A. General Questions
1. What are my options if I get a Traffic Ticket?
You have 30 days to elect to: (1) HIRE A LAWYER to fight your speeding ticket, (2) pay your ticket and GET POINTS; (3) elect driving school; or (4) plead not guilty yourself.
2. What happens if I pay my traffic ticket?
Points will be assessed against your license and your auto insurance rates are almost certain to increase. Your auto insurance may also be cancelled if you simply pay a traffic citation.
3. Are there any other disadvantages of paying the ticket?
The State of Florida keeps track of the number of points on your license. If these points exceed a certain number within a certain period of time, your license will be suspended.
4. Are there limits on the driving school election?
Under Florida law, you can make this election only five times in ten years. You cannot attend driving school within 12 months of your last attendance, when electing the driving school option, nor can you attend traffic school if you have a CDL license or you were going 30+ miles over the speed limit. Thus, before you go to driving school, you should call us.
5. Are there any other disadvantages of the driving school election?
You must complete a 4-hour, 8-hour or 12-hour class and provide proof of completion within the time constraints imposed by the Clerk of Court in the county where you receive the citation. A registration fee is required by the traffic school. Also, by electing driving school you may fail to take advantage of legal defenses that may result in the dismissal of your ticket or a finding of not guilty. So call us before you sign up for traffic school.
6. If I plead not guilty, can I fight the ticket on my own, without an attorney?
Yes. However, you will be required to take time off from work/school or your other activities to appear in court, possibly on more than one occasion. Even if you have a lot of free time and you are interested in representing yourself, there are many fine points of law and legal procedure with which you are probably unaware. Not knowing any one of these points can make the difference between having your ticket dismissed and being found guilty and getting points. It’s been said that “he who represents himself has a fool for a client”. So call the traffic ticket team before you go to court.
7. What are some advantages of hiring a lawyer to fight my ticket?
For non-criminal traffic infractions (such as speeding, running a red light, etc.), you will not be required to appear in court. We will appear for you. We use the law and legal procedures to attempt to get all tickets dismissed. Jason Diamond has practiced law in Florida since 1995 and the Traffic Ticket Team has been in the business of fighting traffic tickets since 2000 and we have handled over 1,000,000 tickets to date. While we can’t guarantee your ticket will be dismissed, we can greatly increase the odds in your favor.
8. How much do you charge?
Our fees start as low as $5 for certain non-criminal violations (court costs and fines, if any, are additional) and most moving violations cost $69. If you have received more than one ticket arising out of the same incident, we generally discount additional citations after the primary citation. Fees vary depending on the type of violation and county in which it was received. We will match any local price. If you receive driving school or points, we will refund your attorney’s fee in full (this money-back guarantee does not apply if you have received one or more moving violations within the past 2 years or for criminal cases of accidents or certain speeding tickets, ask for details). We accept all major credit cards. If you want us to contest the ticket or you just want traffic ticket information, please call Jason A. Diamond or go to our web site www.trafficticketteam.com.
9. How can I get a free consultation?
Submit your information for an online consultation by filling the quick contact form. An attorney will contact you as soon as possible. You can also call our office at (954) 967-9888. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
10. Will I have to travel to your office?
If you decide to hire us, it can be handled on the phone. You can fax or mail us a copy of your ticket and provide us with your credit card information or send us a check. When you have paid our fee, we’ll provide you with legal representation.
11. I sent in my plea of not guilty via mail, almost 2 weeks ago, and online it still says must comply by tomorrow; how can I verify that they received my plea before the comply by date?
You can call or visit the clerk’s office. Provide them with the citation number, and they can tell you whether your plea was received. Our office files pleas with the clerk’s office in person, and we always obtain a date stamp on our copy of the plea. That way, there is no question that we filed the plea in a timely manner. If your plea was lost and you are unable to rectify the problem before the comply by date, you will need to pay a late fee and possibly a reinstatement fee if your license was suspended.
12. What is a criminal traffic or misdemeanor charge?
A criminal traffic or misdemeanor charge requires a court appearance and carries with it criminal penalties which may include a fine and/or the possibility of a jail term. These include reckless driving, driving under the influence DUI or DWI, racing, etc. In many instances, the police will arrest you for these traffic criminal violations.
13. What is a civil traffic infraction?
A civil traffic infraction is a non-criminal charge such as a speeding violation, that can usually be disposed of by payment of a civil penalty or an election to attend a defensive driving school course. A court appearance is not required, except in cases were the violation involves an accident, excessive speed, accident with serious bodily injury or fatality to another.
14. What happens if the ticket is not paid or I do not hire a lawyer to fight back for me?
A suspension will be entered against your driver’s license which could affect your insurance rates and subject you to additional penalties.
15. What Can a Traffic Ticket Attorney Do For You?
If you get a traffic ticket, a defense attorney can appear for you at a hearing, challenge the law enforcement officer to prove the infraction beyond a reasonable doubt, and minimize the damage to your driving record by requesting that no points be assessed by the court. As your traffic ticket attorneys, we may be able to get the court to allow you to take a driving school option when you are ineligible by statute, either due to a recent driving school election or because the maximum school allowance has been surpassed. We also plea bargain with the Judge for the best result.
16. If I’m guilty, why not just pay the fine?
Regardless of whether or not you are guilty of exceeding the speed limit by a few miles, it isn’t fair for you to have to pay $300 – $1,000 price tag! When you add the raised insurance premiums, you stand to lose a lot of money. It’s in your best financial interest to fight all traffic tickets… guilty or not!
17. What happens if I ignore the ticket?
If it’s for a moving violation such as speeding, ignoring it may result in a suspended license and/or a bench warrant being issued for your arrest. This is true even if you got the ticket outside of your home state.
18. Must I sign my speeding ticket?
Simply signing your speeding ticket is not an admission of guilt. You are only promising to show up in court at the assigned date and time. Your signature acts as your Own Recognizance bond. You should never refuse to sign a speeding ticket. In most places you can be arrested. Just sign the ticket and let us try to beat the ticket in court.
19. Will mistakes on my ticket automatically dismiss my case?
This is a very popular misconception. Although the ‘right’ mistakes on a ticket do have the power to have it dismissed, most mistakes don’t. Things like misspelled names, a slight variation of color written down for your vehicle, and similar mistakes will not have a bearing on the case. The right mistakes are what the court calls ‘fatal flaws’ on a ticket.
20. If I get a ticket out-of-state, will my home state find out about it?
There is something called the Driver’s License Compact which is an agreement between states to share driving record information with one another. So, getting a ticket in Texas will more than likely show up in New York and vice versa. However, although that is the case, there is always the slight possibility that it won’t. There are currently 5 states which do not share information with the rest of the country. They are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. So, if you get a ticket in one of these states, chances are your home state will not find out about it.
21. If I prove my speedometer was defective, can I win my case?
No. Even if you can “prove” your speedometer was faulty, the courts would accept it as mitigating circumstances at best. You will still be found guilty of the charge. Call us to try and beat the speeding ticket for you.
22. What is a moving violation?
A moving violation occurs whenever a traffic law is violated by a vehicle in motion. Some examples of moving violations are speeding, running a stop sign or red light, and drunk driving. A non-moving violation, by contrast, is usually related to parking or faulty equipment. Examples include parking in front of a fire hydrant, parking in a no-parking zone, parking in front of an expired meter, and excessive muffler noise.
23. Can a police officer issue a traffic ticket outside his jurisdiction?
If the violation took place within his jurisdiction the answer is yes. If the violation took place outside his jurisdiction the answer is less clear. There may be interagency agreements that allow police to exercise their authority outside their jurisdictions. There may also be state laws that allow inter-jurisdictional enforcement actions. One point to remember, the officer that observed the violation and issued the citation is the only person that can testify against you. The likelihood that an out-of-area officer would appear to testify against you at your trial is somewhat remote.
24. Does the officer have to show his radar reading if asked?
This is not required in any jurisdiction. Also, whether the officer allows you to see the speed reading has virtually no bearing on your case. So, why even ask?
25. Is my driver’s license good in every state?
Yes, you can travel the country from top to bottom and not have to deal with any legal issues concerning your state’s driver’s license. However, if you make a permanent move to any other state your license was not issued in, you have a legal responsibility to go to a DMV in your new state and get a new driver’s license. WARNING! If you are a teenager and you are crossing into state lines, beware! Not all states have the same legal age to drive. In one state the legal age may be 17 and in another it may be 18. If you are 17 traveling to another state where the legal age is 18, they may not accept your driver’s license. If you will be doing some state to state travel, contact those state’s DMV’s and ask what the legal age is to drive there and if they will honor your driver’s license if you are under their legal limit.
26. Can the police search my car during a traffic stop?
Generally, no. However, due to the mobility of cars, time does not permit a search warrant to be obtained. As a result, vigilant police are motivated to search suspicious automobiles. However, the police officer must have probable cause to believe that contraband is concealed somewhere. In essence, merely being stopped for speeding should not allow the officer to search your car; however, if the officer saw you throw an empty beer can out the window that may be sufficient probable cause to search your car. Or, if the officer smells marijuana as he approaches the car, he may have a reasonable suspicion to search. It is unreasonable to make a search of an automobile when the arrest is for a minor traffic violation (like speeding), as a subterfuge for a search for evidence of a serious crime. Yet, the many automobile exceptions are based on the lower expectation to the right of privacy in a car versus a home and the fact that cars are mobile and evidence can be more readily disposed.
B. D.U.I. Questions
1. Should I allow the Police to search my car when I get a DUI Ticket?
Absolutely not! Never consent to a search of your vehicle when you get pulled over for a DUI (driving under the influence). If the police want to search your car, they can do so with the aid of a trained dog which can search for drugs. The search of your vehicle is only valid IF they can get the dog to the scene within the same time period as it would take for the police to write a traffic ticket. This time has been determined by case law to be about 20 – 30 minutes. If it takes longer, which it usually does, then anything found as a result of the search will be suppressed and unavailable for the State to be used against you at your trial. If you are arrested for DUI, they will probably search your car after it’s towed for “inventory” purposes and any contrabad they find will be used against you, but never consent or it will be very difficult to suppress anything they find in a DUI or drug arrest.
2. Should I tell the Police I did it when I have been drinking alcohol or I know I might be DUI?
Never talk to the police without an attorney. You are guaranteed a Constitutional right to silence when asked questions by the police. USE THAT RIGHT! Asking for an attorney will force the police to stop any questioning, and even if they ask you something after you have asked for your attorney, that information will be suppressed and not available for the State to use against you at trial. This is especially important for DUI cases and Drug cases. Once you admit you had a few drinks, you can assume the police, and ultimately a jury, will hear this and assume a few means a lot. In many jurisdictions, everything you say is being recorded by the microphone on the police officers shirt and there is a camera on his dashboard video taping you. Always assume you are on stage and act accordingly. Especially in drunk driving (DUI) cases.
3. Should I take the Breath Test when I get Pulled Over for a DUI?
That depends… by not taking the breath test your license to drive can be suspended for ONE year, but if you have a prior refusal, then your license can be suspended for ONE AND A HALF YEARS and this in and of itself is a crime (misdemeanor). However, even if your license is suspended, you may be able to get a business purposes license if you do not have any prior DUI convictions. A business purposes only license would entitle you to go everywhere but the beach and the bars. BUT, by taking the breath test and failing it, that is a .08% breath alcohol or greater, then your license is suspended anyway, PLUS the State now has really good evidence that they WILL use against you to prove that you were driving drunk driving. So, if you think that you might blow over the .08 percent of alcohol limit, and you have no prior DUI’s, perhaps it might be better not to take the breath test.
4. Should I do the physical exercises if I am stopped for a DUI?
First ask yourself this question: “Did I know how to dance before I practiced?” These exercises are not for everyone. But, if you are good at Olympic sports, snowboarding, surfing, blind dancing, and can find your way in the dark with your eyes closed, then try these exercises. Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect; but, when it comes to the DUI field sobriety tests, there really is no way to practice. Of course its best not to drink and drive at all, but if you do find yourself getting arrested or a ticket for DUI, please call us for a free consultation.
5. Is any Realistic Hope of Winning the DUI Case?
The short answer is that yes, cases are won all the time. Many cases are won in the pretrial investigation state before ever going before a jury. A good Florida DUI defense lawyer will investigate all of the facts of the case to determine where the weaknesses are, and then develop the case from those points. It is often a DUI defense lawyer’s discovery of issues in a Florida DUI case that brings the prosecutors to the plea bargaining table. If you haven’t already, consult with a lawyer to determine what defenses might be available in your case that could cause a favorable, non-DUI, plea bargain, or result in victory through litigation or trial.
6. I Just Got Arrested for DUI, Can I Drive?
The answer to whether you can drive immediately following an arrest for DUI in Florida is tricky. As a general rule, most people have 10 days from the date that their FL DUI citation is issued to drive. However, there are other factors that may negate this information. For example, was your license suspended for another reason? Has a Florida judge ordered you not to drive? We highly recommend that you immediately consult with a DUI Lawyer to get the correct answer as it applied to your individual case.
7. What Impact will a DUI Conviction Have on My Insurance Rates?
Let’s face it. DUI convictions are not good. Insurance companies don’t like to insure people with excessive speeding violations, let alone with drunk driving convictions. In Florida, the normal “laws of gravity” concerning insurance rates after a Florida DUI apply. As a general rule, you should expect to see increased insurance rates for three to five years following a conviction for a Florida DUI. How much is less clear. Since insurance rates are dictated for the most, there is no easy way to predict future insurance rates. The following are some factors that insurance companies take into account: Your sex; Your age; Your driving history; Your education; Your credit score. Other factors may include your history of business and/or claims with the company, including other business that the company may lose from you if they greatly increase your insurance rates after your Florida DUI.
8. Where can and can’t I drive on a DUI Permit?
In general, the following a permissible uses of a Florida DUI license suspension permit: – Driving between work and home; – Driving between school and home; – Driving to medical appointments; – Driving to appointments with your DUI lawyer; – Driving to religious services/ceremonies; – Driving to fulfill other family and personal needs. You should not assume that anything is included in your FL DUI driving permit. Instead, we highly recommend that you seek the advice of an experienced DUI Lawyer who will guide you through the process and make sure that you have all of the information necessary to succeed with your permit.
9. I got a DUI on Vacation; Will I lose my license in my home state?
If you are one of the many hundreds of people who are arrested for a Florida DUI while on vacation, there is no easy answer to your question. Florida is a member of the Interstate Motor Vehicle Driver’s License Compact, which means that they share information on drivers with most other states. If you receive a license suspension in Florida based on your FL DUI, there is a good chance that Florida’s DMV will report it to your home state. Assuming that this happens, the question then becomes what will your home state do with that information. The best advice is to have your Lawyer check with an your state to make an educated guess as to what you will face.