Traffic Ticket Options For First-Time Offenders

Michael James

If you receive a traffic ticket in Florida, several options for resolving violation are available.

When a driver disobeys the rules governing cars on the road, it is considered a traffic violation. A Florida driver who violates the traffic laws may be fined, forced to attend traffic school, have negative points on their driving record, or even have their license suspended.

With nearly 10,000 accidents to date this year recorded in Polk County alone, the importance of safe driving is paramount as we head into the holiday season.

Discover the two types of traffic tickets a driver may receive for breaking the below-mentioned regulations.

Movement Infractions

When a driver transgresses the law while operating a vehicle on a public road, it is referred to as a moving traffic violation. Significant penalties and points are frequently assessed for moving traffic infractions.

If you receive a traffic ticket in Florida, several options for resolving violation are available.
If you receive a traffic ticket in Florida, several options for resolving violation are available.

Reckless driving, disobeying traffic control devices and making incorrect lane changes can lead to a reported moving offense. Some of the most typical moving traffic infractions:

• Not using turn signals when they are needed;
• Breaking the law regarding child safety seats and other issues;
• Ignoring the movement to stop at a stop sign;
• Not using a seatbelt when operating a vehicle.

Infractions of Non-Moving

Drivers who violate traffic laws while their car is still moving are considered non-moving traffic violators. A non-moving traffic violation citation typically does not result in the driver being required to pay a significant penalty.

Additionally, the government rarely assesses points on your driving record. For a non-moving offense, a traffic officer could give a driver a traffic ticket several reasons, such as:

• Driving into a spot designated for people with disabilities;
• Leaving a vehicle parked too near the curb or in front of a fire hydrant;
• Double-parking;
• Maintaining a car with a set of suspended license plates.

What Florida Traffic Offenses Are the Most Common?

Numerous driving infractions and accidents have been made worse by cell phones. Traffic laws worldwide continue to forbid using a cell phone while driving. See some of Florida’s most typical driving infractions below:

Receiving a traffic ticket can affect driver's insurance rates.
Receiving a traffic ticket can affect driver’s insurance rates.


Infractions involving driving too fast for the conditions are reasonably common in the US. In just one year, Florida issued 704,092 fines due to speeding.

The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will give a driver three points on their driving record if they’re guilty of exceeding the speed limit by at least 15 mph.

Disregarding stop signs

At stop signs and red lights, many drivers fail to stop entirely. In 2016, many drivers in Florida were cited for running stop signs. Not stopping at stop signs may damage your driving record, which raises your insurance costs.

Suspended or revoked license

A driver’s license must always be current to drive on Florida’s streets, avenues, and highways. Being caught driving with a suspended license could result in fines or legal action.

Traffic authorities may classify it as a second-degree misdemeanor depending on whether the driver was aware that their license had been suspended or revoked the first time they obtained a ticket for this offense.

What Sorts of Traffic Infractions Are Recorded Permanently?

States have different rules regarding how long traffic citations remain on your driving record. In Florida, a speeding penalty might stay on your driving record for more than five years.

You could face serious repercussions, including having your license suspended if you rack up too many points on your driving record. You risk jail if caught operating a vehicle when your request is revoked.

Retaining a skilled traffic defense attorney can avoid serious, protracted legal troubles. With an experienced criminal traffic lawyer on their side, some clients can prevent costly fines and traffic school.

The best method to handle legal issues is to hire a reliable traffic criminal lawyer because the nuances of traffic laws may limit your understanding of the law.

How Should You React To A Florida Traffic Ticket?

You must first consider the points linked to your ticket and the financial repercussions of taking the points.

There are two reasons why points are crucial:

For every moving offense committed in Florida, you receive points. Your insurance rates will typically increase between 10% and 25 percent for three years if you have any issues with your driving record.

A license suspension may occur if you earn too many points. Three years later, facts are recorded on your record.

In Florida, clients who receive a traffic ticket have a few options. The option that is ideal for you will vary depending on the situation. If you get access for driving too fast, you can:

• Pay the citation;
• Attending traffic school will result in a lower fine;
• To contest the citation, appear in court.

Option 1: Pay the entire fine and accept the points.

If you choose this course of action, you will have 30 days to pay the fine. Furthermore, while you are exempt from appearing in traffic court, you are automatically found “guilty” if you do not “elect” to do the 4-hour BDI/Defensive Driver Improvement Course. The points associated with the citation remain on your driving record for 36 months.

Option 2: “Elect” to enroll in a defensive driving course and receive zero points

Choose defensive driving or traffic school within 30 days of receiving your citation. This will let the court know that you’ll be: registering for your 4-hour DDS class at a recognized institution like Nations.

There is no need to appear in court or retain legal representation, and there won’t be any points added to your record.

An 18 percent discount will be applied to your fine.

Florida provides you with an additional incentive to choose the DDS option. Attending a defensive driving course is required by state law, so your insurance provider cannot charge you more or decline to renew your policy if there is no accident.

Option 3: Attend traffic court.

The county should be notified immediately after receiving your citation if you want to attend traffic court. On the scheduled day of your arraignment, you will be able to enter a plea of “Not Guilty,” “Guilty,” or “No Contest.”

When you are arraigned and choose to enter a “Not Guilty” plea, you frequently return to court on a different day so that the judge can hear your and the law enforcement officer’s testimony.

Content provided by The Weekly Driver News Service and additional news sources.

Article Last Updated: November 1, 2022.

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