Florida Speeding Ticket Defense
Lawyers and Attorneys Fighting Florida Speeding Citations
Keep in mind that almost 15 percent of all moving violations issued in the United States come from the State of Florida. There is no doubt that revenue from tickets is a huge boost to the State’s bank account. When someone receives a ticket for speeding, they will receive one of two types of tickets. You may receive a ticket for violation of a traffic control device. This Florida Statute, 316.074, allows the officer to give you a citation for violating the speed limit sign. This type of ticket has a lower fine and fewer points. The other type of speeding citation is unlawful speed. The citation amount and points assessed are determined by the actual speed of your vehicle in relation to the posted speed limit. At all times be respectful to the officer. Once they decide to issue you the citation, the time to fight or contest the ticket occurs later in the courtroom.
There are several speed measuring devices used by law enforcement in the State of Florida. These include pacing(speedometer pace), aircraft , radar, and laser. All of the rules and regulations with regards to the different speed measuring devices can be found here in the Florida Administrative Code. There are particular rules and regulations that must be complied with before the officer gets a rebuttal presumption of reliability. In radar and laser cases they are required to provide documentation showing that their radar was calibrated at the beginning and end of their shift, within the last 6 months, and that they made a visual estimation of your speed and you were traveling above the posted speed limit. If the officer is able to establish the “scientific predicate” then there is a rebuttal presumption of reliability. Many people call my office and tell me that their cruise control was set on a particular speed. Unfortunately under Florida law that is not a legal defense. It’s an argument that can be made in mitigation but will normally not carry the day in a trial.
A. Pacing Cases
A common method used by Florida law enforcement agencies is to pace a vehicle via speedometer and issue a citation based upon the distance traveled and the speed the officer believes the violator was traveling. In order for the officer to have the presumption of reliability they need to provide documentation as to the number of pacing tickets, proof that their speedometer was calibrated within the last 6 months, and the distance that they observed the alleged violation. Many agencies are now purchasing undercover or covert vehicles in an attempt to combat “aggressive speeders”. Oftentimes the officer will pace you from behind while looking at their speedometer and will then issue you the ticket for unlawful speed.
B. Aircraft Tickets
Oftentimes people will call my office telling me that they were pulled over by a plane in the air.& The Florida Highway Patrol is aggressive in their use of airplanes for speed measuring purposes. They operate fix wing Cessna’s throughout the State of Florida in an effort to combat speeders. They will have a pilot in the plane who will circle a set of lines in a race track format. The pilot has several stop watches and he clocks the vehicles between the lines that are ¼ mile apart. He is doing this from at least 1,500 feet in the air while maintaining visual contact with your car. He then calls down to the stopping trooper as your vehicle is sequenced down to them. The stopping trooper then gets behind you and pulls your vehicle over and issues you a citation. Depending on the availability of troopers on any particular day, it’s not uncommon for them to issue 75-100 speeding tickets within a several hour period. The important thing to keep in mind is that both troopers need to appear in court in order for you to be found guilty of the offense. The aircraft trooper has no idea about your age, race, or identity. The stopping trooper is necessary to prove the identification element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
C. Radar/Laser Speeding Tickets
These types of tickets are most common. In the State of Florida there are two types of radar devices that are used by law enforcement. They operate on either the K or Ka band. The Florida Highway Patrol uses a Dual Stalker Ka band radar. Most troopers are issued dual antennas which mean they can clock you coming or going. Their rear antennas are mounted in their rear window and they can clock you as you are gaining on them. Other law enforcement agencies use either handheld units or two piece units mounted in their car. Radar can be used in either the moving or stationary mode. Laser or LIDAR is a handheld gun that can only be operated in the stationary mode. The laser light emitted is very small and is almost undetectable with a radar detector. In order for the Judge to find you guilty on a speeding ticket, the presumption is beyond a reasonable doubt. The officer needs to establish the reliability of the radar/laser and the fact that he observed your vehicle traveling at the speed written on your ticket. Our office owns the same units used by the Florida Highway Patrol and our lawyer has attended the same course that the cops have to attend. Wouldn’t you want to hire someone to fight your ticket who is familiar with the rules and regulations and knows the necessary law? Call our office to discuss the particular facts of your case. 1-800-FIGHT-IT