Traffic Defense in Fort Lauderdale
For many Floridians, the right to drive isn’t just a nice privilege – it’s a necessity. It’s what allows them to get to work. Sometimes it’s what they do for a living. It’s how they get to school. It’s the way they transport their kids to and from important activities.
Those who depend on their vehicles in their daily lives need to maintain a clean, safe driving record.
If you have received a traffic citation or have a record of repeated infractions, you need an experienced traffic defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. At The Ansara Law Firm, we work to ensure your legal rights are protected – as well as your driving record.Common Traffic Offenses
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is perhaps one of the most serious offenses one can commit, particularly if someone is seriously injured or killed in a related accident or if the offending operator has a commercial driver’s license. F.S. 316.193 can result in a six-month jail term just for a first-time conviction – and that’s assuming there wasn’t an accident and no one was seriously hurt.
But while this is one of the most common traffic offenses in Florida, it’s far from the only one.
Other common traffic crimes in Florida include:
- Speeding – F.S. 316.183
- Failure to yield – F.S. 316.123 (vehicle entering stop or yield intersection), F.S. 316.122 (vehicle turning left), F.S. 316.121 (vehicles approaching or entering an intersection), F.S. 316.075 (traffic control signal devices)
- Reckless driving – F.S. 316.192
- Failure to wear a seat belt – F.S. 316.613 (child restraint requirements), F.S. 316.614 (safety belt usage)
- Driving with expired or missing license plates – F.S. 320.07
- Attaching unassigned plate or tag – F.S. 320.261
- Driving without a valid license – F.S. 322.03
- Driving with a suspended, revoked, canceled or disqualified license – F.S. 322.34
- Leaving the scene of an accident – F.S. 316.027, F.S. 316.061, F.S. 316.062 (duty to give information and render aid)
- Running a red light – F.S. 316.0083 (red light camera statute), F.S. 316.075 (traffic control devices)
- Passing a stopped school bus – F.S. 316.172
- Racing on highways – F.S. 316.191
- Vehicular homicide – F.S. 782.071
- DUI manslaughter - F.S. 316.193
- Violations of restricted drivers’ licenses – F.S. 322.16
- Habitual traffic offenders – F.S. 322.264
Traffic crimes are by far the most frequently prosecuted criminal offenses in the Fort Lauderdale area, and in Florida as a whole. A traffic crime can potentially include any violation that occurs while driving a motor vehicle on a public roadway.Traffic Offense Penalties
The state has a schedule of penalties meted out for traffic crimes based on the seriousness of the offense and whether you have a proven prior history of poor driving habits. Out-of-state offenses can count against you.
Potential penalties may include:
- County surcharges
- Driving school fees (if you choose to enroll in a driver’s education course to reduce your penalties)
- Higher insurance rates
- Points added to your license
Per the state’s point system, most traffic citations will result in additional points on your license. Rack up too many points over a set period of time, and you’ll be looking at a suspension or revocation of your license.
In addition to fines and restrictions on one’s license, some traffic offenses may include criminal penalties, including probation and possibly jail or prison time.
Another thing to consider is that traffic offenses can result in a permanent criminal record. This could have a lifelong effect on your ability to:
- Get a school loan;
- Land a job;
- Find a landlord who will rent to you.
Criminal charges are always serious, which means no one should attempt to resolve their case on their own without an attorney. Although some people deride the cost of legal counsel, we do offer free initial consultations. Plus, the long-term consequences of not hiring an attorney for these types of offenses often far outweighs what you’re paying in the short-term.
If you possess a commercial driver’s license, you will be looking at additional penalties. Every CDL holder has to give notice to their employer of a traffic ticket within 30 days – even if the ticket was issued while the driver was operating his or her personal vehicle. Even first-time offenders with a CDL can face harsh penalties for mistakes behind the wheel.
Take seriously any traffic citations and contact an experienced attorney to discuss your best course of action. Remember also that failing to respond to a traffic citation may result in a license suspension.
Contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (877)-ARREST-0 (277-3780).