Florida Traffic Ticket Basics – Part 2: The Charges

traffic ticket charges

As discussed in Part 1 of our Guide to Florida Traffic Tickets, a ticket serves as legal notice that you have allegedly committed a traffic offense, which will be classified as a criminal violation or a civil infraction.

Criminal Traffic Violations

A criminal traffic violation charge means that you have been suspected of committing a traffic violation punishable by fine, jail sentence, or both. In addition, points may be assessed against your Florida driver’s license.

Examples include:

  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Reckless Driving
  • Driving with a Suspended License
  • Expired Registration
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident

In criminal traffic cases, you must appear in court (unless represented by an attorney in most cases), and failure to appear results in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.

Civil Traffic Infractions

A civil traffic infraction charge means that you have been suspected of committing a non-criminal traffic violation punishable by fine only. However, points may also be assessed resulting in higher insurance rates and suspension or revocation of your license.

These violations are further classified as either moving or non-moving, depending upon whether your vehicle was in motion at the time of the offense.

Examples of moving violations include:

  • Speeding
  • Careless Driving
  • Running a Stop Sign
  • Improper Lane Change
  • Following Too Closely
  • Making an Illegal Turn

Examples of non-moving violations include:

  • Not wearing a seat belt
  • Illegal tints
  • No proof of insurance or registration

Because of the serious impact a traffic ticket can have on your driving and criminal record, it is extremely important you consider your options carefully!

and at any time, contacting an experienced traffic ticket attorney, such as TicketFit, to protect your driving and criminal record.

At TicketFit, our traffic ticket attorney can help you achive no points, no school, and a dismissal of your case or fine reduction. Call TicketFit now at (305) 775-3720 for a free consultation.

Continue on to Part 3: What Are Your Options >>

<< Florida Traffic Ticket Basics – Part 1: The Ticket 

Traffic Tickets That Raise Your Insurance Rates

insurance rates traffic ticket

Getting a traffic ticket is a headache, but whatever you do, don’t just pay that ticket and move on. Paying a traffic ticket without fighting back is an admission of guilt, which may result in points against your license and higher insurance rates. But just how much your rates will increase will depend upon the traffic ticket.

Top Insurance-Busting Traffic Tickets

According to a recent study conducted by InsuranceQuotes.com, here are the top insurance-busting traffic tickets:

  1. DUI: 93% increase
  2. Reckless driving: 82% increase
  3. Speeding: 30% increase
  4. Careless driving: 27% increase
  5. Running a stop sign: 19% increase
  6. Failure to yield to pedestrians: 19% increase
  7. Driving in a carpool lane: 18% increase

These increases assume you are low-risk driver with a clean driving record. If you have a history of multiple traffic violations and/or accidents, you might see your rates rise beyond affordability or have your policy cancelled all together.

Fortunately, an experienced traffic ticket attorney such as TicketFit, can fight to dismiss your case or get a withhold of adjudication, resulting in no points on your license and keeping your insurance rates low. Give us a call now at (305) 775-3720 for a free consultation!

 

Florida Traffic Ticket Basics – Part 1: The Ticket

florida traffic ticket image

When you are issued a traffic ticket in Florida, also known as a “Florida Uniform Traffic Citation,” the ticket serves as legal notice that you have allegedly committed a traffic offense.

Although the gibberish on the ticket can be confusing and overwhelming, all Florida traffic tickets should contain the following information:

A Citation Number

Printed in bold on the upper right hand corner of the traffic ticket, the ticket/citation number is a series of letters and numbers that frequently begin with the letter “A” and is used by the court to track your case.

The County of Issue

Located on the upper left hand corner of the traffic ticket is the county in which you received the ticket, and if you plan on fighting it (you should!), this is also the county in which your trial will be held.

Because the county of issue may not be the county in which you live in, you should consider whether you want to personally contest your ticket, or hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney, such as TicketFit, to attend on your behalf.

Your Personal Information

Your personal information comes next, and should include the date and time of the alleged traffic offense, your full name, address, date of birth, driver license number, and vehicle description.

Although minor errors are not enough to dismiss your case, a ticket issued to the wrong person or under the wrong driver license can be!

The Charges

Following your personal information, you will find the most important portion of your traffic ticket, the charges. This section should clearly state what offense you have allegedly committed, comments pertaining to the offense, the statute that was violated, and whether the traffic offense is criminal or civil (non-criminal) in nature.

Because errors and omissions made here can violate your due process rights, it is no surprise that our experienced traffic ticket attorney has dismissed many traffic tickets based on this section alone.

Signature Block

At the very bottom of the traffic ticket is the signature block, and for most traffic offenses, Florida law no longer requires that you sign it.

Continue on to Part 2: The Charges >>

Florida Red Light Camera Ticket Basics v2.0

red light camera

At TicketFit, our traffic ticket attorney gets calls about red light camera tickets all the time, and although everyone’s initial reaction is to fight back, we want to make sure you understand how these violations work first.

A Florida red light camera ticket is different than a traffic ticket issued by an officer. That’s because unlike being pulled-over and receiving a ticket in person, you won’t know you ran a red light at a “photo enforced” intersection until you are mailed a $158 Notice of Violation, a $277 Uniform Traffic Citation, or worse, a Notice of License Suspension.

Have you received a $158 Notice of Violation?

ticketfit red light camera ticket Within 30 days after you allegedly run a red light, you will receive a Notice of Violation in the mail.

At this point, you should consider the following:

Does the video show your vehicle crossing the intersection, making a left on red, or making a right turn when there’s a sign prohibiting it?

If so, you are probably better off paying the fine and not contesting it.

Unlike a traffic ticket, a Notice of Violation is much like a parking ticket. If paid, you will not incur points on your license nor will your insurance premiums increase. Remember, however, this only applies to a Notice of Violation, not a red light camera ticket (next section) which should never be paid without fighting back.

Have you already been issued a $277 red light camera ticket?

If you fail to pay the Notice of Violation by the due date, a $277 red light camera ticket (also known as a “Uniform Traffic Citation”) will be issued to you by certified mail.

At this point, there’s no going back. You can no longer pay the initial Notice of Violation and we highly advise you not pay the red light ticket fine, as paying it will result in a conviction on your driving record and possible increases in your insurance rate.

Fortunately, our traffic ticket attorney can fight your red light camera ticket to ensure that your license remains conviction-free and your insurance premiums low.

Has your license been suspended due to an outstanding red light camera ticket?

Upon receipt of a red light camera ticket, you have 30 days to fight it. If you forget, your $277 ticket will go to collections, where it will DOUBLE in price. If that’s not enough, your license will also be suspended!

Because driving with a suspended license is a serious traffic offense, it is extremely important you contact our traffic ticket attorney at (305) 775-3720 for immediate assistance! In most cases we can waive your late fees, lift the suspension, and avoid a conviction on your driving record.

BONUS: Want to avoid a red light camera ticket?

3 Unexpected Ways to Get Pulled Over

pulled over

Speeding, careless driving, or running a red light are obvious reasons to get pulled over, but getting stopped for any of the following violations may surprise you:

1. Expired Tags

In Florida, driving with an expired tag is a serious traffic offense. If your tag expired within the last six months, you will be issued a traffic ticket with a monetary fine. However, if your tag expired more than six months ago, you may be facing arrest, criminal charges, and, if convicted, jail time.

Don’t get pulled over for an expired tag, look at the expiration date on your license plate. Is it expired? Renew it online; and if you have already been issued a ticket, call our traffic ticket attorney at (305) 775-3720 to fight back!

2. Driving With a Suspended License

While there is no good reason you should knowingly be driving on a suspended license, your license may sometimes be suspended without your knowledge. This is particularly common if you recently moved and failed to change the address on your license, as any suspension notice will be sent to your old address, or if you have an outstanding traffic ticket that you are unaware of.

Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid getting pulled over for Driving While License Suspended. If you recently moved, update your address, and if you want to check for outstanding traffic tickets, call our traffic ticket lawyer at (305) 775-3720 for a free consultation.

3. Improper or Unsafe Equipment

Driving a vehicle without functioning break lights or turn signals is not only dangerous, but an easy way to get pulled over. However, the most common “equipment” related reason to get stopped in Miami-Dade County, are for illegal tints.

Avoid getting pulled over by checking your car! Are all lights working? Are the side mirrors attached (no duct tape please)? Any cracked windows? As for those tints, take your car to a local window tinting shop to make sure they are in compliance with Florida tint laws.

Hopefully you won’t get pulled over for any of the above reasons, but if you still do, contact TicketFit at (305) 775-3720. Our traffic ticket lawyer handles all traffic tickets issued in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County, including traffic tickets for expired tag, driving while license suspended, and improper or unsafe equipment.

 

Check Your Florida Driver License for Suspensions

suspended florida license crime

Did you know that driving with a suspended license is a crime that could lead to vehicle impoundment, confiscation of your license, and jail time? Yet, you may not even know that your license is currently suspended.

Even if you haven’t been pulled over recently, there are many reasons for a license suspension; you were mailed a red light camera ticket that you never received, you forgot to pay court costs, you have an outstanding toll violation, or your insurance expired.

Florida Driver License Status Check

Fortunately, checking the status of your Florida driver license is easy:

  1. Visit the The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’s Driver License Check page.
  2. Enter your Florida driver license number.
  3. Look for the word “VALID” on the results page.

Is Your Florida Driver License Suspended?

If you see anything other than “VALID,” such as “SOON TO BE SUSPENDED” or “SUSPENDED,” call our traffic ticket lawyer at (305) 775-3720 for immediate assistance. In most case, we can clear your suspension within 24 to 48 hours.

 

How to Avoid a Red Light Camera Ticket

Nothing is more exciting than receiving a red light camera ticket in the mail. Especially if a $277 fine is attached to it!

Fine, fine… we all know Florida red light camera tickets suck. Fortunately, avoiding them doesn’t have to. Here are three things you can do to prevent a ticket:

1. Look for the Photo Enforced Sign

red light camera sign

As you are approaching the intersection the first thing you want to know is whether a red light camera is installed. Luckily, this is easy; just look for the “Photo Enforced” sign that should be posted within a reasonable distance from the intersection.

2. Pay Attention to the Stop Line

stop line

Next, you want to pay attention to the stop line.

A red light camera is triggered by a sensor that is installed around this line, so if you want to avoid getting a ticket, it is very important you know where to stop when that light turns red.

If the back tires of your car pass this line before the light turns red, the trigger will not activate and the camera will not flash.

If the light turns red and you stop right over the line, the trigger will not fully activate but the camera may flash once. Don’t worry, you won’t receive a red light camera ticket for this.

However, if the light turns red and your vehicle is behind the line, you better stop, or the trigger will activate and the camera will flash twice; resulting in a very expensive ticket!

3. Know When to Make a Right Turn

right on red

Although Florida Law does permit right turns on red, they must me made in a “careful and prudent manner” and at intersections “where right-hand turns are permissible.”

So if you plan to make a right turn on red, you better be sure it’s allowed at that intersection.

How would you know? Either a separate “No Turn On Red” sign will be posted or the bottom of the “Photo Enforced” sign (see first photo above) will say that it “includes right turns.”

And there you go! Hopefully I just saved you from an expensive red light camera ticket, but if you still happen to get one in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach County, call TicketFit at (305) 775-3270 for a free consultation. We’re available 7 days a week.

 

Speeding Tickets 101 – Speeding 30+ MPH Over

florida speeding ticket

By far, the most common traffic tickets we defend are tickets for speeding. However, not all speeding tickets in Florida are created equal.

Although driving as little as 5 miles over the limit can result in a fine and points on your driver license, speeding 30+ mph over the speed limit is a serious traffic offense with even harsher consequences.

Mandatory Court Appearance

If you were cited for driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit, you don’t have the option to just pay the fine (which I would not recommend anyway) or to elect a driving school (typically not a wise choice either). The speeding ticket is automatically set for a hearing with mandatory court appearance.

Because court appearance is required, you must attend the hearing or hire a traffic ticket lawyer to attend the hearing for you. Otherwise, your license will be suspended.

Expensive Fines

Speeding ticket fines are already expensive, ranging anywhere from $200 to $500 in Miami-Dade and Broward County, but if you are found guilty of driving 30+ mph over the speed limit, your fine may reach up to $1,000. In addition, some judges will suspend your license.

Points on Your Driver License

Florida works on a point system, and every time you are cited for speeding, points may added to your driving record.

A speeding ticket for driving 15 mph or less over the speed limit carries with it 3 points; however, speeding 30+ mph over the speed limit can result in 4 points on your license, and 6 points if it resulted in a crash.

Excessive points lead to the suspension of your driver license. Points are also used by your insurance company to determine whether or not to raise your premiums or deny coverage completely.

Why Hire an Attorney

Hiring a traffic ticket law firm, such as TicketFit, that specializes in speeding tickets can help you in two ways:

First, you will not have to attend the arraignment (first court date listed on your ticket) or any subsequent hearings.

Second, and more importantly, an experienced speeding ticket lawyer has the skills necessary to aggressively fight to get your ticket dismissed, negotiate a smaller fine, or, at a minimum, keep points off your driving record.

So before you waste time in traffic court, spend money unnecessarily, and put your license at risk, call our traffic ticket lawyer at (305) 775-3720 for a free consultation. Go ahead, fight back!

 

3 Reasons To Fight Your Careless Driving Ticket

fight careless driving

A careless driving ticket is commonly issued when you are involved in an accident and the officer blames you.

However, before you pay that ticket and automatically get points on your driving record, which can result in higher insurance rates and suspension of your license, here are 3 reasons you should always fight back:

1) Accident Reports Are Inadmissible in Court

Does the accident report show that you were at fault? Who cares! Florida Statute 316.066 clearly states that “no such report or statement shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal.”

In other words, accident reports are not admissible in court.

2) The Officer Didn’t Witness the Accident

In almost every “careless driving” case the officer did not witness the accident, so he or she is unable to testify against you in court.

Because the officer cannot testify against you, the only way you can be found guilty of careless driving is through the testimony of witness or other drivers at the scene.

3) Most People Have Never Testified in Court

Police officers testify in court all the time. They are familiar with the elements of a traffic offense and know what needs to be established for the traffic ticket to stick.

On the other hand, most individuals never see the inside of a courtroom, let alone have to testify in one!

A good cross-examination of a witness by an experienced traffic ticket lawyer can demonstrate just how difficult it is to prove that you were driving carelessly. The witness may not remember what they observed 3 to 4 months ago at the accident scene, or they may not describe the facts with enough detail to convince a judge that you are at fault.

Are You Ready to Fight Your Careless Driving Ticket?

So without an accident report, a police officer testifying against you, or a convincing witness, it should be clear why careless driving tickets are among the most often dismissed tickets in our office and should always be fought.

If you have received a careless driving ticket in Miami-Dade or Broward County call our traffic ticket lawyer now at (305) 775-3720 and fight back.

 

3 Reasons to Change Your Florida Driver License Address

change your florida driver license address

So you just moved into a sweet new place! Maybe it’s got a better view, a bigger kitchen, or an indoor rock-climbing wall (call me if it does). Now the fun part… unpacking boxes, buying new furniture, and changing your Florida driver license address! Wait, seriously!?

Here are 3 reasons to change your Florida driver license address:

1. To Avoid Outstanding Traffic Tickets

Not all traffic tickets are issued in person; red light camera tickets and toll violations are mailed to the address registered with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and if you fail to inform them of your new address, you may end up with outstanding traffic tickets.

2. To Avoid a License Suspension

Most traffic court notices are mailed to the address registered with the Department, and if you fail to comply with a court notice, you may be facing license suspension for failure to appear.

3. To Avoid a Traffic Ticket

Florida law requires you to update your address within 10 days after moving, and if you fail to do so, you may be issued a traffic ticket with a hefty fine.

Convinced yet? Renew Now!

Fortunately, updating your Florida driver license address is easy! You can change your address online at www.gorenew.com or just print this form and update it by mail.

However, if your license has already been suspended due to an outstanding traffic ticket, or you’ve received a ticket for “failing to change your address within 10 days,” contact our traffic ticket lawyer immediately at (305) 775-3720 and we’ll fight for you!