In traffic law, the term "crash" does not mean what many people think. Seemingly many people believe that a "crash" means that there is some degree of damage to vehicles. Some have even argued that at crash should equate to a significant amount of damage. Does a crasah require damage? What then is a traffic crash?
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, my belief is that 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.
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.
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.
Part of the traffic ticket practice is clearing suspensions in the best possible way. Common reasons for suspensions are for failing to address the citation within thirty (30) days, failing to pay, failing to complete traffic school, failing to appear in Court in a criminal case, warrants, child support etc. Of course there are many other reasons a driver's license can be suspended and each case is unique.
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.
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.
In Florida, the criminal offense of Hit and Run is called Leaving the Scene of an Accident. The severity of this crime sometimes referred to as LSA, as do so many other criminal traffic charges, depends upon the nature and the extent of the damage.
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 a citation within 30 days. While that is an option it is not necessarily a requirement.