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01/10/2014
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Traffic Tickets or Citations Marked “Infraction Court Appearance Required”

Some traffic tickets are issued as “Infraction Court Appearance Required” sometimes also referred to as Mandatory Appearance citations. The only choice is whether to hire a lawyer or go into court unrepresented.  In general, if the case requires an appearance, then the person should have counsel.  Failure to appear in court will cause harsh consequences. Near the bottom of a Uniform Traffic Citation, on the left hand side there are three boxes. From top to bottom those boxes should be Criminal Traffic, Court appearance required and, Infraction which does not require appearance in court.

If the citation requires an appearance, whether criminal or civil, then there is no option to elect traffic school. However, the Judge can send you to traffic school which does NOT count as a person making the choice or election to go to school. In civil infractions (not criminal traffic) it is the hearing itself that is mandatory and an attorney can attend the hearing on behalf of the driver without the driver being present in court. Remember a traffic lawyer knows the rules and law and may be able to defend the case regardless of the facts. In other words, our job is to make sure the matter can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

In mandatory cases, the Court starts with the proposition that you should get points on your license. Being polite road side can help to remove from the officer any personal interest in the accused driver. Threatening to complain or sue while interacting with the citing officer will just make things worse.

Do you go alone or with counsel? If you are reading this you have already decided to seek out more information. Because there are sixty seven counties in Florida there are sixty seven ways of doing things and an attorney can really help make the process smoother. Furthermore, the driver’s appearance through the lawyer satisfies the appearance requirement and an accused can go about their day without sitting in court. To hire a lawyer to go to court instead of the accused or with the accused, please click, call or fill out the form.

Gainesville (352) 371-9141

Ocala (352) 694-4529

Speeding and other School Zone Citations

School zones are heavily monitored. Therefore, in traffic ticket defense, we see several citations issued to people for failing to stop at a red light (or behind the stop bar), failing to yield, failure to obey a traffic control device and of course speeding through a school zone. The cities on US Highway 301 (Waldo and Lawtey) still write a bunch of tickets even though their signage has improved over the years.

In cases involving a school zone, the officer is supposed to check the school zone to make sure that it was operating properly, at the appropriate time, prior to establishing their observation position. Admittedly, some school zones are better marked than others. Sometimes, people will say that they never saw the school zone flashing lights, signs or other traffic control device. Unfortunately, failing to observe any traffic control device is not a legal defense such that the Court will dismiss the ticket. We can still help.

There are legal reasons to dismiss cases such as an officer’s failure to show, failure in the documents, the lights flashing or not flashing at the wrong time, and other procedural defenses. These are reasons to hire a lawyer. An accused represented by a lawyer does NOT have to attend any hearings or give any testimony. In traffic court, if a defendant wants to provide a statement but cannot make it to the courthouse, any helpful testimony can be given via affidavit which is a notarized written statement.

Malfunctions do happen. If there is testimony that the school zone traffic control device or signal was seen but the lights were not flashing, in other words there was a malfunction in the traffic control device itself, then that can be useful. “I did not see the lights” will not get your case dismissed just as “I did not see” any other traffic control device would not because it is the driver’s duty to see and obey the traffic signs. It may help to mitigate a sentence but if the driver missed the lights, then they should really just let a traffic lawyer handle the citation and not say anything.

Lawyers know the law and rules of procedure and the cost to hire this office is minimal when considering the time of going to court for yourself. Please click, call or fill out the form to hire a ticket lawyer.

Gainesville (352) 371-9141

Ocala (352) 371-9141