It is not uncommon for me to be inundated with emails and phone calls from people who not only live in Broward County, but those who visit here as well. Many times the tone of those phone calls and emails from visitors is pretty much the same – they’re pissed because their vacations have been ruined due to a jackass cop. Now, I am not saying that all the cops in Broward are jackasses, but there are some who give a general impress as to the mind-set of all of the others. Let’s face it, for anyone who has ever driven a sports car, especially a sports car that is covered under insurance, the allure of being in sunny Broward County while on vacation and driving a flashy car can be overwhelming. What many visitors fail to remember, however, is that they have arrived at Ticket Central. A speeding ticket here can cost you hundreds of dollars and that is just the fine. When you add in court costs and the inevitable insurance rate hike, the cost of those few minutes of fun can become astronomical.
The truth of the matter is that many times, cops are just waiting for just such a driver to go whizzing by him. There are always those cops who see an out-of-state tag or a fancy sports car and view it as an opportunity to harass someone who the cop feels has more money than sense. Sometimes it is hard for them to swallow the fact that some “fat cat” is visiting HIS state and flagrantly ignoring Florida speeding laws. Regrettably, often people just chalk these speeding tickets up to bad luck or just another vacation expense. They figure that they will just pay the ticket and continue on with their vacation. What many drivers often fail to realize is that the costs of a speeding ticket can be a lot higher than just the fine imposed for the speeding violation.
Just paying the speeding ticket will probably cost you between $200 and $500 depending upon the speed you are traveling at the time you get pulled over. Now, I realize that is not an insignificant amount, but the overall costs that you may incur can be much greater. Once you pay the fine for the speeding ticket, you have admitted to guilt in the eyes of the law, and you can anticipate your car insurance premium skyrocketing, so the year after you get a speeding ticket, you can pretty much bet that your insurance is going to increase by at least 20% and maybe even as much as 40%. That’s just for ONE speeding ticket. Even if you can afford that kind of increase, no one wants to pay more for insurance.
Automobile insurance is not the only insurance expense you may incur. An increase in life insurance can also result from paying a speeding ticket. It sounds crazy, but it happens. Insurance premiums are based upon the level of risk the insurance company thinks the insured party represents. A driver who is involved in car accidents or who has points assessed against his license for speeding or any other type of traffic violation represents a greater likelihood that the insurance company will have to pay out on a claim. Likelihood – this is all the insurance carriers need to justify charging higher rates.
Another consideration for those who are visiting Broward County is the Driver License Compact (DLC). This concept is recognized by most states and Florida is one of them. This compact allows for reciprocity of drivers’ information between the states that honor it. That means that any information pertaining to you getting a traffic ticket while in Florida is quite likely to be transmitted to your home state by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Any points that you receive as a result of your Florida traffic ticket will most likely reflect on your license when you return home. The next time you get a ticket in your home state and decide to fight it in court, the judge or hearing officer will see the Florida ticket on your driving record and probably be less sympathetic to your plea for a dismissal or reduction. In fact, knowing that you have received another ticket could cause him to increase the fines and penalties.
REAL LIFE COSTS
Regardless of your field of employment, sometimes getting a traffic ticket can effect your job even if driving is not part of your job. With all of the social media and otherwise interconnectedness that the internet provides, employers not only are able to run a background check on you, but they can also find out information about you through an internet search. Some employers will gladly pay an internet company that provides private facts about people. If they learn something that they find distasteful, they can use it to decide employment eligibility, raises, and so on.
In a position that requires you to drive, such as over-the-road truck driver or taxi driver, a speeding ticket can immediately preclude you from consideration. Even if you hold a position such as this when you incur the traffic ticket, it could be grounds for termination. Employers are liable for any damages or injuries that an employee may cause while carrying out their job responsibilities. One such example is Domino’s Pizza. Some of you may remember that from the late 1970s until the early 1990s, this company’s marketing campaign guaranteed that they would deliver a pizza in 30 minutes or less or the pizza was free. Sadly, a woman was severely injured in 1989 when she was struck by a pizza delivery driver, and then in 1992, another woman was killed by a delivery driver. The injured woman sued the company for millions of dollars. Subsequently, Domino’s ended this campaign in 1993.
As a result of this kind of tragedy, employers pay huge sums of money to cover themselves and their employees. If they employ someone who will be driving as part of their job, they are required to inform the insurance carrier. These insurance companies then run a check on the driving records of employees. If it turns out an employee has a bad driving record and is in a position that requires travel, the insurance company is obviously then going to increase the employer’s premiums because there is a greater risk of loss.
One other consideration that if you don’t address your traffic ticket by fighting it in court and it goes unpaid, it can result in a lien or judgment. If left unsatisfied, this lien or judgment may be reported to credit reporting agencies, which then effects your credit rating. Many times, the amount of interest you pay for a car or credit cards is higher if your credit rating is lower. With all of these negative effects that can occur as the result of a speeding ticket, it is definitely in your best interest to fight your traffic ticket. Give the Traffic Ticket Team a call at 954-967-9888 for your free consultation.
Jason Diamond, Esq. is the Founding Lawyer Partner of the Traffic Ticket Team. His Attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience and have handled over 1,000,000 Florida traffic tickets. As Traffic Ticket Lawyers we have given traffic ticket legal clinic seminars throughout Florida. To find Attorney locations, click HERE. Our traffic tickets are defended in Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach counties and we also fight traffic tickets statewide.