Why It’s Worth It to Fight a Traffic Violation
Feb. 17, 2023
Traffic violations can sometimes be confusing. Drivers may be unaware of when and where they committed an alleged infraction. As a result, most drivers who would like to fight the charged traffic violation may not know how to get started. Leaving the charge uncontested is certainly not the best approach. The consequences may be too high for a potentially unfair infraction. That is why getting the right legal counsel is crucial in protecting the right to a fair defense.
At Venessa Bornost, P.A., my experience on both sides of the courtroom has motivated me to represent the people of Dunedin, Florida, in defense of their rights. In addition, I have the knowledge, compassion, and skill to ensure my clients get the best possible defense against potentially unfair traffic violations. I proudly serve clients in Dunedin, Hillsborough County, and Pasco County, Florida.
Understanding the Point System in Florida
According to 2021 data, a total of 401,540 crashes were reported in Florida. These figures involved 683,869 drivers averaging roughly 1,100 accidents per day. Given these statistics, the State of Florida has implemented traffic regulations to reduce the incidence of traffic accidents throughout the state.
Florida law uses a point-based system to punish traffic violations. In essence, the more serious the violation, the more points the charged individual accumulates on their driver’s license. When drivers accrue a specific number of points, they can face several types of penalties.
Here is a look at the amount of points drivers can accumulate for specific traffic violations:
Leaving the scene of a crash without providing information – 6 points.
Leaving a vehicle unattended at a crash site – 6 points.
Refusing to follow traffic regulations – 3 points.
Failing to obey a traffic control signal – 4 points.
Failing to yield right of way – 3 points.
Failing to make a full stop before turning on at a red light – 3 points.
Failing to yield to a pedestrian at a red light – 3 points.
Failing to obey a flashing red or yellow light – 3 points.
Improper backing – 3 points.
Failing to use a proper child safety seat – 3 points.
These examples highlight Florida’s point-based system. Serious traffic violations get 6 points, while common violations are assessed as 3 or 4 points.
Please remember that accumulating points on a license can lead to serious consequences. Therefore, drivers must know the consequences of accruing points on a license.
Possible Penalties for Traffic Violations in Florida
There are various possible penalties for traffic violations in Florida. Here is a breakdown:
Certain traffic violations can result in a citation. The following citations involve payment of fines:
Driving with an expired license.
Driving with expired tags.
Failing to display a valid driver’s license.
Failing to display valid vehicle registration.
Passing a school bus.
Racing or speeding.
Running a red light.
Failing to follow a traffic control device.
Please note that a speeding ticket can represent a fine of upwards of $450. Additionally, the citation can accumulate points on a license.
When drivers accumulate specific points, their driver’s license is suspended. Here is a breakdown:
12 points within 12 months – 30-day suspension.
18 points within 18 months – three-month suspension.
24 points within 36 months – one-year suspension
Drivers may request reinstatement of driving privileges following submission of proof of an Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) course and payment of the corresponding reinstatement fee (approximately $45).
As you can see, fighting traffic violations are worth the effort. Doing so is especially important for drivers who already have points on their licenses. Leaving traffic violations uncontested may lead to license suspension, among other legal consequences. Therefore, making an effort to contest charges can mean the difference between a costly license suspension and staying on the road.
Higher Insurance Rates
Insurance companies check driving records when issuing auto insurance quotes. Essentially, drivers with clean driving records can access the lowest auto insurance rates. In contrast, drivers with points on their licenses may need to pay higher insurance rates.
Please keep in mind that reducing insurance rates can take one to three years as points come off the license.
Driver Improvement Courses
As drivers accumulate points, they may be ordered to attend mandatory driver improvement courses. Violations such as reckless driving can lead to a court-order driver improvement course. Failing to attend the course may lead to a license suspension.
Common Defenses for Traffic Violations in Florida
Here is a look at common defenses for traffic violations in Florida.
Committing traffic violations such as speeding, unsafe lane change, or failing to yield was necessary to avoid a traffic accident.
No posted speed limit in the area.
An inaccurate radar gun was used to assess speeding tickets.
Traffic camera error or inaccuracy when issuing a ticket.
Incorrect identification of driver at the accident scene.
Police officer errors, such as measuring parking meters incorrectly or unfairly assessing reckless driving.
In most cases, fighting traffic citations requires the legal counsel of an experienced attorney. A seasoned attorney can help work with law enforcement to reduce charges or, in some instances, dismiss them.
Realistic and Skilled Guidance
The next time you are debating whether you should fight your traffic violation, contact my firm at Venessa Bornost, P.A. for legal help. My staff and I are standing by to provide you with realistic and skilled guidance.
Don’t let unfair traffic violations ruin your driving record. Get realistic and skilled guidance to protect your right to a fair defense. I proudly serve clients in Dunedin, Hillsborough County, and Pasco County, Florida.