Traffic: Criminal & Civil Citation Defense
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For many people, their interaction with law enforcement will result in getting a ticket. Sometimes this is a traffic ticket that can result in a civil penalty such as a fine, or points on a driver’s license that can lead to suspension and a higher insurance premium. Some civil traffic tickets also require a hearing or are designated appearance required. In any civil traffic infraction, an attorney can appear on behalf of the driver instead of the defendant appearing in person.
The citation is the charging document and should be read carefully. To know the consequences in the case, first determine whether it is a traffic infraction that is civil or is instead a notice to appear in court, to face a criminal traffic charge.
For example, driving on a suspended license or driving on a revoked license can be civil traffic or criminal traffic offenses. Examples of civil traffic violations are speeding, failure to yield the right of way, running a red light, careless driving, violation of a traffic control device, improper turn, etc. Some examples of criminal traffic cases are reckless driving, driving on a suspended driver’s license, driving with no valid driver’s license and driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol.
In cases involving a traffic crash, a defendant can be charged with a crime or a civil traffic infraction. Even when a driver is accused of causing a fatality, the driver could be accused of either a crime or a civil offense.
In civil traffic offenses that do not require an appearance in court, there are three choices. First, plead guilty and pay the fine for the traffic ticket. Pleading guilty means the driver will get points and enough points on a license will cause the driver’s license to be suspended. Insurance rates may increase and knowingly driving on a suspended license is a crime in Florida. Second, if a driver qualifies, they may elect to attend a basic driver improvement course or traffic school. Electing school means the fine is paid, half a day in traffic school, online classes are designed to occupy the time, but at least points will not be assessed. Choosing school marks the Driver Record for seventy-five (75) years. Third, a driver may elect to fight the traffic violation or traffic ticket in court. A judge may order any driver, including CDL drivers, to complete one of many of traffic schools but that will not count as a lifetime election. At the hearing, a law enforcement officer can amend the citation, or it may even be dismissed.
While, CDL or commercial driver license holders do not qualify to elect school to avoid points they can elect court where the traffic hearing officer or judge can withhold points and order traffic school. If the accused has a CDL, has made the traffic school election in the last twelve (12) months or has chosen school five (5) times in a lifetime, then that person is NOT qualified to elect traffic school and should hire a lawyer in the traffic case.
The firm handles all traffic, injury and criminal matters. Please Click or call to contact a Gainesville and Ocala lawyer to begin the process.
Main office in Gainesville handling all of north Florida including Alachua, Marion, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Levy and the surrounding counties or the cities of Gainesville, Ocala, Belleview, Bronson, Inverness, Starke, Lawtey, Lake City, or other spots along Interstate 75 and interstate 10. Abogados Alba y Straile hablan Español.