As a traffic ticket attorney, one of the first things that I ask a prospective client who is seeking our services is what does their driving record look like. Many times, in fact usually, the client will respond with something like, “Great,” or “Pretty good.” Now this a suitable place to start, but subsequent questions often reveal that their great driving record may not be so great after all. Just because someone has managed to avoid getting points assessed against his or her license doesn’t necessarily mean that their driving record is in good shape.
If you have gotten any type of traffic ticket, unless there has been a glitch in the Department of Motor Vehicle’s computer system, chances are pretty good that is it still on your driving record. Regardless of whether you just paid the traffic citation because you felt that you were guilty of the infraction, or if you have managed to achieve a favorable outcome when fighting the ticket in court, it never goes away.
I know that this seems like it is extremely unfair. After all, if you paid your ticket or it was dismissed, it has been resolved and you shouldn’t have to continue to worry about it, right? Not really. Unfortunately, the court systems continue to use this information against you for any subsequent traffic tickets you get. If you get the same type of ticket more than once, you start to build the reputation of a possible habitual traffic offender and can be perceived negatively by the court. If you get one or more traffic tickets for varying offenses, you then look like you don’t have any respect for traffic laws and guess what? Yep, your permanent record is used against you anyway
With the development and constant upgrading of the internet, it seems like anyone can find out information about others with little to no effort. Individual information is even more accessible to law enforcement and other government agencies who use it in the course of conducting business, compiling statistics, tracking offenders, et cetera. These offenders don’t necessarily have to all be serious criminals or even criminals at all. Drivers who commit even non-moving violations can be found in databases that can be searched from nearly every corner of the world if the researcher does so under the guise of law enforcement or ‘protecting the common good’. Sadly, this can lead to a tremendous abuse of power by those who chose to manipulate the system. The flow of information is quite often especially easy to obtain for those individuals who are willing to pay certain websites for the personal information of others.
When it comes to traffic citations, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles not only has an extensive database of its own, but has access to DMV databases from across the county. You may live in South Florida, but I can assure you that if you get a moving traffic violation in most other states, thanks to the Driver License Compact agreement, that information will be transmitted back to the Florida DMV via computer. You will then suffer the Florida mandated penalty for the traffic citation, with the exception of the fine, which is paid to the state in which you commit the offense.
This free flow of information by use of the internet is also used by insurance companies. They have access to your driving record too so that they can set insurance rates based upon how big of a loss risk you are as a driver. Fortunately, they cannot legally raise your rates for traffic tickets that don’t result in points on your license, but they certainly use information such as how many tickets you have had or how many accidents you have been involved in to determine your annual premium. There was a time when insurance companies only used at-fault accidents to raise your rates, but that generally is no longer the case.
Just like many indiscretions of youth, your driving record is always going to be hanging over your head which is regrettable because sometimes you truly are not culpable for the traffic violation with which you have been charged. Sometimes a traffic citation results simply from a mistake on the part of the officer who issues it. Yes, even cops make mistakes. Although I cannot clear your permanent record, as an experienced traffic ticket attorney, I can help redirect the focus of how it may reflect upon you. One way of doing so is in finding those mistakes that can be made by law enforcement.
Another factor to consider is that, even with a few flaws on your driving record, sometimes traffic tickets that are fought in court are dismissed. This can be due to some discretionary decision on the behalf of the judge or hearing officer, or great deal of others are dismissed because of the legal wrangling of a good traffic ticket lawyer. Many times, fear of the reprisals associated with dealing with a traffic ticket or just not understanding how the legal system works can cause someone to allow traffic tickets and their associated penalties to compound.
The knowledge that we have gained regarding how to work within the legal system can make the difference between whether you have one more negative mark on your driving record or a dismissal. Even if this is the only traffic citation you have ever received, there is not predicting your future driving circumstances, so it is important to minimize any negative affect is may have on your record.Now that you are armed with the insight of the permanency that traffic tickets have on your driving record, and how easy it is for this information to follow you indefinitely, give us a call for a free consultation at 954-967-9888. Our attorneys can evaluate what the best course of action in creating a defense for you in court. We would very much like to assist you in keeping your insurance rates low and your driving record as clean as possible.