Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

A Florida Trial Attorney

Criminal Record Expungements/Sealings, Traffic Defense.

733 West Colonial Drive, Orlando 32801 - 407-841-5555

Common Sense Answers Regarding Florida Traffic Tickets

Answers To Your Driver's License Issues

Information provided by Eric J. Dirga, P.A., Orlando - Statewide Service

Last Updated: May 6, 2016

Serving most of Florida. - See Our REVIEWS

Getting a ticket dismissed depends on the type of ticket received and what jurisdiction the citation was issued in. Not all traffic tickets are easily dismissable. The best chance of getting a traffic citation dismissed still requires the hiring of an attorney that practices primarily in the traffic ticket arena. Moreover, an experienced attorney can answer the question specific to the situation during the consultation.

Below are answers to common questions regarding traffic citations and how they can be resolved.

1. What options do I have if I get a ticket?

Option 1 is to just pay the ticket (see #2). That will get you points and points can lead to a suspension. It may also lead to higher insurance rates. Contact your insurance agent to determine if points will impact your insurance rates.

Option 2 is to "elect" driving school. This will keep the points off if done correctly. Additionally, the law forbids insurance companies from using a disposition to impact their rates if the school option was elected and successfully completed.

Option 3 is to set your ticket for a hearing. You must attend the hearing and at the hearing you can present your defenses. Or you can hire an attorney to represent you. If you hire an attorney, he can make this election for you and attend and resolve your case without you having to attend.

Some traffic ticket hearings will require the driver to attend so always contact your attorney to confirm whether your appearance is required.

2. What happens if I just pay my ticket?

If you receive a traffic ticket and think - the responsible thing to do is to pay the fine for the traffic ticket - you would be convicted of the traffic ticket and you would be assessed points for any moving violation you just pay. These points would appear on your driving record and your automobile insurance can use this as a reason to raise your insurance rates.

3. Why should I hire an Attorney to represent me on a traffic ticket?

An Attorney that is knowledgeable about traffic tickets and traffic court can set your ticket for a hearing, represent you at the hearing without the need of you having to be there (in most cases) and present your case to the traffic court.

Many things can happen at the hearing that the Traffic Ticket Attorney can deal with that a driver with a job cannot - such as continuances by the court or the police, missing witnesses for the state, amendments to traffic citations, etc. Hiring a Traffic Ticket Attorney covers all these things and takes the need to prepare and attend out from your life.

Moreover, traffic attorneys are in court on a daily basis dealing with the police that issued the drivers ticket. Sometimes the police are more willing to reduce the citation to someone they are familiar with than just a driver.

4. How can I get my traffic ticket reduced?

Sometimes it is not the ticket that is the concern as much as the fine amount. Can the fine be reduced? Yes. It depends on the type of ticket and the willingness of the police officer to amend the citation. Some traffic tickets can be easily amended for a lower fine amount, e.g., speeding in construction zone. Knowing the officer also helps.

5a. Can I get a speeding ticket off my record?

Many employers require their employees to have a clean driving record. So the question is "can a ticket be taken off my driving record?" Usually the answer is "no." The Department [DMV] maintains the driving records. There is currently no law that requires the DMV to remove an annotation on a driving record. However, the DMV has decided not to keep a record of traffic tickets that have been dismissed.

5b. Does a withhold of adjudication remove the ticket from my driving record?

This is a common misconception. The answer is no. Withholding the adjudication on a moving violation keeps the points off your driving record. The fact that you received the ticket remains.

6. What is the worst thing that can happen to me if I just pay my traffic ticket?

The worst thing that can happen if you just pay your traffic ticket is that the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles [DMV] will suspend your driver's license. By just paying you will receive points on all moving violations (e.g., speeding tickets). Moreover, you give up the possibility of having the citation dismissed by the court. Finally, you insurance rates may go up if you receive points for a ticket.

If your ticket is for "Driving With a Suspended Drivers License [DWLS]" and you just pay the ticket you may be subjecting yourself to a 5-year drivers license suspension. Please call regarding all DWLS tickets you receive. We can prevent these from becoming long suspensions.

7. How many points does a traffic ticket carry?

Moving violations such as speeding tickets carry points. Traffic tickets that have points can be 3, 4, or 6 points depending on the type of traffic ticket and whether it involved a traffic accident. I have posted a list of tickets that carry points here.

8. How many points does it take to have your drivers license suspended?

Florida traffic law requires the DMV to suspend your drivers license under the following circumstances:

  • A driver receives 12 points within a 12 month period, This suspension is for 30 days.
  • If a driver receives 18 points within 18 months the suspension is 90 days.
  • If a driver receives 24 points in 36 months (3 years) the suspension is for one year.
  • Although this is under the HTO statute, you can receive a 5-year suspension for 45 pts in a 5-year period.

Be aware that you can receive multiple suspensions for points.

9. How can the police determine the speed of my vehicle?

The police have several ways to determine if you are speeding. Each speed measuring device must be checked periodically for accuracy. If the deputy, trooper, or police officer have those documents you will lose that hearing if you do not have an attorney representing you. The court is required to liberally constue the rules of evidence in that situation. Moreover, the requirements to establish the reliability of the speed measuring device have been promulgated in the Florida Administrative Code.

10. I've been to traffic court, what can a traffic lawyer do for me?

Traffic attorneys have several distinct advantages. First, they are in court almost every day in front of the same judges and hearing officers. They handle citations written by the law enforcement officers that are in court a lot for tickets - these are the "motor" officers. Odds are they have dealt with the officer that issued your ticket. Traffic attorneys also know the law and the rules regarding your case. Add all this up and there is a better chance of having your case resolved in a manner that benefits you and protects your drivers license privileges.

11. I have a defense so I don't need a lawyer.

Here is a list of defenses that do not work:

  • I wasn't doing (the speed cited on the ticket). I was doing (a lesser speed that was still over the limit).
  • There is no way he could have caught me with radar because I was in traffic.
  • When he pulled me over I was going less than the posted speed limit.
  • I asked to see the radar and he didn't show it to me.
  • I was going the same speed as the police car.
  • It was a rental car and I was not use to how the car drove.
  • I had to go to the bathroom.

These all do not work.

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