Saint Augustine And Jacksonville Attorney Maria Rogers Discusses Uniform Traffic Citations And Their Effect On Your License
For most Florida residents, their only encounter with law enforcement is when they are being issued a traffic citation. The truth of the matter is that even the most conscientious drivers in northeast Florida don’t always consistently operate their vehicles within the limits of the law. Whether you were issued a citation by Florida Highway Patrol, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, or St. Augustine Police Department, you need to act quickly to protect your Florida driver’s license.
Maintaining a Valid License
When you are issued a traffic citation by a police officer, you have thirty days to notify the respective county’s clerk of the courts of your intention to pay the fine, attend driving school, or fight the citation in court. If you fail to make a selection or pay the fine, your driver’s license will be suspended. To reinstate your license, you or your attorney will have to pay the original fine plus late penalties before you can receive a D-6 clearance to have your license reinstated. Many Florida drivers—particularly those who aren’t represented by a traffic citation lawyer—make the mistake of assuming that the D-6 clearance reinstates their Florida driver’s licenses. However, once your license has been suspended, you must obtain a new physical license before your driving privileges are restored.
How Do Points Affect My License?
Every time that you receive a citation, points are added to your license. For most moving violations, three or four points are assessed for each citation issued. If you accrue twelve points in a twelve-month period, your license will be suspended for thirty days. Penalties increase to a three-month suspension for eighteen points in eighteen months, or a year suspension for thirty-six points within three years. Once your license has been suspended for excessive points, you will have to serve the suspension, obtain a D-6 clearance, and then have your Florida driver’s license reinstated. In addition to suspension, insurance companies frequently raise the premiums on clients who accrue points via citations.
The Benefits of Hiring a Traffic Attorney
Even a single ticket can affect your driving record and increase your insurance premiums. Fortunately, there are many attorneys in Jacksonville and Saint Augustine who specialize in traffic law. Oftentimes, a Florida traffic lawyer can negotiate with the court to get them to drop the points in exchange for a “no contest” plea. Sometimes—depending on the circumstances of the stop—your attorney can have the charges completely dismissed. In most cases, a traffic lawyer can represent you in court without you having to even be there.
If you’ve been issued a citation in Jacksonville, Saint Augustine, Duval County, or Saint Johns County, you have thirty days to act. Consider contacting a qualified traffic citation attorney to help you avoid points, suspensions, and insurance rate hikes.