Getting a Traffic Ticket Could Have Serious Consequences
The consequences of getting a traffic ticket could be more serious than you think. Paying the fine for your citation results in points being placed on your driving record and could lead to a third-degree felony charge of Driving While License is Suspended or Revoked with Knowledge as a Habitual Traffic Offender.
Civil and Criminal Traffic Citations
In Florida, law enforcement can issue two different types of traffic tickets: Civil or Criminal.
A Civil citation is issued if you commit a non-Criminal traffic violation, such as making an illegal U-turn or not wearing a seat belt. If you are issued this type of citation, you will receive information about how to respond to it, such as attending traffic school, paying a fine, or appearing in Court. Usually Court appearances are not required; however, in some situations, you must attend a mandatory hearing.
You will be required to go to Court for the following Civil Traffic violations:
- Failing to stop for a school bus
- Having unsecured cargo that caused bodily injury to another
- Causing an accident that resulted in injury or death
- Driving 30+ MPH above the speed limit
If you receive a Criminal citation, you are always required to appear in Court, and failing to do so could result in an arrest warrant being issued in your name. You can receive a Criminal citation for violations such as Driving Under the Influence, Driving While License is Suspended or Revoked with Knowledge, Racing on the Highway or Reckless Driving.
Potential Conviction Penalties for Traffic Violations
A conviction for a Criminal infraction could result in jail time, whereas a Civil conviction will not result in incarceration. In both cases, paying the fine for a Civil citation or entering a plea to a Criminal citation, will be considered an admission of guilt. As a result, points will be placed against your driver’s license which could increase your insurance premiums.
Points are issued according to the following schedule:
- 3 points for driving up to 15 mph above the legal speed limit
- 4 points for driving at 16 mph or more above the legal speed limit
- 6 points for fleeing the scene of an accident that involved over $50 of property damage
- 6 points for driving over the speed limit and causing an accident
- 4 points for driving recklessly
- 4 points for a moving violation that resulted in a traffic collision
- 3 points for any other moving violation
- 3 points for driving with an open container
If you accrue a certain number of points within a specific timeframe, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) could suspend your license.
Penalties for point accumulation are as follows:
- 12 points within 12 months: up to 30 days license suspension
- 18 points within 18 months: up to 90 days license suspension
- 24 points within 36 months: up to 1 year license suspension
The DMV can also classify you as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) if, within 5 years, you have 15 or more convictions that resulted in points on your record. If you are caught driving as an HTO, you could be charged with a Third-Degree Felony and face up to 5 years in prison for a conviction.
Retain Albert J. Sauline, III Attorney at Law for Experienced Legal Help
Albert J. Sauline, III Attorney at Law has handled thousands of Traffic offenses during Attorney Sauline’s 15 + years of experience. Our team will provide the legal guidance you need to fight citations and protect your insurance rates, as well as to withhold points from being assessed to your driver’s license. When you work with Attorney Al Sauline, you will no longer need to attend Court for your Civil Traffic Citation, nor most Criminal Court dates. He will take care of your case from beginning to end.
Schedule a free consultation with a seasoned attorney. Call the firm at (850) 250-3426 or fill out the online form for a prompt response.