Attorney Christian A. Straile, LLC
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Traffic Ticket Defense Archives

Traffic Ticket but Ain't From Round Here - Out of State drivers ticketed in Florida

What if you received a traffic citation in Florida but you live in another state and cannot come back to fight the ticket in Court? There is a fundamental right to travel in the United States. However, when using the roads such as north Florida's main arteries of I-75, US 301, US 441 a driver can be ticketed even if they ain't from around here and are unfamiliar with the area. Some drivers call the office and feel that they may have even been targeted because they are from out of town or just visiting. We can defend the citation in court and maybe have it thrown out, dismissed or have a driver found not guilty, but we cannot change the circumstance that the driver stands accused. We defend against the accusation.

Traffic Ticket Defense in a Single Vehicle Crash

Traffic tickets are issued for single vehicle or car crashes. A person ticketed for careless driving, failing to maintain a lane, or any other traffic citation charge brought as a result of a crash involving only one vehicle should always chose to take the infraction to court. In that instance the person cited received the ticket because there was an accident and for no other reason.

Give me a break: Traffic Tickets that are reduced, changed or lowered roadside

Some traffic ticket clients mention that the officer "gave me a discount" or reduced the fine" at the stop. Otherwise we will hear "the ticket was supposed to be $$ and he cited me $$". This can cause confusion and the trooper, deputy or officer will not likely clear it up.

Traffic Tickets or Citations Marked "Infraction Court Appearance Required"

Some traffic tickets are issued as "Infraction Court Appearance Required" sometimes also referred to as Mandatory Appearance citations. The only choice is whether to hire a lawyer or go into court unrepresented.  In general, if the case requires an appearance, then the person should have counsel.  Failure to appear in court will cause harsh consequences. Near the bottom of a Uniform Traffic Citation, on the left hand side there are three boxes. From top to bottom those boxes should be Criminal Traffic, Court appearance required and, Infraction which does not require appearance in court.

Speeding and other School Zone Citations

School zones are heavily monitored. Therefore, in traffic ticket defense, we seeseveral citations issued to people for failing to stop at a red light (or behind the stop bar), failing to yield, failure to obey a traffic control device and of course speeding through a school zone. The cities on US Highway 301 (Waldo and Lawtey) still write a bunch of tickets even though their signage has improved over the years.

Do I have to go to court if I got a traffic ticket?

In traffic ticket defense a common question is whether the Defendant has to appear or show up in court.  There is no requirement that an accused be present. However, whether someone should go to court depends on the case itself.  In speeding tickets, the answer is almost always no, there is no need to attend.   Even if the officer checked the box "Infraction Court Appearance Required", then the hearing itself is mandatory but the appearance by the client is still optional if they hire a traffic lawyer.

Traffic Ticket Defense and Court Continuances

In the traffic ticket defense practice clients often ask for a continuance of the case. There seems to be some urban myth that if the court date or hearing is rescheduled, then it might make it more likely to conflict with schedules. Both the State via the officer and the driver or defendant can ask the court to change the trial date in a traffic citation case just like the opposing party in any other case be it criminal, injunction, family law or other civil case.

Options after receiving a traffic ticket

Often times, people will call my office immediately after having received a traffic ticket and ask "what are my options?" The answer like everything else in the law is that 'it depends'. Traffic citations can be criminal or civil infractions. People accused of some civil traffic infractions are required to have a hearing. We refer to these as mandatory citations.

No Points No School Tickets

There is no such thing as a traffic ticket for a moving violation being issued as "no points, no school". Unfortunately, cops on the road seem to be telling people that they can get no points by paying a citation. That is not true.  (They give other misadvice too, see my blog on Bradford County Traffic Tickets). Paying a citation without talking to a lawyer first is the worst thing that you can do. This is because it is a plea of guilty, an admission to the offense, points will be assessed to your license, your insurance may increase and your guilty plea could be used against you later even if your guilty plea cannot be entered into evidence in another court proceeding. Entering a guilty plea by paying an infraction can be disastrous if you are accused of driving on a suspended license.

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