injury or death then it must go before a county court judge.

Penalties for a Noncriminal Traffic Infraction under Florida Statute § 318.14

Florida Statute § 318.14 specifies the procedures for certain kinds of noncriminal traffic infractions. Under this section, if the citation requires a mandatory court appearance then the person cannot elect to attend traffic court to avoid points or to avoid an adjudication of guilt or avoid a driver’s license suspension.

If, after a hearing, the county court judge makes a determination that the infraction has been committed and the violation was proven beyond all reasonable doubt then the official may impose a civil penalty of $1,000 in addition to any other penalties and the person’s driver license shall be suspended for 6 months if the crash resulted in a death or three months if the crash resulted in serious bodily injury. Meaning, the county judge does not have the discretion to avoid imposing a driver’s license suspension. In addition to the civil penalty the court can require that the driver attend an advanced driving improvement school (Advanced Defensive Driving)(12-hour course in person).

If the noncriminal infraction has caused or resulted in the death of another, the person who committed the infraction may perform 120 community service hours under § 316.027(4), in addition to any other penalties. The court is permitted to, but not required to, require the driver to serve 120 community service hours in a trauma center or hospital that regularly receives victims of vehicle accidents, under the supervision of a registered nurse, an emergency room physician, or an emergency medical technician pursuant to a voluntary community service program operated by the trauma center or hospital.

Other Sanctions for Careless Driving or Speeding?

Cases not involving death or serious bodily injury usually come with a maximum civil penalty not to exceed $500 and/or driving improvement school. Cases involving unlawful speed in a school zone or involving unlawful speed in a construction zone, the civil penalty may not exceed $1,000 and/or driving improvement school. What if you are found not guilty? If the judge or magistrate rules that no infraction was committed, no court costs or penalties shall be imposed and any costs or penalties that have been paid shall be returned.

Reinstating Your Driver’s License after a Suspension for a Violation (Not DUI Related) Resulting in Death or Serious Bodily Injury?

If you are convicted of a civil or non-criminal traffic infraction that resulted in serious bodily injury or death to another than your driver’s license shall be suspended for 3 months to 1 year. However, you may apply for a hardship through the Administrative Reviews Office in the county you reside in. To reinstate for a hardship license or when the time expires, you will need to:

  • submit proof of enrollment in an Advanced Driving Improvement (ADI) school;
  • take a required examination;
  • pay a suspension reinstatement fee; and
  • pay any applicable license fee.

Attorney for Citations Resulting in Death or Serious Bodily Injury?

If you received a traffic citation for a moving violation after a crash involving death or serious bodily injury or death, then you need to hire an experienced Tampa criminal careless defense attorney with the law firm of Fernandez and Hernandez, LLC. We help our clients at every stage of the traffic homicide investigator whether the investigator takes no action, issues only a civil (non-criminal) traffic citation, or recommends that criminal charges are filed and with the insurance companies.

Even if only a traffic ticket is issued, if the violation allegedly resulted in death or serious bodily injury, then the citation is serious. An attorney can fight to have the citation dismissed so that no conviction occurs. Call 813-229-5353 and ask for Daniel J Fernandez or Martin Hernandez.

Who Do I Call?

Our lawyers know how frightening a criminal charge can be, and we understand the emotions and confusion that our clients and their families go through. The Fernandez & Hernandez law office is at your service. We will continue to strive upon improving and bettering the situations of our clients. Life as you know it does not have to be over, but you need the honed skills of a focused and dedicated attorney to improve your situation.

If you or someone you care about has been charged with careless driving with serious bodily injury or death, contact us immediately. The law firm of Fernandez & Hernandez has the experience and skills necessary to assist you in your case. We dedicate all of the firm’s resources and energy in getting you the best results possible. Our attorneys continue to strive upon improving and bettering the situations of our clients. Each and every one of our clients receive focused, individualized attention to their criminal case from beginning to end. There’s no reason to hesitate, call (813) 229-5353.

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Address:
3002 W Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609

Business hours:
7 Days a Week / 24 Hours a Day

Phone number:
(813) 229-5353

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If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney, call us for a free consultation to discuss the case. 7 DAYS A WEEK / 24 HOURS A DAY

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Experience Matters! Our firm has tried over 500 cases and has 35+ years combined experience.

Contact Info

Address:
3002 W Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, Florida 33609

Business hours:
7 Days a Week / 24 Hours a Day

Phone number:
(813) 229-5353

© Fernandez & Hernandez LLC – 2019. All rights reserved. The material provided in this web site is intended to be used as general information and not as legal advice. You should schedule an appointment with an attorney for professional advice regarding your particular case. You should avoid sending any sensitive, confidential or damaging information via e-mail since mail on the Internet is not secure. We strongly recommend that you contact either Martin J. Hernandez or Daniel J. Fernandez as soon as possible if you are seeking legal representation. Our early intervention is crucial. We have emergency assistance available 7 days a week, every day of the year.