Are you confused about Florida traffic tickets? Whether you are a native Floridian or just driving through the Sunshine State, it’s important to know the different kinds of traffic tickets so you can avoid getting pulled over.
We’re going to break down three of the most common traffic citations in Florida, their penalties, and how they will affect your driving record. We’ll also talk about how to fight traffic tickets to get the penalties reduced or overturned.
By the end of this guide, you will be an expert in Florida traffic tickets. Let’s get started.
Florida Traffic Tickets Points System
In Florida, there is a points system that applies to moving traffic violations. Each different type of citation has a point value, and if you accrue too many points, your driver’s license may get suspended or revoked completely.
For instance, if get 12 points over 12 months, your license will get suspended for 30 days. If you get 18 points over 18 months, it will get suspended for three months. Finally, if you get 24 points over 36 months, it will get suspended for a whole year.
Every time you get points for a moving violation, your auto insurance will also go up. In some cases, you can have your points reduced if you take a defensive driving course.
Let’s go over three common kinds of traffic tickets in Florida and the point value for each one.
1. Careless Driving
A number of things fall under careless driving, which is why it is such a common citation. Essentially, careless driving is when you are not driving in a safe and courteous way.
If you are reckless with your turns, lane changes, speed, and anything else that could result in an accident that is your fault, you will likely get a careless driving citation. For instance, if you start swerving to avoid something on the road and crash into another car, you may be issued a careless driving citation.
Unlike reckless driving, careless driving is not a criminal offense. Whether or not you’re charged with careless driving is completely up to the police officer that pulls you over.
Careless driving adds four points to your record, and you may get fined $500. However, you can challenge careless driving citations. A good traffic lawyer can get your penalties lowered or get the entire citation overturned.
To avoid careless driving charges, always drive responsibly and with consideration for others. Don’t swerve, change lanes too fast without signaling, drive over the speed limit, or make reckless turns.
You should also make sure to keep your car well maintained so that a defect doesn’t end up as a careless driving charge.
2. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is similar to careless driving, but it’s more serious because it’s a criminal offense. Because reckless driving is when you willfully disregard the safety of other people or property.
Fleeing a law enforcement officer when you’re getting pulled over can also get you a reckless driving charge. Other examples of reckless driving include:
- Driving on/over medians and shoulders
- Swerving or weaving between lanes
- Excessive speeding
About 25% of drivers charged with reckless driving in Florida are found guilty, so if you get this charge, you can challenge it.
If you are found guilty, you will get four points on your driving record. Depending on whether or not there was property damage or injuries, you will also face other penalties.
Your first reckless driving offense can result in a $25-500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Your second offense will get you a $50-1000 fine and up to six months in jail. However, if there were injuries or property damage involved, these penalties drastically increase.
Property damage and minor injuries are a first-degree offense, and you may face a $1000 fine and up to a year in jail. If a serious bodily injury occurred, you will be charged with a third-degree offense, and face a $5000 fine and up to five years in prison.
Avoid reckless driving charges by studying the traffic laws in Florida and making sure you abide by them on the road. Never drive in a way that puts yourself or others in danger.
Florida drivers can also get charged with a “wet reckless” citation, which is when you are driving recklessly under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is a lesser charge than a DUI, so sometimes it’s used as a bargaining chip to avoid full DUI charges.
If you get charged with a wet reckless, you will face all the usual reckless driving penalties and have to take a course on driving under the influence. In some cases, you may also have to complete treatment for substance abuse.
3. Running a Stop Sign or Red Light
Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light is one of the most common traffic citations in Florida. The fines and penalties are not as severe as careless or reckless driving, but they can still make an impact on your insurance prices.
You will typically face a fine between $70-200 and have three points added to your driving record. However, red-light camera tickets only include a fine and don’t add points to your record.
You can always challenge a stop sign or red light citation, especially if a stop sign is hard to see. In some cases, you may be able to complete a driving course to have your fine and points reduced.
To avoid these kinds of traffic tickets, always make a complete stop at stop signs and red lights. Never speed through a yellow light, and never turn right on red if there’s a sign that prohibits it.
Fight Traffic Tickets with RHINO Lawyers
At RHINO Lawyers, we work hard to guarantee you won’t have fines or points added to your record for basic traffic tickets. Additionally, if you receive traffic citations that include criminal charges, don’t try to resolve them on your own. You need an experienced defense team to represent you.
Get in touch with RHINO Lawyers today so we can get started on your case.
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 844.329.3491.