Traffic-related crimes are highly common in Clearwater and the State of Florida, and traffic officers frequently hand out tickets for speeding, running a red light, and many other traffic offenses. In 2014, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) website noted that more than 3.6 million traffic tickets were issued, with speeding, driving with an invalid license, and driving with an expired tag being the top three traffic ticket offenses.
Whilst almost everyone receives a traffic ticket of some kind in their lifetime, if they are not taken seriously and dealt with professionally, the consequences can be severe. Traffic tickets can result in large fines and points on your driver’s license, as well as a suspension of your driver’s license, and even jail time for those that commit more serious traffic offenses.
If you have been cited with a traffic ticket in Clearwater, FL., then don’t hesitate to contact The Law Place today. At our law firm, we have a team of attorneys with over 75 years of collective experience in dealing with traffic-related cases similar to yours. Our phone lines are open around the clock, so rest assured you can call us at any time of day, and a knowledgeable traffic ticket attorney will be on hand to offer support and valuable legal advice when you need it most. Call us today at (941) 444-4444 and receive a free consultation with a skilled traffic ticket lawyer.
Types of Traffic Tickets
In Florida, traffic tickets can be issued as either moving or non-moving violations. Moving offenses occur when the vehicle is moving, such as speeding. Non-moving offenses occur when the vehicle is stationary, such as a parking violation.
All traffic offenses are characterized as either civil or criminal offenses. Civil offenses are punishable by fines and points on your driving record, whereas criminal offenses are taken much more seriously and can result in severe penalties. These penalties may include hefty fines, points on your driving record, probation, and in the most serious cases, jail time.
Civil Traffic Violations
Some of the most common civil traffic ticket offenses in Clearwater are as follows:
- Broken headlight or taillight.
- Careless driving.
- Driving without a seatbelt.
- Driving with an expired license.
- Failure to yield.
- Failure to obey a traffic control signal.
- Inadequate child safety restraints.
- Running a red light.
- Running a stop sign.
Criminal Traffic Violations
Some of the most common criminal traffic ticket offenses in Clearwater include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI).
- Driving on a suspended license.
- Driving on a revoked license.
- Driving with no valid driver’s license.
- Habitual traffic offenders.
- Hit and run.
- Refusal to obey and cooperate with orders from police or traffic officials.
- Reckless driving.
- Speeding more than 30 miles per hour over the limit.
No matter the offense that you have been charged with, at The Law Place, a traffic ticket attorney is on hand to help guide you through the legal process and support you every step of the way. Call The Law Place today and get started with your case.
How Much Are the Fines for Traffic Tickets in Clearwater, Florida?
Florida Statute 318.18 highlights the minimum fines for moving and non-moving traffic offenses in Florida. However, Florida also allows counties and cities to determine their own fines, and as a result, they can range from $100 to $400 dollars. The amount that you are fined will depend on the severity and circumstances surrounding your traffic ticket.
With regards to speeding violations, if you are caught speeding more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, then in addition to fines, you will also have to attend a mandatory court appearance. Fines also dramatically increase if you are caught speeding near a school, construction zone, or residential area.
The State of Florida allows 30 days from the date of your ticket to pay your fines. Not doing so may further increase your fine and can also result in a suspended license. After a certain amount of time has passed, it is within the rights of relevant authorities to issue an arrest warrant for delinquency.
How Many Points Can I Get on My License for a Traffic Violation in Clearwater?
Similar to other states, Florida employs a points system to penalize those that commit traffic offenses. The number of points you receive on your driver’s license will depend on the circumstances surrounding your traffic ticket.
The points system for traffic ticket offenses are as follows:
- Speeding 15 miles per hour or less over the limit.
- Careless driving.
- Inadequate child restraints.
- Parking on a highway.
- Toll violations.
- Driving too fast for conditions.
- All other minor moving offenses.
- Reckless driving.
- Running a red light.
- Speeding more than 15 miles per hour over the limit.
- Failure to obey traffic control signals.
- Accident or property damage caused by a moving violation.
- Driving during prohibited hours.
- An accident caused by a speeding violation.
- Leaving the scene of an accident with more than $50 in property damage.
Points on your license accumulate over time and often result in increased insurance rates. Points from a traffic ticket will remain on your license for 36 months from the date that the ticket is issued. In addition, accumulating too many points in the State of Florida can result in a license suspension for:
- 30 days – If you receive 12 points within 12 months.
- 3 months – If you receive 18 points within 18 months.
- 1 year – If you receive 24 points in 36 months.
You can also have your license revoked permanently in Florida if you receive 15 moving violations or 5 major traffic offenses on your record.
Can Traffic School Help Me?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your traffic ticket, you may be able to attend a traffic school course to mitigate some of the consequences of your ticket. Individuals can attend driving school once per year and for a total of five times throughout their lifetime. Most moving violations allow drivers to attend traffic school as an alternative to points. However, if you commit a more serious traffic offense, such as reckless driving, then the option to attend driving school to reduce penalties may not be possible. In addition, if attending a driving course is part of your sentencing, then you won’t be able to negate points by attending.
How Can a Clearwater Traffic Ticket Attorney Help Me?
If you have received a traffic ticket in Clearwater, then it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a traffic ticket attorney. At The Law Place, we understand how daunting facing criminal charges can be, which is why we are here to support you. A Clearwater traffic ticket lawyer will work to guide and support you through the legal process, making it as stress-free as possible.
Whilst a traffic ticket may seem minor, if it is not dealt with professionally, then it is likely to present an unnecessary financial burden. A traffic-ticket can also have potentially life-changing consequences, especially if the traffic violation results in the loss of your driver’s license, which may prevent you from getting to work and picking your children up from school. By seeking the advice of a ticket lawyer, they can assess the severity of your ticket and work to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case, which may get your penalties reduced or even dropped.
Most of our criminal defense lawyers are AVVO rated 10.0, which is the highest possible rating, so you can be assured that your case is in knowledgeable and competent hands. Call us today and speak to a highly skilled traffic ticket attorney.
Contact The Law Place in Clearwater Today
If you or someone you know has received a traffic ticket in Clearwater, FL., then our traffic ticket lawyers at The Law Place are here to help. At our law firm, we offer all our customers a free consultation where we will assess your case and offer valuable legal advice at no-obligation.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can call us at any time of day, and a Clearwater traffic ticket lawyer will be on hand to help. Call us today on (941) 444-4444 and speak to a Clearwater traffic ticket attorney today.