Florida Traffic Offenses
For many Floridians, the right to drive is central to their ability to earn a living. Those who drive for work depend on maintaining a clean driving record. If you are facing a traffic citation, or have a record of repeated citations, a skilled traffic offenses lawyer can make all the difference in protecting your legal rights.
Common traffic citations
Of course, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a very serious offense. For more information on DUI in Florida, check our blog here. This post will consider other traffic offenses.
Some common traffic citations include:
- Reckless driving;
- Failure to yield;
- Failure to wear a seat belt;
- Driving with expired or missing license plates;
- Driving without a valid license;
- Parking infractions;
- Leaving the scene of an accident; and
- Passing a stopped school bus.
Note that, unlike many other crimes, whether or not you intended to break the law is not a consideration in traffic cases. The mere fact of committing the violation is enough. In addition, simply paying a ticket is the equivalent of pleading guilty.
According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, potential penalties for traffic violations include:
- County surcharges;
- A driving school election fee, if you choose to enroll in a driver education course;
- Higher insurance rates; and
- Points added to your license.
Under Florida’s point system, each time you get a traffic ticket, the state adds “points” to your license. If you incur too many points in a set period of time, your license may be suspended. You may also face having your license revoked, which is a more serious penalty and harder to fix than a simple suspension. Furthermore, failing to respond to a traffic citation could also cause you to lose your license.
Additional penalties for CDL holders
Commercial driver’s license holders face additional penalties in Florida. All CDL holders must notify their employers whenever they get a traffic ticket. If the ticket is from out-of-state, CDL holders must also notify the Florida DMV.
The first time a CDL holder commits any of the following violations, his or her license may be suspended or revoked for up to a year:
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04% or higher (note that the legal limit if driving a non-CMV is .08%);
- Driving a personal vehicle or CMV under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance;
- Refusing a BAC test while driving any vehicle;
- Committing a felony with any vehicle;
- Leaving the scene of an accident;
- Causing a fatality with a CMV; or
- Driving a CMV without a valid license.
Committing any of these offenses a second time results in losing your CDL for life.
Additionally, if you are a CDL holder, your license may be suspended if you commit multiple serious offenses in a three-year period. Serious offenses include:
- Speeding, if more than 15 mph over the speed limit;
- Careless or reckless driving;
- Driving a CMV without a proper CDL;
- Improper or erratic lane changes; and
Consult an Orlando traffic offenses lawyer
Any traffic offense is serious if driving is your livelihood. The experienced and dedicated traffic offenses lawyers of The Baez Law Firm can help you develop a strategy to protect your rights. We represent clients in Orlando, Tampa, Miami and throughout Florida in a variety of traffic cases. Contact us for a consultation today.