Traffic Violation Defense Lawyer in Gainesville / Ocala, Florida

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Gainesville, Alachua 352-371-9141

Ocala, Marion 352-694-4529

For many people, their interaction with law enforcement will result in getting a ticket. Sometimes this is a traffic ticket that can result in a civil penalty such as a fine, points on a license that can lead to suspension and a higher insurance premium. However, in Florida, an officer can issue a traffic citation that is actually a criminal traffic charge. Furthermore, an officer may issue a notice to appear for a misdemeanor such as possession of marijuana, theft or possession of alcohol which looks a lot like a traffic ticket.

If you received a traffic ticket or citation for a traffic violation in Florida, you must determine whether the officer has charged you with a civil traffic infraction or a criminal traffic offense. Some examples of criminal traffic cases are reckless driving, driving on a suspended driver's license, driving outside license restrictions, no valid driver's license and driving under the influence. You must read your citation carefully because driving on a suspended license or driving on a revoked license can be civil traffic offenses or criminal traffic offenses. Examples of civil traffic violations are speeding, failure to yield the right of way, running a red light, careless driving, violation of a traffic control device, improper turn, etc. You must know the consequences in your case and whether your case is a mere traffic ticket that is civil or is actually a notice to appear in court to face a criminal traffic charge.

In every civil traffic offense you have three choices. First, you could plead guilty and pay the fine for the traffic ticket. If you plead guilty you will get points. If you have enough points on your license, then your driver's license may be suspended. Your insurance rates may increase and knowingly driving on a suspended license is a crime in Florida. Second, if you qualify, you may elect to attend a basic driver improvement course or traffic school. If you select this option, you still have to pay the fine at the Clerk of Courts for the county where you received the ticket, but points cannot be assessed and your insurance rates cannot increase. Third, you may elect to fight your traffic violation or traffic ticket in court. A judge may order you to complete one of many of traffic schools but that will not count as a life time election.

If you have a CDL, have made the traffic school election in the last twelve (12) months or have chosen school five (5) times in your life, then you may not elect traffic school and should hire a lawyer in your traffic case.

In some misdemeanor cases, a law enforcement officer may issue a person a notice to appear which looks and feels a lot like a traffic ticket. A notice to appear may be issued in possession of alcohol or possession of marijuana cases. Even though this may look and feel like a civil ticket, these are criminal cases.

You have a limited amount of time to make your election.  We handle all traffic and criminal matters in Ocala, Gainesville, Starke, Lake City and the surrounding Florida counties.  Contact a Gainesville lawyer and Ocala lawyer regarding you traffic or misdemeanor case now.