What to do if You are Issued a Traffic Citation in Florida
Being issued a traffic citation in Florida can result in fines, the assessment of points to the driver’s record, and even driver’s license suspension. Fortunately, motorists who receive traffic citations can avoid these penalties, so if you were recently issued a ticket, it is important to speak with an experienced Seminole traffic citation lawyer who can walk you through your options.
Paying Your Fine
Florida drivers who receive traffic citations have a few different options, one of which is to pay their fine. Motorists who choose this option will be required to pay the entire amount of the civil penalty listed on the front of their ticket to the Clerk of Court in the county where the violation occurred. However, it’s important to note that paying a civil fine for a traffic ticket is considered a conviction, which means that points will automatically be assessed to the driver’s record.
Drivers may also be required to provide proof of a driver’s license or registration certificate in addition to their payment if they were cited for any of the following offenses:
- Having a driver’s license that has been expired for less than six months;
- Having an expired registration tag for fewer than six months;
- Failing to have a valid driver’s license; or
- Failing to display a valid registration.
In a few specific cases, drivers who receive traffic tickets must also complete driver improvement courses when paying their fine, but only if their ticket was issued for reckless driving, passing a school bus, street racing, running a red light, or ignoring a traffic control device.
Contesting the Ticket
Accumulating points on one’s driving record can increase the cost of insurance or lead to a driver’s license suspension. For this reason, many motorists choose to contest their citation rather than pay the fine and take the hit on their record. Drivers who select this option will need to visit the Clerk of Court in the county where the violation occurred and request a hearing with a County Judge, Magistrate, or Hearing Officer who will then be tasked with determining whether or not a driver committed the alleged offense. Those who are found guilty of the traffic violation in question could be required to pay a penalty or complete a driver improvement course.
Taking a Driver Improvement Course
Drivers who are issued tickets and who do not want to contest the citation in court, could be eligible for an 18 percent reduction in their fees and a decrease in points if they opt to take a driver improvement course. Those who miss this deadline will no longer be eligible for this option. Upon completion of the class, motorists will then be required to submit their certificate of completion to the Clerk of Court. Motorists only have 30 days from the date of their citation to choose whether or not to enroll in a driver improvement course.
Contact Our Office Today
Please call Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff at 727-330-6502 today to consult with a dedicated traffic citation defense lawyer about preserving your own driving record.