For most people, driving is a required activity and part of everyday life. Work, school, chores, and recreational activities all involve getting yourself and others to and from various locations. Considering the amount of time you spend on the road and behind the wheel, it’s no surprise that you’ll end up with a traffic violation at some point. Whether or not you experience long-term consequences depends on the steps you take when this happens.

Types of Traffic Violations

There are many types of traffic violations. Some of these result in nothing more than a ticket, but others may leave you with a loss of driving privileges or even jail time. Depending on the severity of the violation and the possible consequences, you may need to hire a Florida ticket lawyer to represent you. Minor violations generally lead to fines but don’t involve criminal charges:

  • Changing lanes inappropriately
  • Letting your tags expire
  • Running a red light or a stop sign
  • Speeding within a certain limit
  • Texting while driving

While these violations probably won’t send you to jail, the resulting fines could be quite hefty. Under some circumstances, you may also face criminal charges.

Some violations are always considered crimes:

  • Driving recklessly and putting others at risk
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving without a valid license
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Racing on the streets
  • Vehicular homicide

You may naturally assume that you can only get a ticket when your vehicle is moving, but this isn’t the case. Non-moving violations may include how or where you park your vehicle.

Consequences Attached to Traffic Violations

The consequences of non-criminal and criminal violations may vary depending on the severity of the potential harm as well as the type of ticket you receive. For example, a ticket for speeding a few miles over the posted limit doesn’t carry the same fine as going ten miles over the limit in a school zone. The penalties attached to citations may also be affected by the points on your driving record.

Every violation carries “points” with it, and these attach to your driving record, so police officers can tell whether you’ve been involved in traffic disturbances in your recent history. Of course, there are other results you want to avoid as much as possible:

  • Financial penalties
  • Impounded vehicle
  • Loss of your license
  • Required attendance at traffic school
  • Time spent in jail

It’s important to note that even a simple speeding ticket can affect your insurance rates for a long time based on the points attached to your driving record. With this in mind, you may want to consider hiring a Florida lawyer for additional insights into your next actions.

Contesting a Traffic Citation

Fighting a speeding ticket is about much more than the financial penalty. When law enforcement officers write a ticket for a moving violation or for a non-moving infraction, your immediate financial situation is adversely affected, and your long-term well-being may also be impacted. With each additional speeding ticket or parking violation, you’ll receive more points, and the dollar amount of associated fines may increase. Your insurance rates and coverage will also be negatively affected.

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Legal Representation for Your Traffic Violation

When you decide to fight a traffic violation, a traffic lawyer may gather information such as the specific violation code, the names of involved parties, details regarding the violation, the name of the officer issuing the citation, and identifying information for the vehicles involved. With this information, the attorney will then research legal strategies and codes that help you avoid lasting trouble resulting from the violation.

In some cases, the issuing officer may be willing to simply drop the charges. If you attend traffic court, but the officer does not, the case may be simply dismissed along with the fines, points, and other potential consequences. Your lawyer may negotiate reduced fees, fewer points, and other reductions that you would otherwise face.

Your Partner and Advisor

It is possible to try to navigate the traffic violation and court system on your own, but it is much easier with a lawyer at your side. Fortunately, there are many experienced attorneys in Florida who are willing to help you maneuver your way through the upcoming proceedings. Check out the credentials and past experiences of the law firm before hiring a Florida lawyer. 

If you’ve been issued a citation for a criminal or non-criminal traffic violation, contact a lawyer to help you decide your next actions. Simply paying the fine and accepting the associated points can leave you with long-term consequences that affect you financially and in other ways. With a lawyer at your side, you have a better chance of avoiding those penalties.

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