Culpable Negligence

Florida law provides that each of resident and visitor in the Sunshine State has a duty to act reasonably toward other people. When it is alleged that a violation of that duty occurs, even without any conscious intention to harm the other person, the violation is usually considered to be "negligence." In order for the negligent conduct to rise to the level of culpable negligence, the conduct must be flagrant and gross.

Attorney for Culpable Negligence in Tallahassee, FL

If you have been charged with the serious criminal offense of culpable negligence, contact a criminal defense attorney at . Prosecutions under Florida's culpable negligence laws are extremely controversial because no intention to commit any harm is required. Often these cases are selectively prosecuted to advance some political cause.

An aggressive prosecution requires an aggressive defense. We can discuss the facts and circumstances of your case, including possible defenses to help you fight the charges. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law will handle your case with the utmost importance, and they will fight to get the best possible result.

Pumphrey Law is located in Tallahassee, and they represent clients throughout the Florida Panhandle, including Leon County, Wakulla County, Jefferson County, Gadsden County and the surrounding areas. Call Pumphrey Law to schedule a free case evaluation.


Information About Culpable Negligence


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Elements of Culpable Negligence in Florida

“Culpable Negligence” is a course of conduct that shows a reckless disregard for human life or for the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects. This could be argued when a person under the influence gets behind the wheel when his or her driving abilities are impaired.

Culpable negligence requires showing more than the mere failure to use ordinary care for another. During the course of conduct, it must be shown the defendant acted with wantonness or recklessness by carelessly disregarding the welfare and safety of the public or a disregard for the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects or human life.

Under Florida Statute Section 784.05, the criminal offense of culpable negligence consists of two elements:

  • The defendant committed an act which either inflicted actual personal injury on the victim or exposed the victim to personal injury, even if no actual injury occurred.
  • The defendant did so through culpable negligence

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Possible Penalties for Culpable Negligence

Florida's culpable negligence statute section 784.05 provides for criminal punishments when conduct rises to the level of culpable negligence. Similar to the reckless driving statute, no actual harm must be proven. These cases are difficult to prosecute because the prosecutor must establish the defendant's state of mind in acting or failing to act.

Under Florida law, Culpable Negligence may be classified as second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. The crime also could be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

In more serious cases, the charge could be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000. For example, if the accused stores or leaves firearms within easy reach of child, and the child uses the firearm to inflict injury or death upon himself or herself or any other person, then culpable negligence could be classified as third-degree felony.


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Culpable Negligence vs. Civil Negligence

Culpable negligence is different from civil negligence, which is used in civil cases throughout Florida. Culpable negligence must show there was disregard for another person's safety, rights or welfare. This means a person acted in a way that could have caused harm, but disregarded the consequences. There does not have to be any intent to cause harm.

In civil cases, negligence only must show a person did not act with reasonable care on behalf of others. If a person fails to act reasonably in regard to a duty towards others, then civil liability may be imposed.


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Culpable Negligence Resources

Florida's Culpable Negligence Statute - Read the statutory language for Florida's culpable negligence statute from Online Sunshine the official internet site of the Florida Legislature.

Culpable Negligence Definition - General definition of culpable negligence often used with manslaughter, driving prosecution including synonyms, related words, and antonyms.


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Finding A Culpable Negligence Defense Lawyer in Tallahassee

The attorneys at Pumphrey Law represent men and women being prosecuted under Florida's culpable negligence statute throughout the northern portion of the state. Pumphrey Law can help you get the best possible results in your case.

Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free case evaluation with a Florida Panhandle criminal defense attorney.


This article was last updated on Thursday, September 8, 2016.

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Don Pumphrey Jr.
Donald Pumphrey Jr.

Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.

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