A question that is regularly asked of me is whether officers and witnesses appear at traffic hearings. The communities of Gainesville, Waldo and Alachua which are all within Alachua County are very different that the communities in South Florida. Most of my traffic ticket practice is concentrated in Alachua County, Bradford County and Marion County so I cannot speak directly to South Florida. My understanding is that no show rates are higher down south. However here in North Florida, witnesses and officers do fail to appear.
Driving in violation of a driver license restriction can be a criminal offense in Florida. A violation of a work purposes only license or a violation of any license restricted due to a DUI conviction will result in criminal charges. Not all violations of driver license restrictions are crimes but all cases do have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Yesterday, May 28, 2013 the Governor signed into law SB-52 a ban on texting while driving in Florida. A violation of the texting law is a non-moving violation and can only be enforced as a secondary offense. This means you must be pulled over for another reason other than texting. A driver charged with violating the law is subject to six points if there is a crash or two additional points if the primary moving violation occurred within a school zone.
Texting and driving is not a direct violation of the law in Florida. However, I have had several prosecutors argue to me that texting was, could be or should be considered reckless driving per se. This all may change with the introduction of senate bill 2013-0052.
You received a traffic ticket for speeding, failure to yield, violation of a traffic control device, careless driving, or some other reason so now what? For some reason many people believe they must pay citation within 30 days. While that is an option it is not necessarily a requirement.
Red light cameras and red light camera violations are becoming more prevalent. It seems that every month I get more phone calls from people who receive a notice of violation on a red light camera.
In Florida there is an enormous difference between reckless driving and careless driving. While many people use the terms "reckless driving" and "careless driving" interchangeably, you should never hear a traffic attorney or criminal defense lawyer do so. The terms do not mean the same thing and are separate and distinct traffic offenses.