Here in the US, 9.18% of drivers have a speeding ticket on record. While speeding tickets are the most common moving violation, you may have received a traffic ticket for many reasons. In any case, one of your first thoughts was likely the points on your driving record.
After all, you certainly don’t want to lose your license.
The good news is that you might be able to avoid the points. The first step after getting a traffic ticket should be to learn more about your options and contact a lawyer that specializes in this area.
Here’s what you need to do to avoid points according to the Florida legal system.
Florida Laws Regarding a Traffic Ticket
When it comes to Florida traffic laws, there are two basic types of citations: moving and non-moving violations.
Non-moving violations occur when the vehicle is parked or not moving. Examples include parking violations or expired plates.
Moving violations occur when a driver doesn’t follow traffic laws while the vehicle is in motion. Speeding tickets, texting while driving, and running a red light all fall into this category.
As we mentioned earlier, speeding tickets are the most common moving violation. While many people may associate speeding tickets with driving too fast on the highway, it’s also easy to get pulled over for neglecting to slow down in school zones, construction areas, and residential neighborhoods.
Another type of moving violation is running a red light. A common practice that gets many drivers in trouble is trying to beat a yellow light rather than slowing down, resulting in running a red light.
Tailgating or following too closely to the vehicle in front of you is also a reason you may get a ticket.
Whatever the reason, Florida uses a point system to track traffic violations.
The Point System
Points get assigned when you get a ticket for a moving violation. If you accrue too many points during a set period, your driver’s license can be suspended or even revoked.
Florida law states that:
- A total of 12 points within 12 months – suspension of 30 days
- A total of 18 points within 18 months – suspension of 3 months
- A total of 24 points within 36 months – suspension of 1 year
Drivers that commit 15 violations that result in points or three major offenses within five years may have their license revoked.
The number of points assigned as a penalty can vary depending on the severity of the offense. However, these are some common examples:
- Speeding – 3 points
- Careless driving – 3 points
- Too fast for conditions – 3 points
- Failure to stop at a red signal – 3 points
- Reckless driving – 4 points
- Failure to obey traffic control signals – 4 points
There are more citations as well. You can learn about them in Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles citation manual.
A loss of driving privileges can be daunting, and you may not have a firm understanding of all Florida traffic laws. That’s why having an experienced lawyer on your side can help you achieve the best outcome and possibly avoid points.
So you’ve received a traffic ticket. You may feel it was unjustified. Perhaps you’re worried about your insurance rates going up or how you’re going to pay the fine.
A single traffic ticket can cause car insurance costs to skyrocket by as much as 82%, depending on the violation. For instance, speeding can result in an increase of 23.2% or $341. Driving violations can also affect insurance rates for years after the incident.
There’s also the cost of the ticket itself.
The average cost of a speeding ticket is $150, but the average increase in car insurance rates is $355. One mistake can cost you quite a lot.
You have a few options if you get a ticket. They include:
- Pay the ticket and accept the points
- Fight the ticket in court
- Pay the ticket but avoid points by taking a driver improvement course
Taking a Basic Driver Improvement Course
We’ve all taken driver’s ed courses, but over time, it’s easy to forget all the rules of the road. According to the law, ignorance is no excuse. That said, there are steps you can take to pledge your willingness to become a better driver and essentially drive better in the future.
Taking and completing a Basic Driver Improvement course can keep points off your record. It may also help reduce the cost of your fine and prevent a costly increase in your insurance rate.
You’ll have to pay a fee for the course, but it’s worth it to prevent those points from winding up on your record.
In Flordia, you can’t have tickets removed from a driving record, but taking the course can result in a point reduction. You can take a BDI course once every twelve months. However, you can’t do this more than five times during your lifetime.
The Florida Basic Driver Improvement Course or traffic school takes four hours to complete. It’s approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Drivers can even take the course online.
The goal of the course is to increase safe driving habits. Another great benefit is that Florida law prevents insurance companies from raising or canceling a policy if a driver voluntarily takes the BDI course. That alone can save drivers a ton of money.
You Have Options if You Get a Traffic Ticket
If you receive a traffic ticket for any reason, you don’t simply have to pay it and accept the points. Use these tips to avoid getting points on your driving record.
It’s always best to seek the advice of a lawyer in cases such as these. Here at RHINO Lawyers, one of our areas of practice is traffic tickets. That means you can count on us to know how to handle the Florida legal system and fight to get you the best outcome.
Simply because you’ve received a ticket doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Reach out to us for a free case review and to learn about your options.
CONTACT TAMPA TRAFFIC TICKET ATTORNEY
RHINO Lawyers can help and guide you through a system molded by law enforcement, judges, and lawyers for decades. Having won cases for our clients in similar circumstances, our criminal defense team knows what it takes to fight on your behalf.
Let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at (844) RHINO-77.