leifertlaw July 17, 2012 Traffic Defense
A report by the Sun-Sentinel indicates that fewer West Palm Beach traffic tickets are being issued to motorists – and the trend is being seen throughout the state.
Still, our West Palm Beach traffic ticket defense lawyers know that doesn’t mean those who are cited are less likely to win in court if they chose to fight it.
The truth is, courts – as well as law enforcement agencies – are working with fewer resources than ever before. That means you may even have a better chance of winning – if you have a defense lawyer.
Officials in Florida can’t pinpoint one specific factor that has led to the decline in tickets, though they indicate it may have a great deal to do with the economy. As mentioned before, police are working with fewer resources. That may mean that more of their efforts are focused toward critical crime-fighting assignments.
Other possible reasons may be the fact that there have been a number of sky-high spikes in gas prices, which means there are overall fewer drivers on the road.
And lastly, it could be that there are tougher fines than ever before for traffic violators who are caught in West Palm Beach and Broward counties. Drivers are generally being more careful.
The newspaper reports that in Palm Beach County, police issued nearly 432,000 traffic tickets in 2008. In 2010, they issued about 398,000 – a drop of nearly 8 percent. Then last year, about 370,000 tickets were handed out – another 7 percent decrease from the year before, and about a 15 percent dip from four years earlier.
In Broward County last year, the numbers were up slightly last year – but only after dramatic drops ever year prior to that since 2007. The report indicates that troopers and sheriff’s deputies there handed out about 482,000 tickets in 2011 – which was up about 1.5 percent from the previous year, when there were about 475,000 tickets – but still down about 15 percent from 2007, when there were roughly 565,000 tickets issued.
We’re seeing the same sort of trend across Florida. Five years ago, there were about 5.2 million traffic tickets issued to Florida motorists. Compare that to 2011, when there were about 4.3 million.
Unsurprisingly, traffic crashes are also down. Less money in people’s pockets means they’re less likely to be on the road on outings to shop, eat out or enjoy other entertainment.
But perhaps another reason why the citations are fewer is because officers know that more people are fighting them in court.
This was the theory posed by our own Traffic Defense Attorney Doug Leifert, who was quoted in the article as saying that the increases in the amount of traffic fines mean that people are less willing to simply pay it regardless of whether they were in the right, as they might have been inclined to do before the recession.
“They’re steep and they’re due in 30 days,” Leifert was quoted as saying. “…It may be the total number of citations is down, but the number of people going to court is up. More people are willing to go to court because of the cost.”
Points on your driver’s license can also lead to license suspension and skyrocketing insurance premiums — two more reasons to defend yourself when facing traffic charges in South Florida.
If you want to fight a traffic ticket in Palm Beach or Broward counties, contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert, a Partnership of Former Prosecutors, for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1.888.5.DEFEND.
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