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Do these small towns of Lawtey and Waldo really hold traffic court?

As a traffic ticket defense attorney, a question I am often asked by drivers from other states is the where the smaller municipalities along US 301 between Jacksonville and Gainesville conduct their traffic violation hearings. In Florida, there is no municipal court. All civil traffic infraction hearings are held in County Court and depending on the county either by a county judge or a hearing officer. You may elect to have a traffic hearing determined by a judge.

Therefore, if you have a traffic citation in the municipalities of Lawtey, Hampton or Starke, your traffic ticket case will be heard by the county judge of Bradford County in Starke, Florida. If you have a traffic ticket in Belleview, Dunnellon, Reddick, Ocala, Silver Springs or Summerfield, then your case will be heard in the Marion County Courthouse. In Marion County traffic ticket court, most cases are heard by the hearing officer. If your traffic violation case was issued in the towns of Alachua, Archer, Gainesville, Hawthorne, or Waldo then your traffic violation matter will be heard in Alachua County court in Gainesville, Florida. The courthouse locations for the Eighth and Fifth Judicial Circuits can be found on the resources page of this website.

While the small towns of Hampton, Lawtey, Starke, and Waldo issue many traffic tickets, the towns themselves do not have to expend the monies to support traffic court. However, the officers do have to travel into the county seats of Gainesville, Ocala and Starke. Sometimes this creates a situation where the officers cannot show.  The only way to take advantage of this and have your traffic citation dismissed is to fight it by choosing to have a hearing.  Make sure you hire a lawyer that will actually appear in court.  You must choose to have a hearing within 30 days of the issue date of the traffic ticket.

These towns seem to depend on drivers merely paying the citations and not electing a contested hearing. This makes some citizens feel that Hampton, Lawtey and Waldo are speed traps. AAA does list Waldo and Lawtey as traffic traps.  If you were issued a citation in either of the counties or towns mentioned here, then please call, email or fill out the form for a consultation into your traffic ticket case or if you prefer visit the traffic page for more information.

1 Comment

Received a speeding citation in Waldo, 61 in a 45. My trucking company has stated either get it changed or beat it or I will be fired. They have already placed me on "inactive" status.

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