Part of the traffic ticket practice is clearing suspensions in the best possible way. Common reasons for suspensions are for failing to address the citation within thirty (30) days, failing to pay, failing to complete traffic school, failing to appear in Court in a criminal case, warrants, child support etc. Of course there are many other reasons a driver’s license can be suspended and each case is unique.
If the suspension is for a criminal case or warrant you may or may not be able to resolve your case without returning to Florida. Whether you have to return is up to your judge. At least one judge in Ocala, Marion County, Florida will absolutely NOT allow you to resolve your case without personally appearing in court. Depending on the judge assigned there may be no choice but to surrender if you want the case resolved and suspension lifted. This office will not make guarantees or promises that the case will resolve without court attendance because it is completely at the judge’s discretion. If you speak to a lawyer who promises or guarantees what the judge would decide without asking the judge, you should reconsider hiring that other office.
The criminal suspension will clear automatically upon your surrender. In regards to civil traffic cases, there are three options.
(1) Ignore the problem. Do not do this; the license will remain suspended and knowingly driving on a suspended license is a criminal offense that can be charged as a felony in Florida.
(2) Pay the money to the courthouse; this is the same as admitting guilt and will be recorded as a conviction. A conviction will mean that you will have points assessed to your license. These points can lead to suspension, higher insurance rates and loss of employment. Furthermore, some states will keep a conviction on your license for the rest your natural life while allowing a non-conviction, also known as a withhold of adjudication, to be unreported or removed from your license in as little as three years. A conviction can be much worse than a withhold of adjudication. If the suspension was for failure to complete a traffic school elected, then the lifetime traffic school election has been wasted. Florida will still count your election as used AND assess points.
(3) Hire a traffic lawyer to assist you with keeping the points off of your license. We will try and keep all points off of your record which while not perfect can be a lot better than being convicted with points. Depending on the age of your case you may or may not be able to request a hearing. If you are still eligible to request a hearing, then there is always a chance that the citation will be dismissed completely from your record. If the suspension is for failure to complete the traffic school after an election, then you may still have to complete the class.
The next big issue after clearing a suspension is what effect the criminal charge will have on the license. No lawyer can know this without being retained in the case and the Court is notified of the case because filing the notice will act as a key to access your information that is otherwise not public.
Traffic warrants and suspensions can destroy lives by making otherwise good people criminals and unemployable for the act of driving to work. The State and the Court views a suspension as punishment. Do not drive on a suspended license. If you are dealing with a warrant or suspended license, click, call or fill out the form to learn how we can help.
Gainesville (352) 371-9141
Ocala (352) 694-4529