As you can see by the list below, there are numerous traffic violations. In fact, there are just too many to list here as Florida (like most states) likes to do whatever they can to make money and citations are a big revenue maker for cities, counties, and states. Even some politicians have noted that one way to avoid the appearance of raising taxes is to merely raise the fines. Just this year, the fines for 20 mph over the speed limit speeding fines have jumped to a whopping $281 (not to mention school or construction zone violations for this same speed are now $456). This is just one form of “Cash Register Justice” that is literally taking its toll on every driver that drives in Florida, resident, and non-resident alike.
So why get an attorney if I’m not facing jail? Let’s talk money first. Inevitably, if you choose to just pay the ticket, your insurance rates will go far higher than whatever the attorney fees are (Several clients have called me after they have paid a ticket and were told by their insurance company that their rates would go anywhere from $500 to $1000 more per year!). Furthermore, you have no chance at a dismissal if you just pay the ticket, even if you elect school, whereas by hiring an attorney, we can see what defenses may apply for each type of citation. Whether it is insufficient paperwork in a speeding case, or witnesses who did not legally have enough testimony to convict, an attorney can be there to fight on your behalf. Additionally, in almost all cases, the driver does not have to appear in court, as the attorney will appear on your behalf (this is one issue that will be discussed during the initial consultation because on rare occasions, being present does help the case). Some infractions, such as Driving on a Suspended License Without Knowledge also have the additional problem of habitualizing your license causing you to lose your license later on solely because you may have thought since it is “not criminal” then I can just pay it and get it over with. This is dangerous and I have had too many people need to hire me to fix this situation, especially when they are now facing jail.
Of course, on a traffic citation, you’re allowed to elect school without an attorney and thus keep the points off. Well, another reason to hire an attorney, even if you think electing school is a good option, is because Florida only allows you to do this 5 times in your LIFETIME, and only once every 365 days. Once they’re used, your ability to “elect” school is gone forever. Therefore, many clients will hire me, even when they may have a bad record so that they can avoid having to use one of their lifetime elections, or took the school within the past year. What I can do, even when all the odds are stacked against them is go to court and see if “ordering” school is an option for those worst offenders. If the judge does this, then this does NOT count as an election in your lifetime. I’ve had clients avoid points on their license (and the subsequent insurance hike), even after they’ve exhausted their 5 elections, because I was able to convince the court to keep the points off either by ordering just a withhold of adjudication, or a combination of a withhold of adjudication and a traffic school.
As you can see there are many reasons to hire an attorney so feel free to call my office for a free initial consultation, and we can talk about why hiring an attorney is actually better financially and better off for your long-term driving record.