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If you have been issued a Florida traffic ticket as a result of a driving or non-driving misdemeanor, you must resolve your case in due time. Traffic citations generally have a major impact on your behind-the-wheel status, driving record, as well as vehicle insurance rates. Drivers will need to either fight traffic tickets or provide FL traffic violations payment to avoid strict penalties.
Fighting a Florida Ticket
Motorists with an issued traffic ticket in Florida have several options at disposal to settle their case: fight their citation, pay driving fines or complete a defensive driving course and avoid being penalized. Drivers are required to notify the proper FL traffic violation court and exercise one of the aforementioned options within 30 days upon receipt of a ticket. Licensees fighting traffic citations in FL must plead "not guilty" to their offense and prepare for a trial. In order to have a successful traffic ticket defense, they will need to gather all evidence and may hire a legal representative. Drivers who win their case will be exempt from paying large fines and accumulating too many negative points. In order to be found not guilty, it is important to build a strong traffic ticket defense. The best way for doing so is to hire a lawyer who specializes in traffic ticket defense. These citation defense lawyers can be found online by submitting an image of the ticket and answering a few routine questions about the citation.
Note: You may also decide to enroll into a traffic school (if eligible) to dismiss your ticket, and prevent points from being added to your record. Consult your citation or the appropriate Clerk of Court for more information.
Paying a Florida Ticket
Drivers who decide to pay traffic violations automatically admit their guilt to the committed offense, and may face additional penalties. Traffic tickets in Florida can be paid in person at the local traffic court where the driver was originally cited. Certain courts offer FL traffic fines online payments as well. Visit the "How to Pay Traffic Tickets" page for more detailed information about payment options.
Lost Tickets in Florida
Whether you choose to dispute traffic tickets in Florida or pay your citation, you will be required to provide your ticket or the information listed on it. Drivers with a lost FL traffic ticket have the option to contact the Clerk of Court in the county where they received their ticket and inquire about the necessary details. Some county clerks may allow motorists to obtain information, such as the traffic citation number, due dates and more via online providers available on their official websites.
Florida Fines and Penalties
The process of paying driving fines in FL must be completed within the allotted time frame, unless motorists want to face serious penalties. Florida traffic fines generally vary depending on the county and the severity of the offense. Minor traffic violations lead to lower fees, while major infractions will require larger fines. In addition to the base fine listed on the traffic citation, drivers may also need to provide payment for the applicable court costs and fees. Note that any payment made after the set date may also result in a mandatory late fee. Explore the list below and learn about various offenses and their corresponding fees in Miami-Dade County:
- Improper or restricted parking - $23
- Pedestrian/Bicycle offense - $77.50
- Failure to stop for a school bus - $284
- Unsafe equipment - $109
Those who do not wish to pay any fees must fight their traffic tickets in court. The best way to do this is with the help of a traffic ticket lawyer. These lawyers specialize building strong traffic citation defense and can be found conveniently online.
Points in Florida
If you are unable to beat a traffic ticket in FL or decide to submit ticket violation payment, thus admitting your guilt, you receive points for traffic misdemeanors. The number of points placed against your driving record will depend on the type of the offense. The following list includes various Florida traffic violations and the corresponding points:
- Texting while driving - 3 points.
- Driving during restricted hours - 3 points.
- Reckless driving - 4 points.
- Unlawful speed resulting in a crash - 6 points.
Drivers with several traffic tickets and an excess of demerit points on their transcript may lose their privilege to drive. To avoid such penalty, they may graduate from a traffic school provided all eligibility requirements are met.
How Tickets Affect a Florida Drivers License
If you fail to satisfy a traffic citation in Florida timely and properly, you are at risk of incurring a license suspension of an indefinite nature. Motorists paying driving fines in FL will have negative points placed against their report, which also leads to the issuance of a suspended drivers license. If you amass 12 demerit points within 12 months due to several traffic violations, you will be issued a 30-day license suspension. The accumulation of 18 points in an 18-month time frame will result in a three-month suspension. Finally, licensees with 24 points accrued in 36 month will have their credential suspended for one year.
Florida Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Motorists with several traffic citations in Florida may be considered habitual offenders of motor vehicle laws, which generally has a negative effect on auto insurance premiums. If you have incurred a multitude of driving- or non-driving-related traffic violations, you are more likely to have your insurance rates raised. In such case, licensees can choose to enroll into a driver improvement course, thus increasing their chances of earning insurance discounts.