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If you are issued a traffic violation in the state of Florida, there may be times where you would want to consider hiring an attorney to defend against the violation in court. Often times one of the most significant concerns for Florida drivers is the imposition of points against your Florida drivers license, which can be detrimental to your car insurance and can eventually lead to a suspension of your license. Getting an attorney involved as son as you can is sometimes a very smart move and can save you a giant headache if you decide to contest the ticket on your own.
How does the points system work with respect to my Florida driver’s license?
The “points” system that is affiliated with your Florida drivers license is overseen by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Of course speeding tickets will result in points if you are unable to get the traffic citation dismissed and, generally, will result in an assessment of 3 points, though this can change depending on how far over the speed limit you were driving.
There are countless other traffic infractions that could result in 3 points on your license – some you may not be aware of – including but not limited to improper lane change, driving too fast for weather conditions, equipment violations, improper use of turn signs, racing on the highway and failure to yield right-of-way to funeral processions, just to name a few.
There are other traffic infractions that have higher point values. Infractions such as failure to yield to a school bus, unlawful possession or use of a traffic signal preemption device, failure to obey traffic control signals, reckless driving,
What can happen if I get too many points on my license?
If you accumulate too many points on your Florida driver’s license during a certain period of time, you will face temporary suspensions of your license as well as related fees and possible need to have your license reinstated.
If you get an accumulated 12 points in a 12-month period, your driver’s license can potentially be suspended for 30 days. Upon an accumulation of 18 points within 18 months, your license could be suspended for a period of three months. If you manage to accumulate 24 total points on your license in a 36-month period, this could result in a one-year suspension of your license. This is why it is important when getting a traffic citation to make efforts to get it reduced down to a non-moving violation with no points assessed.
What if I am charged with a criminal traffic infraction?
There are of course traffic infractions that also have parallel criminal proceedings. Clearly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal traffic infraction, but so are infractions such as reckless driving, driving with a suspended or revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident or a “hit and run.” These are crimes that carry also result in administrative penalties as well as point assessments on your license – though certain criminal convictions of DUI and other criminal traffic infractions, when adjudicated in criminal court, result in no assessment of points
How does Florida traffic court work?
After you receive a traffic citation, you will get notified of when and where you need to show up for court. The very first hearing you will attend is known as the arraignment. Make sure you get to the courthouse in enough time to meet your attorney and go over what to expect. At your arraignment, you will enter a plea. You will have the option to enter a plea of guilty or no contact or not guilty. If you plead guilty, you might get a reduction in the fine. If you decide to plead not guilty, you are asking the court to set a trial date and are contesting your ticket. At the trial, you will hear from the police officer if they show up and they will produce any evidence that they may have against you. Your attorney will get a chance to cross examine that officer and will also get a chance to argue your case and present evidence in your favor. If you are found guilty, you will be ordered to pay the fine or if you have a bad driving record you might have your license suspended.
Should you attempt to do traffic court on your own
While traffic court may seem like a relatively simple process, you will want to get an attorney involved. There are many components when it comes to a trial that can become overwhelming. Attorneys have specific training and understand the rules of evidence. There are certain rules of court that you need to follow when questioning witnesses and speaking to the judge. It is always best to hire an attorney and let them do that on your behalf. The attorney will be with you at the arraignment and will be with you if you decide to contest the ticket and go to trial. We will be able to work with you to determine the best outcome for your case and can consult with you along the way to make sure we select a strategy that fits your goals. At the Lopez Law Group, our clients are our main concern, and we want you to be happy with your representation.
Contact the Lopez Law Group Today!
If you or someone you know received a ticket and have been requested to appear for an arraignment, the attorneys at the Lopez Law Group are here to assist. If you feel like you were given a ticket wrongfully and want to fight it, it is best to get an attorney involved as soon as you can. We will be able to discuss with you the strengths and weaknesses of the case and advise as to whether or not you have a strong case. We can walk you through the potential outcomes of the case and let you know what we feel would be the best course of action. Give us a call today at 727-933-0015. Our attorneys are standing by and are ready and willing to assist.