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Tampa Criminal Defense
Tampa Criminal Defense
Tampa Criminal Defense
Tampa Criminal Defense
Tampa Criminal Defense

Florida Traffic Tickets Attorneys

Sarasota and Tampa Lawyers Fighting Traffic Citations


Q: What kind of radar do they use in Florida (I KNOW I wasn’t speeding…)

A: Most tickets issued by law enforcement officers throughout Florida are generated from a speed clock, either through radar or laser. Law Enforcement use radar that operate on either K or KA band as approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It can be used in both the stationary and moving mode. Laser is used in situations where the officer is stationary, typically on highways or in heavy or congested traffic scenarios.

An officer can also issue a speeding citation by pacing your vehicle. This occurs when an officer (with a calibrated speedometer within the last 6 months) follows you for a set distance while looking at his speedometer to determine your speed.

Contact our speeding ticket attorneys to find out how we can help.

Q: Is there a prosecutor in traffic court in Florida?

A: No. Interestingly enough, Florida does not use a municipal or state prosecutor in traffic court. The officer who issued the citation will serve as the prosecutor. That is why your level of cooperation during the roadside interaction is so important. Even if you don’t agree with the ticket, use the Court system to protest your dissatisfaction about the situation.

Q: I have received tickets in other States and I was always required to appear in court for the trial. How can you dispose of the ticket without my appearance?

A: Florida allows for a defense attorney to appear in Court on behalf of their client in order to defend and protect their client’s interest. Of course, in accident cases, or cases that involve potential defenses, your attendance is REQUIRED in order to make a viable defense to the charge. Our traffic attorneys cover cases in over five counties on the West Coast including Hillsborough, Sarasota, Manatee, Pinellas, Tampa, and Charlotte county.

Q: The officer who pulled me over told me that I was clocked by aircraft. How is that possible?

A: The Florida Highway Patrol is divided into troops. Each troop is assigned an aircraft pilot whose sole responsibility is traveling his fix winged aircraft over a set of lines spaced ¼ mile apart. As your vehicle travels over these white lines on the roadway the pilot uses a stop watch to determine the time it takes for your vehicle to travel that distance. He will often clock several cars at once and the speed measuring devices (ie: stopwatches) need to be certified and re-tested to make sure they comply with the rules.

Q: I may have been speeding but the officer wrote a citation called violation of a traffic control device. Can I win the ticket because the wrong box is checked on the ticket?

A: This is a very common question and the answer will sometimes surprise people. A speed limit sign is an official traffic control device. It the same as a stop sign, red light, no turn on red or do not enter sign. When the officer issues you a ticket for violating that speed limit sign it is often a “break” on the ticket and involves a lower fine and a decrease in the number of possible points to your driving record.


Q: The officer told me about traffic school. Can you explain that option?

A: When you receive a citation in Sarasota and Tampa, normally you have three choices.

  1. You can pay the ticket and admit guilt. That will put points on your license automatically
  2. You can elect traffic school- once every twelve months or 5 times in your lifetime
  3. You can hire a defense attorney or fight the ticket on your own  if you are within 30 days of receiving the ticket please call our office before you decide to fight it on your own. There are several strategies our criminal defense lawyers take that may help you in beating the traffic ticket outright.

Q: I have already completed traffic school within the past twelve months but I am concerned about the points?

A: Call our traffic lawyers so we can discuss your situation personally. Depending on the facts of your case, and your driving record, our attorneys may still be able to keep those points off and prevent any unnecessary insurance increase.

Q: I have a commercial license but I was not driving a commercial vehicle when the officer gave me my citation. What can I do?

A: In July of 2005, a new law took effect in Florida that prohibits commercial drivers from electing traffic school on any moving civil infractions. It doesn’t matter whether you were driving a commercial vehicle at the time you committed the violation. Call our skilled traffic ticket lawyers immediately so we can address your case individually. We know how important and difficult it is to obtain a CDL license and we will try everything we can to protect the points and your livelihood.

Q: How much does traffic school cost?

A: There is not set fee for traffic school. The fee can vary from school to school. Here is a link to a traffic school that offers a variety of different courses from the basic driver improvement 4- hour class to the advanced driver improvement 12-hour class.

Q: If I am licensed out-of-state will a violation from Florida cause points to transfer to my home state’s license?

A: Florida is a member of the driver interstate compact and oftentimes a moving violation committed in Florida will cause points to transfer to your home state’s license. In many instances we may be able to keep the points from transferring. Call our Tampa lawyers so we can discuss your court options with you.

Q: I did not make a traffic school election within the first 30 days of receiving the ticket. Can I still fight the citation in an attempt to keep the points off?

A: The answer is YES. Although this process will usually cost additional money and time it is imperative that we do everything we can to keep those points off your driving record. Don’t give the insurance company any reasons to raise your rates.


Q: The officer pulled me over and told me that my license was suspended. Can you explain the law to me?

A: There are two types of driving while license suspended.

  1. The first is a moving civil infraction and is referred to as unknowing driving while license suspended. Aside from the possibility of points on your license, if you acquire three of these charges within a 5 year period you will lose your license for 5 years and be labeled as a Habitual Traffic offender.
  2. The second type of driving while license suspended is referred to as knowing driving while license suspended and is a criminal misdemeanor offense. This charge normally requires a mandatory court appearance and can be extremely serious as you acquire additional charges. Please call our office so we can discuss your individual situation and determine an appropriate defense to the charge. Results can vary from Sarasota to Hillsborough County but one thing is clear, the quicker you obtain a license the better. It shows good faith to the State Attorney’s office that you desire to become a law abiding citizen.

For more information about defending a suspended license, visit our license suspension website.

Q: I received a ticket for driving while license suspended and I paid the ticket after re-instating my driving suspension. Several weeks later I received a letter from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor vehicles advising me that I am going to lose my license for 5 years. Please explain?

A: The DHSMV has a rule that will suspend your driver’s license for five years if you accumulate three major violations within a five year period. Major violations can include a combination of driving while license suspended and driving under the influence charges.


Q: I was involved in a car accident and received a citation. How can the officer issue a ticket for something that he didn’t observe?

A: Anyone who received a citation following an accident needs to understand that the officer can only prove his case through the testimony of the other drivers or through the testimony of lay witnesses who may have witnessed the accident. Regardless of what may have been said at the accident scene, once a hearing is elected then the Judge will only consider the live in-court testimony in rendering his/her decision. What the means is that it is immaterial what may have been said at the scene of the accident. It ONLY matters what happens inside the courtroom.

Q: I was involved in an accident and although a deputy arrived on the scene first, a long period of time passed until the Florida Highway Patrol trooper who issued the ticket appeared on the scene. Why did it happen that way?

A: The Florida Highway Patrol is just that, a highway patrol agency whose sole purpose is to enforce the traffic laws in the State of Florida and to investigate traffic crashed in the unincorporated areas of the State. So when there is an accident in many areas of the State, a deputy sheriff will arrive on the scene first and call for a trooper to investigate the crash. The Trooper will issue any citations for any violations that they believe was committed.

Q: I was the sole occupant of a vehicle involved in an accident and was cited for careless driving. How can they cite me for careless driving if they officer never saw me driving carelessly?

A: In many instances an officer will respond to the scene of an accident and conduct a traffic crash investigation. The officer will often spend hours investigating the crash, writing up reports, and sometimes visiting drivers in the hospital. Please call Tampa attorneys so we can discuss your situation in some detail. Florida has a rule of law referred to as the “accident report privilege”. In a nutshell that means that anything you say to an officer during the course of his investigation is INADMISSIBLE against you in a civil traffic infraction hearing. The officer will still be required to prove that you were driving the vehicle and you were doing so in a careless manner under the statute.

Q: I was involved in an accident and when I went to the hospital I was confronted by the trooper who asked me to take a blood sample because he believed I was DUI. Yet I was not arrested and I left the hospital with only a careless driving ticket. What was that all about?

A: That is a fairly common scenario that happens on a daily basis. Following a traffic crash, the officer will visit the parties in the hospital during the course of his investigation. If he thinks that he smells alcohol and believes that you may be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the officer will often ask for a blood draw. Although you were not arrested, the blood results will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and be analyzed for your blood alcohol level. Please call the office so we can discuss your case in detail. Oftentimes, the civil infraction for careless driving will be merged into the criminal case and disposed of at the conclusion of any criminal case. Keep in mind that you only have 30 days to make an election on your civil infraction. With that being said, if you are getting close to your 30-day time period on your careless driving ticket you should elect traffic school to eliminate the possibility of points from your license.

Q: I was involved in an accident and was issued a ticket. Is there an accident report that goes along with the citation?

A: The short answer to this question is yes. There are various types of accident reports in the State of Florida. The quickest way to get the accident report is to go directly to the agency that issued you the citation. Pursuant to Florida State law you will need to sign a release and pay a minimal amount to obtain the crash report. If the accident was investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol you need to determine what county the accident occurred in.

Q: I live in Hillsborough or Pinellas County and I received a ticket from a Florida Highway Patrol Community Service Aide and not even a trooper. How is that possible?

A: In Pinellas and Hillsborough counties the interstate system is patrolled by troopers who are assisted by community service aide civilians. These individuals are not law enforcement officers but they have the authority under Florida statute to write tickets after conducting their crash investigation.

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