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West Palm Beach Traffic Attorney Josh LeRoy on:

Traffic Tickets & Related Charges

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Contents

If your license is subject to suspension as a result of the accumulation of traffic violation points, or if there is a citation you received that you want to challenge, you need a West Palm Beach traffic ticket attorney.

You can call me to schedule a free consultation in my office or by phone. I will help you (1) understand the point system and how it is working against you, (2) explore possible ways of defending your case, and (3) receive answers to any questions you may have. In other words, the purpose of the consultation is to give you the knowledge and, therefore, the power to fight against the State’s prosecution.

You must know your rights so you can protect them! I am here to help you do exactly that. A few charges in the “traffic ticket” category include, but are not limited to, the list below.

Before hiring a West Palm Beach Traffic Attorney, what should I know about the Traffic Violations And Point System (F.S. 322.27)?

Florida law has established a point system for keeping track of a driver’s accumulation of convictions for violation of the State’s traffic laws. For example, if you are convicted of speeding less than 15 miles per hour above the posted limit, the State will penalize you by assigning 3 points to your record. If convicted of speeding more than 15 miles per hour, the State will assign 4 points to your record.

Before hiring a West Palm Beach Traffic Attorney, what should I know about the Traffic Violations And Point System (F.S. 322.27)?
Traffic Violations and The Point System, Florida Statutes S.322.27

According to the point system, if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, your license can be suspended, but not for more than 30 days.

If you accumulate 18 points within 18 months, your license can be suspended for up to 90 days. Remember that the calculation of the 18 points includes the first 12 points for which your license may have already been suspended. In other words, if you accumulate 18 points within 18 months, your license can be suspended once for up to 30 days for the first 12 points, and then once you reach or exceed 18 points, your license can be suspended a second time for up to 90 days.

Suppose you accumulate 24 points within 36 months. In that case, your license can be suspended for up to 1 year, even if it has already been suspended for up to 30 days when you accumulated 12 points and even if it has already been suspended for up to 90 days when you accumulated 18 points.

The point of all these points is that, in addition to driving defensively and in compliance with traffic laws, it may become essential for you to consult with a lawyer to question whether a citation you received should be challenged.

Before hiring a West Palm Beach Traffic Attorney, what should I know about Commercial Driver’s License Violations (F.S. S.322.03, S.322.53, S.322.54)?

Florida law prohibits a person from having more than one valid driver’s license. Hence, a person in Florida cannot obtain a commercial driver’s license before surrendering all driver’s licenses issued to them by any other state or jurisdiction. Moreover, to get a commercial driver’s license in Florida, a person must be a resident of the State. Commercial driver’s licenses are divided into three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C, according to designated weight restrictions.

Before hiring a West Palm Beach Traffic Attorney, what should I know about Commercial Driver's License Violations (F.S. S.322.03, S.322.53, S.322.54)?
Commercial Driver’s License, Florida Statutes S.322.03, S.322.53, S.322.54

What defense would a Traffic Attorney use for driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driving license ticket?

The law in Florida exempts specific drivers from the requirement of obtaining a commercial driver’s license. This class of exempt drivers includes people who drive emergency vehicles, drivers of recreational vehicles, and soldiers driving vehicles operated for military purposes.

In addition, if you were charged with unlawfully driving without a commercial driver’s license, you may have a strong defense if the police officer who stopped you himself violated the law that restricts when and under what circumstances an officer can stop drivers. These violations, you might be surprised to know, occur relatively often.

What are the penalties for driving a commercial motor vehicle in Florida without obtaining a commercial driver’s license in Palm Beach County?

Driving a commercial motor vehicle after one’s commercial driver’s license has expired for less than 30 days is only a nonmoving violation. Otherwise, driving a commercial motor vehicle in Florida without the proper license is a 1st-degree misdemeanor, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to one year in the county jail.

Do I need a Traffic Attorney for a Driving Too Slowly Violation (F.S. S.316.183)?

A person who drives too slowly on the highway when all the other cars are traveling at a lawfully higher speed can endanger the safety of others. The controlling rule in Florida is that, when traveling on any major highway consisting of at least four lanes, the minimum speed at which a driver may lawfully travel is 40 miles per hour. But Florida law includes an exception to the rule: when the posted speed is 70 miles per hour, the minimum speed at which one may drive is 50 miles per hour.

What type of defense would a Traffic Attorney you for a charge that you were driving too slowly?

Do I need a Traffic Attorney for a Driving Too Slowly Violation (F.S. S.316.183)?
Driving Too Slowly, Florida Statutes S.316.183

You cannot be lawfully convicted of driving too slowly if you can show that mechanical failure, or threatened mechanical failure, required you to slow your car’s speed to avoid danger to yourself or others. Another defense to driving too slowly may be found in a defective or inadequately maintained police radar gun or device used to measure vehicular speed. A driver has an additional defense to driving too slowly if he can, through sound evidence such as his own testimony, show that they became ill while driving and needed to slow down to maintain safe control of the vehicle as he looked for an exit or place to pull off the highway.

Though driving too slowly is not a criminal offense, being stopped by a police officer may lead to roadside detention, if not also a search of the driver, passengers, and vehicle. These potential events can result in serious criminal charges. Consequently, successfully challenging the charge of driving too slowly can be crucial to disproving criminal allegations that result from the stop.

What are the penalties for driving too slowly in Palm Beach County?

Driving too slowly in Florida is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation, as provided in Chapter 318.

Can Florida Suspend My License Upon Conviction in Another State? (F.S. 322.24)

The State of Florida will suspend your license, “upon conviction in another state.—The department is authorized to suspend or revoke the license of any resident of the state upon receiving notice of the conviction of such a person in another state or foreign country of an offense therein which, if committed in this state, would be grounds for the suspension or revocation of his or her license.”

How can a Traffic Attorney help me with a Driving While License Suspended Violation (F.S. 322.34)?

Driving While License is Suspended is a very common charge in Palm Beach County. Driving is a necessity in Palm Beach County, which is one of the largest counties in the State. It is nearly impossible to get around this county without driving.

There are many reasons why your driving license was suspended or revoked. Some reasons include forgetting to pay a traffic infraction, missing traffic court, failing to renew your insurance, falling behind on child support, failing to pay court costs, and/or being convicted of certain crimes. Most people don’t realize that a conviction in Florida for a drug offense includes a mandatory driver’s license revocation.

Often, people only learn of the suspension when stopped by a police officer who runs the license number. Knowledge of the license suspension/revocation is the difference between a civil infraction and a criminal charge. A person driving with a suspended or revoked license unaware of that suspension or revocation is only liable for a civil infraction, not the criminal charge. A civil infraction is only punishable by a fine, whereas the criminal charge is punishable by incarceration.

The punishment for driving while your license is suspended or revoked can be enhanced based on the number of previous convictions. The first charge for knowingly driving while a license is suspended or revoked is a second-degree misdemeanor; the second is a first-degree misdemeanor, and the third or subsequent charge can be a felony. Not to mention that being convicted of three driving while license suspended or revoked charges, including the civil infraction, within five years will make you a habitual traffic offender. Upon being labeled as such, the DHSMV will then revoke your license for five (5) years.

We are skilled at working with clients to clean up their driving records and get their driving privileges reinstated. We know how to help people restore their licenses. Then, upon clearing up the licenses, we can usually get the charges dismissed.

If you have a suspended or revoked license, we may be able to help you get it back.

Is there a quick fix for a suspended license?

I wish I could say that there is; I try to make it as simple and painless as possible. However, you will then need to consult with the DMV, which isn’t always aware of the laws and will likely steer you in the wrong direction. It is advised to hire a lawyer who is educated in criminal defense.

Driving While License Suspended – F.S. 322.24
Driving While License Suspended – F.S. 322.24

If I have a Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License case, are there defenses a Traffic Attorney can use to help me win?

There are, but your best course of action is to hire a lawyer who knows what they’re doing. It is easy to take a wrong turn. Know that you always have a right to remain silent. It would be best if you didn’t admit guilt to any accusations.

Can I just plea to the charge of driving on a suspended driver’s license without the expense of a Traffic Attorney?

It is not advised to admit guilt before consulting with your lawyer. It is their job to ensure you come out with the least damage to your current life and defend you whenever possible.

Is there a quick fix for a suspended license?

I wish I could say that there is, and I try to make it as simple and painless as possible. However, you will then need to consult with the DMV, which isn’t always aware of the laws and will likely steer you in the wrong direction. It is advised to hire a lawyer who is educated in criminal defense.

If I have a Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License case, are there defenses a West Palm Beach Traffic Attorney can use to help me win?

There are, but your best course of action is to hire a lawyer who knows what they’re doing. It is easy to take a wrong turn. Know that you always have a right to remain silent; you shouldn’t admit guilt to any accusations.

Can I plead to the charge of driving on a suspended driver’s license without the expense of an attorney in Palm Beach County?

It is not advised to admit guilt before consulting with your lawyer. It is their job to ensure you come out with the least damage to your current life and defend you whenever possible.

What is an example of a defense to charges of driving while one’s license is suspended or revoked?

The law in Florida limits the circumstances under which a police officer can stop a person when they are driving. As a result, if an investigation of the terms under which you were stopped finds the police officer did not stop you lawfully, then any evidence that you were driving while your license was suspended or revoked may be subject to “suppression,” that is to say, being excluded by the judge or jury in determining your guilt.

Similarly, when prosecuting you for the offense, the State must prove that you “knowingly” drove when your driver’s license was suspended or revoked. Therefore, if the State did not provide you with advance notice of the canceled status of your license, or if you can prove that, for events outside of your control, you never received such notice, your case should be dropped, dismissed, or it should result in your acquittal.

What are the penalties for driving while one’s license is suspended or revoked?

Knowingly driving while one’s license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, upon the first conviction is a 2nd-degree misdemeanor, subjecting the defendant to a range of penalties from a term of probation up to 60 days in the county jail.

Florida law classifies a second conviction of the offense as a 1st-degree misdemeanor, subjecting the defendant to a range of penalties from a term of probation to up to one year in the county jail.

Upon a third conviction, the defendant, first of all, must serve a minimum of 10 days in jail. If the third conviction is based on the underlying charge of either (a) driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, (b) refusing to submit to a breath-alcohol, urine, or blood-alcohol test, (c) committing a traffic offense that caused death or serious bodily injury, or (d) fleeing or eluding, Florida law classifies that third conviction as a 3rd-degree felony, subjecting the defendant to a range of penalties from a term of probation up to 5 years in prison.

Driving after being designated a “habitual traffic offender” is also classified as a 3rd-degree felony, as is driving with a suspended, revoked, or canceled license that results, because of careless operation of the vehicle, in serious bodily injury or death. As explained above, a conviction for 3rd-degree felony subjects the defendant to penalties ranging from a term of probation up to five years in prison.

Related Cases

CASE: CAUGHT DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE

  • The Incident: The client’s license was suspended for multiple DUI convictions.
  • The Accused: The client was initially offered a county jail sentence. Typically, the State Attorney requires at least 30 days in jail for driving with a suspended license when it is suspended for a DUI conviction; the client had two prior DUI convictions.
  • The Charges: Driving with License Suspended.
  • The Evidence: The police responded to the neighbor’s apartment as the evidence pointed that someone therein committed the crime. After speaking with the client’s nephew, the police obtained a large amount of the victim’s property inside the apartment where the client was staying. The client later confessed to the crime.
  • My Counsel & Defense: Plead to Judge and sentenced just to pay court costs. When the State refused to negotiate off of a jail sentence, my client pleaded open to the Court. The State wanted him to serve 30 days in the Palm Beach County Jail.
  • The VERDICT: The Judge sentenced the client to just pay court costs, with no jail time.

Related laws:
Driving Under Influence (DUI)

Driving Without A License, No Valid Driver’s License, and Driving with An Expired License (F.S. 322.03, 322.065, 318.18)

In this one subject, Florida law is straightforward and clear: “a person may not drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless a person has a valid driver’s license.”

What types of defense would a good West Palm Beach Traffic Ticket Attorney use for charges of driving without a license or with an expired license?

Driving Without A License, No Valid Driver’s License And Driving With An Expired License, Florida Statutes S.322.03, S.322.065, S. 318.18
Driving Without A License, No Valid Driver’s License, and Driving with An Expired License, Florida Statutes S.322.03, S.322.065, S. 318.18

If stopped by a police officer while driving and, although you have a valid driver’s license, you do not have the license with you because you left your wallet at home, the officer will probably still give you a ticket. But you can have the case dismissed by simply going to the courthouse and showing your license to the Clerk of Court. (If your license was lost or stolen, you can order a replacement from the Department of Motor Vehicles.)

If you are charged with driving with an expired license, you may still win the case against you if the police officer
stops you and violations the law that regulates police conduct. (Such errors by police officers occur more often than you might think.)

What are the penalties for driving without a license or an expired license in Palm Beach County?

Driving without a license, also known under the law as “No Valid Driver’s License,” is a second-degree misdemeanor, subjecting the accused to a range of penalties from a term of probation up to sixty days in jail. But in reality, the State commonly prefers to resolve the matter by having the defendant obtain a valid license.

Driving with a license that has expired for six months or less is only an infraction for which a small fine must be paid. If more than six months have passed since the license expired, the offense is a second-degree misdemeanor, subjecting the accused to a range of penalties from a term of probation to 60 days in jail. However, depending on the driver’s history, the State may resolve the matter less harshly.

Do I need a Traffic Attorney for an Expiration Of a Vehicle Registration ticket (F.S. 320.07)?

The ownership of cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles must be registered in Florida, and the same registration must be periodically renewed. In addition, proof of a vehicle’s registration must be displayed on the vehicle’s license plate or by validation stickers.

Expiration Of Vehicle Registration, Florida Statutes S.320.07
Expiration Of Vehicle Registration, Florida Statutes S.320.07

What defense would a Traffic Attorney use for the charge that the vehicle you were driving was not registered?

If you have been charged with having failed to timely renew your car’s registration (the deadline being midnight on your birthday), Florida law allows you a grace period that lasts until the last day of the month in which you were born. For example, if your car’s registration expires at midnight on your birthday, January 10th, Florida law allows you, without penalty, to renew the registration by January 31st. Similarly, if the vehicle in question was under a lease agreement of 30 days or less at the time of the citation, the charge is invalid, and Florida law requires the citation to be dismissed.

What are the penalties for failing to register, or failing to renew a registration, of one’s vehicle in Palm Beach County?

Florida law classifies a vehicle’s registration expired for six months or less as a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in Chapter 318.

Suppose a vehicle’s registration for a first offense has expired for more than six months. In that case, the offense is considered a noncriminal traffic offense, and the owner must produce proof of compliance through a valid registration certificate.

Florida law classifies a second offense of a vehicle’s registration having expired for more than six months as a second-degree misdemeanor, subjecting the car’s owner to a penalty ranging from a term of probation to up to 60 days in jail.

Can a Traffic Attorney in West Palm Beach help you with Failure to Yield Right-of-way Violations (F.S. 316.121, 316.123)?

Florida law sets forth the rules that drivers must follow when approaching or entering an intersection. Specifically, a driver approaching an intersection must yield the right-of-way to vehicles that have already entered the intersection from a different road or direction. When two vehicles reach an intersection from different directions simultaneously, the driver on the left is required to yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

Failure To Yield Right-of-way , Florida Statutes S.316 121, S.316.123
Failure To Yield Right-of-way, Florida Statutes S.316 121, S.316.123

Similarly, when approaching a yield sign, a driver must yield the right-of-way to any vehicles already in the intersection and to any vehicles approaching from another direction so closely as to present an immediate danger.

What defense would a Traffic Attorney use for failing to yield the right-of-way?

If, upon approaching an intersection at the same time as another driver, the vehicle to your right, which otherwise would have the right-of-way, appeared to be stalled or otherwise non-operative, then if you proceed without waiting further, you cannot, by any reasonable measure, be found guilty of failing to yield the right-of-way.

What are the penalties for failing to yield the right-of-way in Palm Beach County?

Failing to yield the right-of-way is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation, with a small fine, as provided in Chapter 318.

What is Improper Lane Change: (F.S. 316.085)?

Improper Lane Change, Florida Statutes S.316.085
Improper Lane Change, Florida Statutes S.316.085
Before changing lanes when driving on Florida’s roads and highways, the law requires you to confirm the existence of certain conditions: Before driving to the left of the center lane on a road that provides for traveling in opposite directions, you must confirm that the left side is (a) clearly visible, and (b) sufficiently free of vehicles to allow you to pass without interfering with any oncoming traffic. Suppose you enter a lane authorized for vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. In that case, you must return to your initial lane of travel as soon as practicable and before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.

What is an example of a defense to charge of failing to change lanes properly?

If you can show that, from the officer’s vantage point, the officer could not have seen the events that he
alleged, you can succeed in dismissing the case against you.

What are the penalties for failing to change lanes properly?

A violation of the law prohibiting improper lane changes is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable by a fine under Chapter 318.

Before hiring a West Palm Beach Traffic Attorney, what should I know about a Minor Driving Without A License ticket (F.S. 322.091, 322.09(2))?

Under Florida law, a child under the age of 18, is not eligible to obtain a driver’s license unless they are (A) enrolled in, or has graduated from, high school; (B) a recipient of an exemption under Florida law; or (c) has been issued a hardship waiver. It is important to note that the adult who signs a minor’s application for a driver’s license is liable for any damage attributed to negligence or willful misconduct by the minor when driving.

What example defense would a Traffic Attorney use for the charge of a minor driving without a license?

Minor Driving Without A License, Florida Statutes S.322.091, 322.09(2)
Minor Driving Without A License, Florida Statutes S.322.091, 322.09(2)

Suppose a police officer stops a minor while driving and the officer’s basis for making the stop was not lawful. In that case, the minor, if properly represented by their attorney, should be able to have the case dismissed. For example, if a police officer stops a minor for not using their turn signal, and no other traffic was affected, the stop is unlawful, and the information consequently obtained about the minor’s lack of a driver’s license is not admissible in Court.

What are the penalties for a minor driving without a license?

The penalties to which a minor is subject for driving without a license are the same as those to which adults are subject. However, in practice, the State may agree to drop the charge if the minor fulfills the requirements and obtains a license.

Do I need a West Palm Beach Traffic Ticket Attorney for Move Over Law Traffic Violations (F.S. 316.126)?

Florida law requires that upon the immediate approach of an ambulance or fire truck with the vehicle’s emergency lights flashing and/or siren turned on, you must yield the right of way to the vehicle and move as reasonably close to the edge of the nearest curb. You must then stop and remain stopped until the ambulance or fire truck has passed.

Move Over Law, Florida Statutes S.316.126
Move Over Law, Florida Statutes S.316.126

In addition, upon approaching (1) a stopped ambulance or a fire truck with its lights flashing, (2) a stopped garbage truck in the process of collecting trash, (3) a utility service truck performing roadside utility work, or (4) a tow truck with rotating or flashing lights, you must vacate the lane closest to the vehicle driving on an interstate highway or highway with two or more lanes. If you cannot do so safely, you must decrease your speed to 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit if it is 25 miles per hour or greater. When the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, or when driving on a two-lane road, you must reduce your speed to 5 miles per hour.

What typical defenses would a Traffic Attorney use for violating the Move Over law?

A driver may be charged with violating the Move Over law due to a traffic accident. However, one defense in such circumstances, or even if no accident occurs, is that Florida law requires the ambulance driver or fire truck driver to drive “with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.”

If your alleged failure to comply with the requirements of this law resulted from the emergency vehicle’s failure to drive with appropriate caution, then you may be able to have this charge dismissed.

What are the penalties for violating the Move Over law in Palm Beach County?

A violation of the Move Over law is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable by a fine, under Chapter 318.

Before hiring a Traffic Ticket Attorney, what should I know about a No Motorcycle Endorsement ticket (F.S. 322.03, 322.57, 316.2085)?

In Florida, the law prohibits you from operating a motorcycle unless your license includes a specific endorsement authorizing you to do so.

What defenses would a Traffic Attorney use operating a motorcycle without the required endorsement?

No Motorcycle Endorsement, Florida Statutes S.322.03, 322.57, 316.2085
No Motorcycle Endorsement, Florida Statutes S.322.03, 322.57, 316.2085

Probably the most vigorous defense to the charge of operating a motorcycle without the necessary endorsement can be found in those cases in which the police officer, in stopping the cyclist, did not comply with the law that regulates law enforcement actions.

For example, let’s say the officer stopped you because, based on his radar gun, he claims you were speeding. Then, in issuing you a ticket, he determined your driver’s license did not display the required motorcycle endorsement.

But if the officer’s radar gun had not been properly maintained as required by Florida law, then the officer’s stopping you violated the law. Therefore, not only could the judge not find you guilty of speeding, but the judge would also have to dismiss the charge of operating a motorcycle without the required endorsement because the police officer’s stopping you was unlawful. The same principle applies to other ways a police officer might fail to follow the law regulating their actions.

What are the penalties for violating the law prohibiting operating a motorcycle without an endorsement on one’s license?

Florida law classifies operating a motorcycle without the appropriate endorsement as a 2nd-degree misdemeanor, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation or up to 60 days in jail.

Why hire a West Palm Beach Traffic Ticket Attorney for No Passing Zones Moving Violations (F.S. 316.0875)?

Florida law gives the Department of Transportation the authority to designate certain sections of the roadway as “no-passing” zones, areas in which overtaking and passing other vehicles, or driving to the left of the road, would be especially hazardous. If a driver fails to observe signs prohibiting passing in these areas, the driver may be found guilty of a noncriminal traffic violation.

No Passing Zones, Florida Statutes S.316.0875
No Passing Zones, Florida Statutes S.316.0875

What is an example of a defense to charge of passing in a no-passing zone?

If you have been charged with violating the prohibition against passing in a no-passing zone, you can win your case by showing the sign forbidding such conduct was not clearly visible to drivers. Such obstructions occur when a sign is covered by a tree branch or the overgrowth of foliage. A sign prohibiting passing may also not be clearly visible if, as the result of a prior collision, the sign is not correctly facing the drivers it was meant to inform. Similarly, if another car is stalled or broken down, which blocks drivers to the rear from advancing, it is not a violation of the law to pass the stalled vehicle by carefully moving to the left.

What are the penalties for passing in a no-passing zone in Palm Beach County?

Violation of the law prohibiting passing in a no-passing zone is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable by a fine.

Before hiring a Traffic Ticket Attorney, what should I know about Permitting an Unauthorized Person to Drive (F.S. 322.36)?

The laws in Florida prohibit and will punish you for allowing someone else to drive your car when that person does not have a driver’s license. Whether you own, leased, or borrowed the vehicle does not matter.

What defenses would a Traffic Attorney use for Permitting an Unauthorized Person to Drive?

Permitting An Unauthorized Person To Drive, Florida Statute S.322.36
Permitting An Unauthorized Person to Drive, Florida Statute S.322.36

Suppose you allowed a person without a driver’s license to drive your car in a large, open parking lot or on a private road. In that case, you may be able to move to dismiss the case because the law prohibits one from allowing an unlicensed person to drive their car on “any highway or public street.” Because neither a parking lot nor a private road is a highway or public street, a police officer’s charge that you illegally permitted an unauthorized person to drive, under these circumstances, would probably be unlawful.

Perhaps a more common defense can be developed if the arresting officer did not obey the law that regulates when, and under what circumstances, he is allowed to stop a driver. So, even if it is true that you did allow an unlicensed person to drive your car, if the arresting officer used false or mistaken grounds to stop the vehicle, you will be in a solid position to move for dismissal of the case before trial, or for acquittal if the case goes to trial.

What are the penalties for Permitting an Unauthorized Person to Drive?

Florida law classifies “Permitting an Unauthorized Person to Drive” as a 2nd degree misdemeanor punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 60 days in jail. In addition, if you have knowingly loaned your car to a person whose license was suspended, and the person is involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury or death, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

Can a Traffic Ticket Attorney help me with Red Light Camera Offenses (F.S. 316.0083, 316.074(1), 316.075(1)(C))?

Florida law requires motorists to stop their vehicles when approaching a red light. Supplementing enforcement of the law by police officers, many cities have, at intersections, installed digital cameras that record drivers when they fail to stop as required by law.

Red Light Camera Offenses, Florida Statutes S.316.0083, S.316.074(1), S.316.075(1)(C)
Red Light Camera Offenses, Florida Statutes S.316.0083, S.316.074(1), S.316.075(1)(C)

What is an example of a defense to charges, based on images from a digital camera, that a driver failed to stop at a red light?

Intersection digital cameras videotape cars as they unlawfully proceed through red lights; the lenses of these cameras are not fine enough to videotape the faces of the respective drivers. Therefore, it is possible, and indeed, it commonly occurs, that someone other than the registered car owner was responsible for the infraction caught on videotape.

The vehicle owner can have the charge against him dropped by preparing and submitting a sworn affidavit that the car was being driven by someone else at the time of the infraction. It is also a defense against failing to stop at a red light if you did so to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle. In addition, because the installation of digital cameras as intersections is relatively new, there are ongoing challenges to the validity of the law that may provide additional defenses to the charge.

What are the penalties for failing to stop at a red light?

Failing to stop at a red light is a noncriminal, moving violation, punishable by a fine and the assessment of points on one’s driving record.

Can a West Palm Beach Traffic Attorney help me with Stop Sign Violations (At An Intersection, F.S. 316.123)?

When approaching an intersection posted with a stop sign, a driver must stop at a clearly marked stop line. If no such line is present, the driver must nevertheless stop before entering the nearest crosswalk. If no immediate crosswalk is present, the driver must stop at the point nearest the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection.

Stop Sign Violations At An Intersection, Florida Statutes S.316.123
Stop Sign Violations at an Intersection, Florida Statutes S.316.123

After the driver stops, they must yield the right-of-way to any car that has entered the intersection from another highway or is approaching the intersection so closely as to create a hazard should the driver continue to move across or into the intersection. At a four-way intersection, the first car to stop has the right-of-way to proceed, and if two vehicles reach the intersection simultaneously, Florida law requires the driver to the left to yield to the right-of-way to the driver on the right.

What defenses can a Traffic Attorney use if one fails to stop at a stop sign at the entrance to an intersection?

If, when approaching an intersection, you are directed to proceed forward by a police officer, or a traffic control signal, then you cannot be lawfully convicted of failing to stop at the stop sign. Similarly, if yielding the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle with its flashing lights or sirens prevented you from safely stopping, you have a defense that you failed to stop as otherwise required by law.

What are the penalties for failing to stop at a stop sign located at the entry of an intersection?

Failing to stop at an intersection stop sign is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable by a moving violation, as provided in Chapter 318.

Before hiring a West Palm Beach Traffic Ticket Attorney, what should I know about a Stopping for School Buses ticket (F.S. 316.172, S.318.19)?

When driving in Florida, you need to pay particular attention to school buses. If you approach a school bus displaying a stop signal, Florida law requires the driver to bring his car to a complete stop. In addition, it is prohibited to pass the bus until the stop signal is withdrawn.

Stopping For School Buses, Florida Statutes S.316.172, S.318.19
Stopping For School Buses, Florida Statutes S.316.172, S.318.19

What defense can a Traffic Attorney use for someone failing to stop for a school bus?

The law imposing the duty on drivers to stop for a school bus does not apply when traveling in the opposite direction of a school bus on a highway divided by a raised median, a physical barrier, or an unpaved space of at least 5 feet.

In addition, a driver’s failure to stop as required by the law may be excused if, through sound evidence, it can be shown that the driver of the school bus, before discharging or admitting passengers, failed to timely display the vehicle’s warning lights and stop signals, or failed to stop as far to the right of the street as possible.

What are the penalties for failing to stop for a school bus?

Failing to stop for a school bus is a moving violation, punishable as provided in Chapter 18. However, unlawfully passing a school bus is not only a moving violation; the offense also mandates the driver to appear at a scheduled hearing.

Can a Traffic Attorney help me with a Tailgating ticket (F.S. 316.0895)?

Florida law requires that, when following another car, you drive reasonably and with prudence. In other words, the law prohibits you from driving so closely behind another vehicle that, relative to the other car’s speed, traffic, and road condition, you create a risk or danger of an accident.

What defenses would a West Palm Beach Traffic Attorney use for charges of following too closely?

Tailgating, Florida Statutes S.316.0895
Tailgating, Florida Statutes S.316.0895

The law prohibiting drivers from following too closely is defined in terms of three specific external elements: (1) the speed of the car in front of you, (2) the traffic, and (3) the condition of the road. In other words, the occurrence of the offense is commonly based, not on objective criteria, but on the subjective judgment of the police officer. And the officer’s judgment may have been consciously or unconsciously biased in favor of writing the ticket or stopping you.

Therefore, if you can persuade the judge, with sound evidence, that the speed at which you were following the other vehicle, under the specific conditions, was sufficiently slow to avoid the danger of a collision, you may succeed in having the ticket dismissed.

What are the penalties for following too closely?

Following too closely is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation, as provided in Chapter 318.

Texting While Driving is Dangerous! (F.S. 316.305)

When you drive in Florida, you are prohibited by law from manually composing, sending, and receiving text messages. The law does not distinguish those messages sent by text and those sent via email or any similar program.

Texting While Driving, Florida Statutes S.316.305
Texting While driving, Florida Statutes S.316.305

How would a Traffic Ticket Attorney defend me from the charge of texting while driving?

If an officer issues you a citation for texting while driving and your car is stationary at
the time, the officer’s charge against you must be dismissed. In addition, the Florida Legislature has included many exemptions to this law. For example, you are exempt from the application of this law if you send text messages to report an emergency or criminal activity. You are also exempt from this law if you receive text messages related to the operation or navigation of your car or if you receive messages that contain safety-related information, such as traffic or weather alerts.

In addition, the law explicitly requires police officers to inform drivers of their right to refuse a search of their phones. Any consent a driver gives for such a search must be “voluntary and unequivocal.” Absent such consent, officers are prohibited from searching the contents of one’s phone without a warrant. Neither may the police confiscate your phone while they apply for a warrant.

What are the penalties for violating the law that prohibits texting while driving in Palm Beach County?

A violation of the law that prohibits composing, sending, and receiving text and email messages is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation, as provided in Chapter 318. However, a second or subsequent violation within five years of a prior conviction is punishable as a moving violation.

Can a Traffic Attorney in West Palm Beach help me with Toll Violations (F.S. 316.1001, 338.155)?

According to Florida law, driving through a toll facility without paying the required toll is a noncriminal traffic infraction. Although perhaps trivial on its face, a conviction for failing to pay a required toll can result in the suspension of a person’s driver’s license, which can, in turn, cause a person to lose their job that requires driving.

What is an example of a defense to charges of a toll violation?

Toll Violations, Florida Statutes 316.1001, S.338.155
Toll Violations, Florida Statutes 316.1001, S.338.155

Suppose you have been charged with a toll violation due to a malfunctioning toll booth machine, and there was no available attendant on duty. In that case, you may, with sufficient evidence, file a motion with the Court to dismiss the charge against you. Similarly, suppose your car was stolen, or you were otherwise not the person driving the car identified as having passed through the toll facility without payment. In that case, you can successfully move for the citation to be dismissed by filing the appropriate affidavit.

What are the penalties for a toll violation?

Florida law punishes a toll violation with a fine. As a noncriminal infraction, one cannot be lawfully sentenced to any time in jail for the infraction. However, because the offense is classified as a “moving violation,” points may be assessed on one’s driving record.

Can a West Palm Beach Traffic Ticket Attorney help me with Florida Traffic Signal Device tickets (F.S. 316.075, 316.074)?

Did you ever wonder why you’ve never seen either a bright blue or neon orange traffic signal in Florida? Florida law limits traffic signal lights to “only” red, yellow, and green. And it’s the law, not just custom, that defines red as meaning stop, yellow as a caution, and green as go.

Traffic Signal Devices, Florida Statutes S.316.075, S.316.074
Traffic Signal Devices, Florida Statutes S.316.075, S.316.074

What defense would a Traffic Attorney use for someone failing to stop timely at a red light?

Because Florida law requires the use of a yellow caution light between the red and green ones, the absence or malfunction of a yellow light may serve to excuse you from the charge that you failed to stop at a red light. Without the yellow warning light, a driver may be denied sufficient warning time to timely stop at the appearance of a red light.

Similarly, yielding to emergency vehicles with their lights flashing or sirens sounding, or seeking to avoid danger created by another driver’s error, may also serve as a defense to the charge that you failed to timely stop at a red light or that you committed some other offense in violation of the directives of traffic signal devices.

What are the penalties for failing to obey the signals of a traffic control device?

Failure to obey the authority of traffic signal devices in Florida is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation, as provided in Chapter 18.

Before hiring a Traffic Ticket Attorney, what should I know about Unlawful Display Of A License Plate Traffic Violations (F.S. 316.605)?

Florida law requires all cars, trucks, motorcycles, and indeed, all vehicles driven in the State to be licensed in the name of the owner. The license plate must be affixed to the rear of the vehicle and must be plainly visible and legible at all times from 100 feet. The Florida Legislature has further