Florida traffic laws distinguish between criminal and civil violations. Civil traffic offenses carry less severe penalties than criminal offenses, but traffic violations of any kind will remain on your driving record forever.
When people commit a traffic violation, they often mistakenly believe that they just have to accept the consequences and move on. An experienced Delray Beach traffic lawyer can increase the probability that you will achieve a positive outcome in your case by providing experienced and knowledgeable representation. Do not hesitate before consulting with an experienced Delray Beach defense attorney. En Español.
What is Florida’s Driver’s License Point System?
Florida utilizes a point system to monitor traffic violations on motorists’ driving records. When individuals are convicted of certain moving violations, points are assessed against their driver’s license.
Each traffic offense is assigned a certain value and more serious violations generally carry more points. For example, a traffic ticket for going 15 mph or less over the posted speed limit will earn 3 points while leaving the scene of an accident will result in 6 points.
Drivers who accumulate too many points within a specified time period can have their license suspended. The length of suspensions are as follows:
- 30-day suspension – 12 points accumulated within a 12-month period
- 3 months – 18 points accumulated within an 18-month period
- 1 year – 24 points accumulated within a 36-month period
To help limit the accumulation of points, an individual should contact an experienced traffic attorney in Delray Beach as soon as possible.
Civil Traffic Violations
Besides points, civil traffic offenses are punishable by a fine, court costs and driving school and include both moving and non-moving violations. Below are some of the most common civil traffic violations:
- Speeding (less than 30 MPH over the limit )
- Failure to obey stop sign or red traffic signal
- Failure to yield right of way
- Following too closely
- Violation of a traffic control device
- Improper turn
- Failure to maintain a single lane
- Careless driving
Traffic tickets are handled by the local Clerk of Court in which the citation was issued. When a person receives a ticket for committing a civil traffic violation, they will need to select from one of the following options within 30 days of the issue date:
- Pay the ticket (if applicable, points will then be assessed against their driver’s license)
- Plead not guilty and request a hearing to contest the ticket in court
- Pay the ticket and elect to attend a driver improvement school
Non-criminal traffic infractions generally do not require a court appearance unless the violation involves an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death. Even then, most of these cases can be handled by a Delray Beach traffic lawyer without having an individual come to court.
Failure to elect one of the options mentioned above within 30 days will result in a driver’s license suspension and an assessment of late fees.
What are the Penalties for Criminal Traffic Violations?
Criminal traffic violations carry the risk of incarceration, probation, driver’s license suspension and/or fines upon conviction and range in severity from misdemeanor to felony offenses. Some examples of criminal traffic violations include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in property damage or personal injury (Hit and Run)
- Driving while license suspended
- Reckless driving
- No valid driver’s license
- Allowing an unauthorized person to drive
Criminal traffic violations also require a mandatory court appearance. Notice of the court date will often appear on the traffic citation itself or will be mailed to the person’s address. If someone fails to appear in court on the specified date, it could result in the judge issuing a warrant for their arrest. An individual may not need to attend if they hire a traffic attorney in Delray Beach.
Contact a Delray Beach Traffic Attorney
If you have been issued a civil or criminal traffic citation, an experienced Delray Beach traffic lawyer is prepared to begin assisting you today.