Providing Legal Services to Floridians.
If you receive a traffic ticket for a moving violation such as speeding or
running a red light, it is helpful to know your rights. If you owe a fine, or
wish to enter a plea of not guilty and go to court, it is important to respond
quickly within the dates stipulated on the ticket. Also you may receive points
on your license for certain infractions, and you insurance rates may go up for
any infractions for which you are found guilty.
Traffic violations followed the invention of the automobile: the first traffic
ticket in the United States was allegedly given to a New York City cab driver on
May 20, 1899, for going at the breakneck speed of 12 miles per hour. Since that
time, countless citations have been issued for traffic violations across the
country, and states have reaped untold billions of dollars of revenue from
Traffic violations can be loosely defined as any acts that violates a state or
municipalities traffic laws. Most laws are local, though the federal government
does regulate some traffic aspects, and it can deny federal money in order to
coerce states to pass particular traffic laws. Today, motorists can find
themselves faced with dozens of traffic laws, depending on where they are
driving. These traffic laws vary by state, city, highway, and region
Types of Traffic Violations
Traffic violations are generally divided into major and minor types of
violations. The most minor type are parking violations, which are not counted
against a driving record, though a person can be arrested for unpaid violations.
Next are the minor driving violations, including speeding and other moving
violations, which usually do not require a court appearance. Then there are more
serious moving violations, such as reckless driving or leaving the scene of an
accident. Finally there is drunk driving, also called Driving Under the
Influence (DUI), which is a classification onto itself.
All but the most serious traffic violations are generally prosecuted as
MISDEMEANOR charges; however, repeat offenses can be prosecuted at the level of
felonies. As misdemeanor charges, most traffic violations require payment of a
fine but no jail time. State laws do not allow a judge to impose a jail sentence
for speeding or failure to stop at a signal. However, more serious traffic
violations, such as drunk or reckless driving, can result in jail time at the
The most common type of traffic violation is a speed limit violation. Speed
limits are defined by state. In 1973, Congress implemented a 55-miles-per-hour
speed limit in order to save on energy costs, but these were abolished in 1995.
Since then, most states have implemented 65-mph maximum speed limits. There are
two types of speed limits: fixed maximum, which make it unlawful to exceed the
speed limit anywhere at any time, and prima facie, which allow drivers to prove
in certain cases that exceeding the speed limit was not unsafe and, therefore,
Another common type of traffic violation is a seat belt violation. Most states
now require adults to wear seatbelts when they drive or sit in the front seat,
and all states require children to be restrained using seat belts. New York was
the first state to make seat belts mandatory, in 1984.
Effect of Traffic Violations
The effect of a traffic violation depends on the nature of the offense and on
the record of the person receiving the traffic violation. Beyond the
possibilities of fines and/or jail, other consequences of traffic violations can
include traffic school, higher insurance premiums, and the suspension of driving
Fines for traffic violations depend on the violation. Typically, states will
have standard fines for a specific group of moving violations, with the fines
increasing with the seriousness of the violation. Some states will also increase
the fine if violators have other violations on their record. Courts will
occasionally reduce fines on violations while still recording the violation as
part of the violator's record.
Virtually every state allows perpetrators of a traffic violation to attend some
sort of traffic school in return for the violation being wiped off their
records. Traffic school generally consists of a 6-8 hour class that describes
the dangers of committing traffic violations. Different states have different
procedures regarding their traffic schools. Some allow traffic schools in place
of paying the fine; others require payment of the fine in addition to the
traffic school cost of admission. Some allow traffic violators to go to traffic
school once a year, whereas others require a longer waiting period between
traffic school attendances. Also, the type of violation may affect whether the
violator is allowed to go to traffic school: the more serious the violation, the
less likely the violator will be allowed to go to traffic school to wipe it off
Procedures for signing up for traffic school also differ from state to state:
some states allow drivers to sign up with the school directly, others have them
go through the clerk of court or judge in order to sign-up. Most states require
drivers to go to a specific location for traffic school, although some, such as
California, now offer an Internet option that allows a student to attend traffic
school without leaving the comfort of home
Suspension of Driving Privileges
A traffic violation not wiped out by traffic school will count against the
suspension of driving privileges. In most states, suspension of driving
privileges is calculated using a point system: the more points drivers have, the
more likely it is their driving privileges could be suspended. Some states
calculate the number of violations drivers have in a straightforward manner; if
drivers reach the requisite number of violations within a certain time frame,
their privileges are automatically suspended. Age can also be a factor in
determining when a driver's license is suspended. Minor drivers typically see
their licenses suspended with fewer violations than adults.
All states entitle persons facing suspended licenses to receive a HEARING,
typically in front of a hearing officer for that state's Department of Motor
Vehicles. At that point, the person whose license is to be suspended may offer
an explanation for why the violations in question occurred. The hearing officer
usually has discretion in all but the most extreme cases (i.e. drunk driving) to
reduce, defer the suspension, or cancel it entirely.
Beyond the suspension of driving privileges, traffic violators typically can
face higher insurance. Insurance companies will raise insurance rates for
HABITUAL violators of traffic law. In many cases insurance rates will go up for
as little as two violations within a three-year period. Different insurance
companies follow different procedures. It is up to the discretion of the
insurance company whether to raise rates as a result of a traffic violation.
Got a Ticket?
It can happen to any of us; sometimes, through no fault of our own.
In any case, you have the right to be defended by a lawyer - it's the law. No
matter if you have been charged with a felony, a misdemeanor, or merely a
violation. Under our legal system, you are innocent until proven
Often, people charged with a crime seek to take the easiest or least
expensive way out of their dilemma. They may not think about or
realize the long term consequences of having a criminal conviction on their
record. Even a minor infraction of the law, such as a
traffic violation, or more seriously, a
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction can be very detrimental. There may be a great job or other
opportunity precluded by an unfavorable incident in one's history.
Don't take a chance on being punished over and over again in the future.
Take proper measures today to protect your future. If you or someone you
know has been arrested, make certain to exercise the constitutional right to
be defended by an attorney. Call us today, 24/7 Toll-Free: 1-800-611-0142 or
send an e-mail.
Hire an experienced law firm. The Law Offices of David P.
Ginzberg have presided over many criminal cases in which the charges were
mitigated, or entirely dismissed, or the defendant was found not guilty upon
going to trial. You can't experience the benefits of a good criminal
attorney if you haven't hired one.
When you've been arrested, you are at the mercy of the
courts unless you get a strong advocate whose only goal is making
sure that you are well defended and treated fairly by the criminal justice
system. It's your future at stake, take care of it. Hire an
experienced law firm.
We have been successfully helping Floridians with legal services
since 1984. We are fully experienced with all facets
of the legal procedures required to ensure that your case is conducted
professionally and that you are defended thoroughly. Our attorneys are top-notch trial lawyers
capable of the meticulous effort necessary to guide your case from beginning to
end. You can be certain that every member of our staff knows their
job inside and out and will do their very best to provide you with the best
Don't hesitate, it's your future. Call us, 24/7 Toll-Free: 1-800-611-0142 or
send an e-mail.
Upon your first visit, we provide you with a comprehensive
consultation with one of our attorneys ABSOLUTELY FREE, or if you prefer,
you can get answers fast over the phone.
This service costs you nothing, yet allows you to obtain
straight-forward answers to your questions to help put your mind at ease.
We will advise you exactly what you should or shouldn't
If you choose to have us handle your case, we will tell you
up-front and in
writing exactly what services we will provide, along with the amount of our
fees and costs.
Get the help you deserve now.
Call us today, 24/7 Toll-Free: 1-800-611-0142
or send an e-mail now.
We'll Look After You
It's reassuring to know that you have someone in your corner to
look after you.
Our loyalty is with you. Once you've entrusted our firm with your
problems, we perform strictly for you and your interests.
We know how important it is for you to know that your worries are well taken
You always have someone to turn to. We put our clients concerns first and
do our utmost to treat you with compassion and understanding.
Each of the professionals in our law offices get to know you personally.
We take the time to answer all your questions and explain exactly what's
happening each step of the way.
With locations throughout Florida, we're available to help you when and
where you need it most. If you're awaiting bond that prevents
you from getting to our offices, we'll come to you.
We are always there to fight for your rights, whatever it takes!
Get the help you deserve now.
Call us today, 24/7 Toll-Free: 1-800-611-0142
or send an e-mail now.
DUI (Driving Under The Influence)
Traffic Violation FAQs
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