Almost every week I hear from people who have just been informed that they have been habitualized in the worst way. Apparently, ordinary people (not defense lawyers) trust the government and just pay a fine on a traffic ticket, especially when that fine is overdue. A common complaint will go something like this: "I just paid a ticket to get my license back and now I am being told that I am a Habitual Traffic Offender and my license is gone for five (5) years." Almost always the ticket that was paid recently is for driving on a suspended license.
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.
Bradford County is located between Gainesville in Alachua County and Jacksonville in Duval County, Florida. Several agencies issue traffic tickets within Bradford County. The main police agencies are those of Starke and Lawtey. The towns of Brooker and Hampton do not have their own police force and the towns traffic laws are enforced by the Bradford County Sheriff's Office. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) also issues citatations on the roads of Bradford County. Starke is the county seat of Bradford County. All traffic hearings take place in Starke.
Traffic ticket defense can be rewarding and frustrating. Florida has 67 counties. That means 67 different ways of doing things. Then within those counties different judges and hearing officers with different assistants that all seem to like things done differently too. That is the frustrating part. This is also why it is important that if you want to hire a lawyer to handle your traffic citation that you select an attorney that is from the county or regularly practices within the county where you received the ticket. Consider whether you would drive from the other end of the state to either Marion County or Columbia County for the fee we charge. Do you really want an attorney from a big city down south handling your traffic case in Alachua County or Bradford County? If you are a CDL driver, and need an amendment to the citation to keep your job, this should be an important consideration.
The Florida Move Over Law requires that a driver move over or slow down to 20 miles per hour under the speed limit when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle that is using any visual signals and is parked on the side of the road, or a wrecker displaying amber or flashing lights that is performing a recovery or loading on the roadside, or sanitation vehcile peforming its function.