FloridaDriversLicenses.org Articles

HOW TO HANDLE A TRAFFIC LAW VIOLATION IN FLORIDA

How to handle a traffic law? The most common answer: Don't violate them, or just obey them. There are many laws governing Florida roadways, you should make sure that you know them, and if you break one of them, you should also know what to do to resolve or deal with the infraction, and/or offense.

1.Definition of Traffic Violation:

A traffic infraction is a violation of a law, such as failing to use turn signals. The only punishment is a fine and a surcharge (a penalty in money). A traffic infraction is a civil case, not a criminal case. On many tickets, there is a box that the officer checks to identify whether it is an infraction or an offense.

How to handle the violation:

You have two choices: either pay the penalty or appear in court.

If you choose to pay the penalty:

You must pay the amount shown on your ticket within 20 days to the Department of Motor Vehicles. NOTE: By paying your ticket, you are pleading guilty and you will give up any rights to contest the ticket.

If you don't pay your ticket by the appearance date listed:

You must appear in court and choose from a couple of options: to plead guilty and pay the appropriate charges, or plead not guilty and set your case for a final hearing.

2.Definition of a traffic offense:

A traffic offense is a more serious traffic violation, for example, reckless or careless driving. A traffic offense is a criminal case, and being found guilty can mean going to jail as well as paying a fine and additional costs. NOTE: Make sure to carefully check your ticket.

How to deal with the offense:

You will have 20 days to pay a penalty assessment and plead guilty, or you may be required to appear in court. If you plead not guilty you can speak with a District Attorney at your arraignment to talk about your case.

If you decide to go to trial, you can choose between a trial with a jury or just in front of a judge. At that time you have the right to listen to those who testify against you, and then you can voice your concerns or ask questions.