Many people who get handed a traffic ticket in Florida think that it is too much trouble to challenge the citation and just end up pleading guilty and paying the fine. If that was all there was to a traffic ticket, then it might be a sensible option, but unfortunately, there are often additional consequences. A guilty plea can be more costly and inconvenient than first imagined.
For those people whose ticket can prove to be costly, it may make sense to hire a Florida traffic lawyer to help challenge the ticket and get the charge dismissed altogether or at least reduced in severity.
How a Simple Traffic Ticket can be a Costly Mistake
Like many other states, Florida uses a points system to monitor driver behavior and penalize those drivers that are a danger to other people. The points system is accumulative, so if you get more than one ticket, the points add up and can mean the loss of your license if the total in a defined period gets too high. Losing your license can be more than just an inconvenience. To many people it is the only way to get to college or work. Losing a commercial driver license can mean more than that as it will mean it is impossible to stay in the job.
In addition to the loss of your license, the most costly part of a traffic ticket is not the fine as such, but the effect it has on your insurance premium. Insurance companies base premiums on their assessment of the risk you demonstrate as a driver. When you drive without having an accident and without being involved in a traffic violation, your premium remains steady or can even decline. If you gain points or get a criminal conviction, then this is viewed as increased risk and your premium will go up.
Some Traffic Violations are Criminal Offenses
In Florida, there are some traffic violations that will go on your driving record as criminal convictions. These include reckless driving and driving under the influence (DUI). If you are at the scene of an accident and leave the scene without reporting it, then this can also be a criminal offense. These sorts of traffic offenses are much more serious than speeding or stop sign violations and if you are convicted you and your family will be affected for much longer than if you had an ordinary traffic offense. You could go to jail, be required to undertake probation, and you could lose your license for a minimum of three months and possibly longer. DUI and reckless driving are usually considered misdemeanors, unless somebody has been seriously injured because of the way you were driving or it is a third or fourth offense. These charges can often be challenged successfully by an experienced Florida traffic lawyer. The way you were arrested is not always clear cut and may involve a police officer using subjective judgment. DUI testing for blood alcohol content can also lead to faulty results. You shouldn’t accept a charge of DUI or reckless driving if you are not guilty. Hire a Florida lawyer to help you fight your charge and try and get it dismissed