What is culpable negligence in Florida?

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The crime of Culpable Negligence is a first or Second Degree Misdemeanor in Florida. The Degree of Misdemeanor varies, depending on if victim was hurt.  First Degree Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. Second Degree Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in prison and a maximum fine of $500.

This offense occurs when a:

  1. Defendant exposed victim to personal injury, or
  2. Inflicted actual personal injury on victim; and
  3. Defendant did so through culpable negligence.

Culpable Negligence is a course of conduct showing reckless disregard for human life, or for the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects, or such an entire want or care as to raise a presumption of a conscious indifference to consequences, or which shows wantonness or recklessness, or a grossly careless disregard for the safety and welfare of the public, or shows such an indifference to the rights of others as is equivalent to an intentional violation of such rights.

Defenses to Culpable Negligence in Destin, Ft Walton Beach, Shalmimar, Crestview and NW FL.

Some of the defenses to Culpable Negligence are:

  • The risk was not foreseeable.  
  • Defendant did not have the required state of mind.
  • Does not amount to the level of reckless disregard for human life.


Kish v. State: On level of reckless disregard for human life.

Azima v. State: On foreseeability.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Glenn M. Swiatek for a Free Initial Consultation

If you have been arrested or believe you will soon be arrested for the offense of culpable negligence in Destin, Shalimar, Crestview, Ft. Walton Beach or other areas of Northwest Florida please call us today at (850) 609‑0940 or contact us online.

Initial Office Consults are free, and I will make myself available to suit your schedule. Get the peace of mind that an attorney with over twenty-three years of criminal law experience can bring.