Traffic Ticket Attorney in Washington County
Located in the Florida panhandle, Washington County is home to approximately 25,000 residents. These residents primarily live in the cities of Chipley, Vernon, Sunny Hills and Caryville. Much of the county is freshwater lake, containing over 16,000 acres in all. The county is also home to the Tri-County Airport, which services Washington, Bay, and Jackson counties.
Law Enforcement and Court Information
The county seat is in Chipley, which is also where the county sheriff’s department is located. There is only one judge in the county, Colby Peel, who presides over civil and criminal matters to include traffic court. Washington County does not offer the option to pay traffic tickets online, so those who receive a citation must pay with the office of the Clerk of Court, Linda Hayes-Cook.
Lots of out-of-state motorists find themselves receiving traffic citations while traveling through Washington County on their way to Pensacola or Panama City Beach. Many of these motorists are cited for speeding or reckless driving, but driving without proof of insurance or the proper registration documents is also a major concern for law enforcement.
Florida motorists who are cited in Washington County face having points assessed against their driving record. Three points will be assessed for those found guilty of speeding when they are traveling less than 15 mph over the limit. Having an open container of alcohol will also result in a three-point penalty. Minors who drive during restricted hours will be charged three points as well.
High Penalty Offenses
Leaving the scene of an accident when there is damage involved will cost a driver six points. This is also true whenever speeding causes a motor vehicle accident. Reckless driving, passing a school bus, and ignoring traffic signals are all worth four points against one’s license.
Driver Improvement Course
Those who are charged with traffic violations may elect to take a driver improvement course. Those who do will not be charged any points against their license. In addition, there can be a reduction in the monetary fine these drivers are forced to pay. Operators who hold a commercial driver’s license or those charged with a criminal offense are not eligible to take advantage of this opportunity.
After taking a driver improvement course, insurance companies are forbidden from raising automobile premiums. This is true unless a driver accrues two tickets within an 18-month period or three citations in 36 months. Drivers may attend one driver improvement course per year, with a maximum of five courses per lifetime.
Exceeding the Limits
Those who have exceeded the maximum number of driver improvement courses may want to speak to a traffic attorney to find out if relief is available. This is especially true if that individual already has a high number of points against his or her driver’s license. Commercial drivers or those who have already taken a course five times may also benefit from speaking with a lawyer.
Just because a driver receives a citation doesn’t mean he or she is automatically guilty. Those accused of a traffic violation have the same rights to due process as any other criminal defendant. For more information, Washington County, Florida residents are encouraged to contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney.