Traffic violations in Florida should not be taken lightly. Even the most minor moving violations can jeopardize your license and will stay on your driving record for a long time to come. If you have been charged with a traffic violation in the Boca Raton area, the best way to fully understand your options is to consult with experienced legal counsel.
Boca Raton traffic lawyers are available to answer your questions, defend your rights in traffic court, and fight for the most favorable result possible in your case.
Traffic Violations in Florida
Traffic violations are defined in Florida Statutes, Title XXIII, Chapter 316–State Uniform Traffic Control. Examples of common traffic violations include, but are not limited to:
- Running a stop sign or red light
- No valid insurance
- Failing to yield right of way
- Careless driving
- Improper passing
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage or personal injury (hit-and-run)
- Driving with a suspended/revoked/canceled license
- Reckless driving
- Highway racing
- No valid registration
- Failure to Move Over
- HOV Lane Violation
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles monitors drivers’ traffic violations using a point system. Drivers who commit certain moving violations (criminal or civil) will have points assessed against their license. Point values vary depending on the specific traffic offense. For example, a reckless driving violation is assigned four points.
If a driver accumulates too many points within a certain time frame, their license will be suspended. The lengths of suspension are:
- 12 points accumulated in a 12-month period results in a 30-day suspension
- 18 points accumulated in an 18-month period results in a three-month suspension
- 24 points accumulated in a 36-month period results in a one-year suspension
Types of Traffic Violations
In Florida, there are two types of traffic violations–criminal and civil (also referred to as non-criminal infractions). Unlike criminal traffic offenses, civil violations are not punishable by incarceration. Civil traffic citations can be issued for moving or non-moving violations and they generally do not require the person to appear in court.
Civil traffic violations are generally disposed of in one of the following ways:
- Pay the ticket (if it is a qualifying moving violation, points will be assessed against the driver’s license)
- Contest the ticket by requesting a court hearing
- Elect to attend driver improvement school if eligible (successful completion will allow the driver to avoid having points assessed against their license)
The driver must select one of the above options at the local clerk of court within 30 days from the date the traffic citation was issued. Criminal traffic violations are charged with misdemeanor or felony offenses, with punishment including incarceration, fines, probation, and/or driver license suspension if convicted. Being charged with a criminal traffic violation will require a mandatory court appearance and may or may not result in an arrest. A distinguished Boca Raton traffic ticket lawyer can go to court with the defendant and help them contest the charges and/or the suspension of their license, if need be.
The court date will appear on the traffic citation in most cases or be mailed to the driver’s home address. Failing to appear at the scheduled court date, can result in a driver’s license suspension and the issuance of an arrest
Value of a Boca Raton Traffic Lawyer
Time is of the utmost importance when dealing with traffic violations, especially because violations can sometimes end in the suspension of your license. A Boca Raton traffic lawyer can begin advising you immediately so that you can make informed decisions about your case. Contact an attorney today to discuss how they can put their extensive experience to work for you.