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Florida Criminal Traffic Violations

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Do Not Let A Criminal Traffic Violation Ruin Your Life

Many do not realize that some traffic violations are criminal offenses. If convicted of criminal traffic violations, you face serious consequences such as having your license revoked, incarceration, probation, community service, fines, civil penalties, and restitution. Where do you go for legal guidance?

Florida Ticket Firm in Tampa is a criminal defense law firm that focuses on defending people accused of traffic crimes, misdemeanors, and other criminal offenses. Our experienced attorneys have dedicated our legal practice to defending those whose freedom and livelihood are put in jeopardy by a criminal traffic infraction. We understand how devastating a criminal charge can be, particularly if you have never experienced the criminal court system before. Our attorneys have the experience to guide you.

Helping You Overcome These Charges

When accused of a criminal traffic crime, maintaining your innocence is of paramount importance. You have the right to remain silent when charged with a criminal traffic offense and should exercise that right to remain silent. And always remember that you need an experienced criminal traffic lawyer to speak for you.

Our attorneys have the skills to help you deal with criminal traffic violations that include:

We work with a network of criminal defense attorneys who are familiar with Florida criminal law and criminal traffic lawyers who are experienced in defending those accused of committing traffic crimes. Please do not take a risk all alone with something as important as your freedom and your good name. A criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life and take away opportunity after opportunity. Let us help you overcome this situation.

What Is A Criminal Traffic Violation?

A criminal traffic violation is any traffic offense that is classified as a misdemeanor or felony. A criminal traffic violation is also any traffic offense that results in a criminal conviction. 

Traffic infractions under Florida’s statutes, specifically statute 318.17, give several criminal offenses that are considered criminal traffic violations. For any traffic infraction, you should always seek legal advice to ensure you understand your rights.

A criminal traffic violation can include anything from criminal speeding, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident, to DUI and vehicular homicide. If convicted, a DUI alone can stay on your driving record for 75 years in the state of Florida.

 In 2021, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 163,957 crashes that resulted in injuries. Unlike non-criminal offenses, some of these motor vehicle crashes may have been classified as misdemeanors or felonies.

Among the 163,957 vehicular injuries, 15,703 occurred in Broward County and 12,157 occurred in Hillsborough County. Alcohol and drug-impaired drivers caused 303 of these injuries.

Driving under the influence is well known to be a criminal traffic violation. However, a suspended license, and driving with an expired license, are also criminal acts in the State of Florida.

The Difference Between Moving Violations And Criminal Traffic Violations

A moving violation typically is a minor traffic offense that won’t follow with a felony charge. Civil traffic violations are often considered moving violations, such as the following:

  • Speeding tickets
  • Illegal U-turn
  • Failing to use a signal to change lanes
  • Running a red light or not stopping at a stop sign
  • The traffic violation can be resolved by paying a fine

Moving violations or civil traffic violations are most common in Florida, but becoming a habitual traffic offender can turn a moving violation into a criminal offense. 

Non-payment of a traffic ticket within 30 days can result in more fines and jail time. What started as a minor moving violation can quickly turn into a criminal traffic violation.

You don’t want your driving privileges to be revoked or have no valid driver’s license due to not getting proper legal advice and taking action to protect your driving rights. 

The threat of incarceration is reserved for criminal traffic violations that require a court date and legal representation. When a law enforcement officer pulls you over and issues you a ticket without a court date, it is considered a minor offense.

Ultimately, the difference between a moving violation and a criminal traffic violation is whether you are only fined by a law enforcement officer – or have a date with a judge.

Penalties for Florida Criminal Traffic Violations

If you’re caught breaking the traffic laws on Florida roads, not only will you get slapped with a hefty fine, but you could also be facing jail time, mandatory community service, and an increased insurance rate. 

And that’s just the beginning. Your license could also be suspended or revoked.  You can be charged with a criminal misdemeanor that requires a fine under Florida statute 318.18

Paying the clerk of the court is the least of your worries. DUI, vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident can cost up to $10,000 in fines. Without the help of an experienced traffic lawyer, you could be facing 5 – 30 years in prison, depending on your driving record and criminal traffic offenses.

Fines and probation for Florida criminal traffic violations vary depending on how many offenses you are facing. If it’s your first offense, you might face a minimal fine or 60 days in the county jail.

It’s important to seek legal advice if you are facing a criminal traffic charge in Tampa or the surrounding area. We have experienced attorneys who can assist you in navigating the legal system and protecting your rights.

What Happens If You Receive A Criminal Traffic Violation?

As you now understand Florida traffic laws, the Florida point system comes into play when it comes to penalties and other consequences.

A traffic offense that is not dismissed, or if you decide to pay a moving violation without seeking legal advice, will result in points being added to your permanent driving record.

The Florida driving point system is a scale that assigns relative values to convictions according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. These points vary from 3 points to 6 points. 

Florida’s Traffic Ticket Point System

If you get 12 points for various traffic violations, your driver’s license can be suspended for 30 days. 18 points accumulated in 18 months can result in a 90-day license suspension. 

One year of suspension is imposed if you accumulate 24 points within a three-year time frame. A misdemeanor or a felony charge will also accumulate points toward your driving record. Here are a  few traffic violations point values:

  • 3 Points – Failure to obey the flashing red stop signal
  • 3 Points – Unlawful speed, exceeding the speed limit
  • 3 Points – Racing on highway
  • 3 Points – Driving with an open alcoholic beverage
  • 4 Points – Reckless driving
  • 4 Points – Failure to stop for the school bus
  • 4 Points – Running a red light
  • 4 Points – Any moving violation that caused an accident
  • 6 Points – Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident
  • 6 Points – Failure to leave information with an unattended vehicle

Leaving the scene of an accident or failing to leave information with an unattended vehicle with damages totaling a minimum of $50 will impose 6 points on your driving record. Driving 15 mph over the speed limit can result in four points added to your driving record.

If you are not a commercial driver and would like to avoid points being added to your driving license for more minor moving violations, traffic school is an option. This request must be communicated to the clerk of the court.

Traffic school is only an option once a year. However, you can only do traffic school a total of five times in a 10-year time frame, so if you’re a repeat offender for traffic violations, you will hit a limit. This is to prevent Florida drivers from being habitual traffic offenders.

If your license is suspended due to receiving too many traffic violation points, a hardship license may be an option. To qualify for this hardship license, you must complete a 12-hour driving improvement course.

Contact A Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

Let Florida Ticket Firm in Tampa and its criminal traffic defense attorneys defend you, your freedom, and your good name if charged with a criminal traffic violation in Florida. You do not want to face the state attorney, arresting officer, or other law enforcement officer in court all alone. Contact us via email or call 844-352-3476 for a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. We can help. Se habla español.