Seat Belt Violations
In May 2009 the Governor of Florida signed the state’s tougher seat belt law giving law enforcement permission to stop vehicles with unbelted front-seat passengers. Florida ranks 35th in the nation in seat-belt usage. Highway Safety experts estimate the law will prevent 1,733 serious injury and save 124 lives on Florida roads each year. The former seat belt law which passed in 1986, allows law enforcement to ticket unbelted front-seat adult occupants only after the vehicle was stopped for a moving violation.
Minors can be stopped and ticketed under both the new and the old law. The law allows for a $30 fine plus court and administrative costs. The new law takes effect June 30, 2009 and is named after Dori Slosberg, the 14-year-old daughter of a former Boca Raton state representative killed in a car crash in 1996, and Katie Marchetti, a 16-year-old Brandon resident killed in a 2006 car crash. NHTSA research shows 61 percent of the 1,201 people killed in automobile accidents in Florida in 2007 were not wearing seat belts.
Not wearing a seat belt is not a moving violation so you should just pay the ticket, but if you get any other moving violation ticket with it, please call us to fight both. Call us at (866) 433-3363 for your fast, free, and no obligation phone consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
A suspension will be entered against your driver’s license which could affect your insurance rates and subject you to additional penalties.
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.
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.