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Traffic Matters

Speeding Ticket | Careless Driving | DWI | DUI | Driving With a Suspended License | Illegal Turns | Illegal Passing | Uninsured | No License | DMV Motor Vehicle Points | License Loss or Suspension | Traffic Ticket Insurance Surcharges

For most people, driving a vehicle is a necessary freedom. Our goal is to minimize the impact of a traffic violation on your record and protect your right to drive. Many people do not realize that most serious traffic violations are actually criminal offenses. In some cases, what a driver believed was simply a traffic ticket can turn out to have lasting effects on their personal freedom. Many traffic offenses can lead to serious punishment, such as jail time, in addition to substantial fines.

Even if the fine associated with an offense seems minor, when you simply pay a fine, you are pleading guilty to the offense which has many ramifications most people only learn of too late. First of all, most guilty pleas to a motor vehicle offense result in significantly higher insurance premiums for years to come, often several times the cost of not only the original ticket, but also much more than the attorney fee you could have paid in an attempt to avoid that outcome. And furthermore, many individuals do not realize that their are tools provided within the law that can often be utilized to avoid “points” on your license which can protect a driver both from the several possible ramifications of a damaged driver’s record, but also from receiving increased insurance premiums.

If you have been charged with any type of driving violation, from speeding to reckless driving, you need the representation of a lawyer who is experienced in handling traffic violations. I have defended many hundreds of traffic violations, and I can help you successfully navigate the criminal justice system. It is a definitive advantage to have an attorney at your side through all Court proceedings and hearings. Representation involves a thorough investigation of your case, speaking with witnesses, pursuing available discovery, and formulating a strategy of defense for you. If you received a ticket or other charges, you need an attorney to advise you of your options and to work with you to achieve a just resolution of the situation you are facing.

Reasons Your license can be SUSPENDED in Florida:

• Make a fraudulent driver license application.

• Are convicted in a traffic court and the court orders that your license be suspended.

• Refuse to take a test to show if you are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

• Misuse a restricted license.

• Earn a certain number of points for traffic offenses on the point system.

• Break a traffic law and fail to pay your fine or appear in court as directed.

• Fail to pay child support.

• Fail to carry insurance on your vehicle.

• Fail to stop for a school bus.

• Use tobacco if you are under age.

• Commit Retail theft.

• Education Non-Compliance (School Dropout)

Reasons your license must be REVOKED if you are found guilty:

• Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances.

• A felony in which a motor vehicle is used.

• Not stopping to give help when the vehicle you are driving is involved in a crash causing death or personal injury.

• Lying about the ownership or operation of motor vehicles.

• Three cases of reckless driving within one year. Forfeiting bail and not going to court to avoid being convicted of reckless driving counts

the same as a conviction.

• An immoral act in which a motor vehicle was used.

• Three major offenses or 15 offenses for which you receive points within a 5-year period.

• A felony for drug possession.

• Vision worse than the standard minimum requirements.

• Racing on the highway.

(A court may also order that your license be revoked for certain other traffic offenses.)

Cancellation – If your license was issued because of a mistake or fraud (giving false information or identification), it will be cancelled.

FLORIDA Driver Point System Violation points (Same whether received in or out of State)

• Leaving the scene of a crash resulting in property damage of more than $50 = 6

• Unlawful speed resulting in an crash = 6

• Reckless driving = 4

• Any moving violation resulting in a crash = 4

• Passing a stopped school bus = 4

• Driving during restricted hours = 3

• Unlawful speed – 15 MPH or less over lawful or posted speed = 3

• Unlawful speed – 16 MPH or more over lawful or posted speed = 4

• Unlawful speed – 50 MPH or more over lawful or posted speed = 4 PLUS) The fine for exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 mph is $1,000 for the first offense and $2,500 for the second AND may also include license suspension.

• Violation of traffic control signal/sign/device (red lights) = 4 (BUT if camera-enforced, no points assessed)

(People often ask what a Red Arrow means. Just like a red light, come to a complete stop at the marked stop line or before moving into the crosswalk or intersection. After stopping, you may turn right on a red arrow at most intersections if the way is clear. Some intersections display a “NO TURN ON RED” sign, which you must obey. Left turns on a red arrow from a one-way street into a one-way street are also allowed.)

• All other moving violations (including parking on a highway outside the limits of municipalities) = 3

• Violation of curfew = 3

• Open container as an operator = 3

• Child restraint violation = 3

*The driver receives the same number of points listed if the conviction occurs out-of-state or in a federal court.

**Fines are doubled when infractions occur within a school zone or construction zone, with possible civil penalties up to $1,000 and can be required to complete driving school course.)

Number of points for FL license Suspension:

Not more than:

12 points within a 12-month period = 30 days

18 points within a 18-month period = 3 months

24 points within a 36-month period = 1 year

In computing points or suspensions, the offense dates of convictions are used. Three (3) points will be deducted if a person whose driving privilege has been suspended only once under the point system has then been reinstated, if such person has complied with all other requirements.

NOTE: A point suspension does not prohibit these convictions from being used to accumulate additional suspensions or revocations.

Mandatory Restriction for Minor Drivers:

Any driver under the age of 18 who accumulates six or more points within a 12 month period is automatically restricted for one year to driving for “Business Purposes ONLY. If additional points are accumulated the restriction is extended for 90 days for every additional point received.

Time Restrictions for Minor Drivers:

A licensed driver (Class E or higher) who is under the age of 17 may not operate a motor vehicle between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., unless accompanied by a driver who is 21 years of age or older and holds a valid driver license (Class E or higher), or the operator is driving to or from work.

A licensed driver (Class E or higher) who is 17 years of age may not operate a motor vehicle between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., unless accompanied by a driver who is 21 years of age or older and holds a valid driver license (Class E or higher), or the operator is driving to and from work.

Zero Tolerance for Minor aged Driver who consumed Alcohol:

Any driver under 21 years of age who is stopped by law enforcement and has a breath or blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their driving privilege suspended for 6 months.

Any driver under 21 with a breath or blood alcohol level of .05 or higher is required to attend a substance abuse course. An evaluation will be completed and parents or legal guardians will be notified of the results for all drivers under the age of 19.

Any driver who has a breath or blood alcohol level of .08 or higher can be convicted for driving under the influence (DUI). If the driver refuses to take a test, his or her driving privilege is automatically suspended for one year.

DUI – Driving While Under the Influence

Penalties for DUI (Including previous DWI and DUBAL convictions)

First Conviction:

Fine $500-$1,000, with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000

Community Service 50 hours

Probation Not more than 1 year

Imprisonment Not more than 6 months; with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months

License Revocation Minimum 180 days

DUI School 12 hours DUI School Requirement Evaluation conducted to determine need for treatment

Ignition Interlock Device Up to 6 continuous months

Second Offense/Conviction

Fine $1,000-$2000, with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not less than $2000 or more than $4000

Imprisonment Not more than 9 months; 2nd conviction within 5 years, 10 days in jail, 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive

License Revocation Minimum 180 days; 2nd offense within 5 years OF first conviction; 5 year revocation

DUI School 21 hours DUI School Requirement Evaluation conducted to determine need for treatment

Ignition Interlock Device Minimum of 1 year

Third Offense/Conviction:

Fine $2,000-$5,000, with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not less than $4,000

Imprisonment Not more than 12 months; 3rd conviction within 10 years, mandatory 30 days in jail; 48 hours must be consecutive

License Revocation Minimum 180 days; 3rd offense within 10 years after second conviction; 10 year revocation

DUI School 21 hours DUI School Requirement Evaluation conducted to determine need for treatment

Ignition Interlock Device Minimum of 2 years

Fourth or More Conviction:

Fine Not less than $1000

Imprisonment Not more than 5 years

License Revocation Permanent revocation

Ignition Interlock Device Five years

Many Drivers are simply unaware of their obligations and safety requirements of sharing the road with bicyclists. They endanger themselves and others by simply not realizing that bicycling is a viable, healthy and preferred mode of transportation both for the environment and for the individuals who bicycle. Today a majority of bicycles are even called “Road Bikes” and designed only to be driven on roads. So remember that bicyclists are SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE ROAD (not on a sidewalk). Unfortunately, sometimes bicyclists are unpredictable or unable to react as quickly as a car, so follow the LAW and always try to maintain a safe distance of three (3) feet. Be patient and exercise caution when passing a bicycle. “Just squeezing through” is a violation of the maintaining three feet clearance LAW and very unsafe. See what the Florida drivers manual states below in simple terms about bicycles on the road:


5.17 – Bicyclists

In Florida, the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle. Bicyclists using a public roadway are considered operators of motor vehicles and are responsible for observing traffic laws. Bicyclists may generally operate legally on sidewalks (except by local ordinance). They may operate in either direction, though riding against the flow of traffic on the adjacent roadway places them where motorists are not expecting traffic. Generally, sidewalk bicycling is not recommended, due to the usual increase in conflicts with bicycles and motor vehicles at driveways and intersections.” (EMPHASIS ADDED)

5.17.1 – Bike Lanes at Intersections

“Slow down, look for and yield to any bicyclists in the bike lane. Signal your turn prior to crossing through the bike lane at the dashed striping. Yield to any bicyclist. Complete the turn from the designated right turn lane. If there is no right turn lane, after first checking to make sure that no bicyclists are present, you may merge into the bike lane at approaches to the intersection or driveway.” (EMPHASIS ADDED)

5.17.2 – Sharing the Road with a Bicycle

• “Allow a minimum of three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist and reduce your speed. On a two lane road, time your pass to not be next to the bicyclist at the same time as oncoming traffic is at the same location.” (EMPHASIS ADDED)

• At night, avoid using high beam headlights when a cyclist is approaching. The cyclist could be temporarily blinded.

• Do not follow a cyclist closely. If you are too close and the cyclist must slow suddenly in an emergency, you could run them over.

• Bicyclists are entitled to move away from the right side of a lane when that lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. Most travel lanes in Florida range from 10’ to 12’ wide and guidance indicates that a 14’ lane is a width that allows safe sharing with most motor vehicles. Wet roads impair a bicyclist’s ability to brake and maneuver. Potholes or railroad tracks often require bicyclists to change positions within their lane. When railroad tracks are skewed (at an angle), the bicyclist must change directions in order to cross over the tracks at a ninety- degree angle or risk a fall.

The Florida Driver’s Manual also has regulations for bicyclists to obey:


7.11 – Bicycles

Persons riding bicycles or mopeds on a roadway have the same rights (with certain exceptions) and duties as motor vehicle drivers and may be ticketed for traffic violations. You should know and obey these laws:

• Bicyclists must obey all traffic controls and signals.

• An adult bicyclist may carry a child in a backpack or sling, child seat or trailer designed to carry children.

• You may not allow a passenger to remain in a child seat or carrier when you are not in immediate control of the bicycle.

• Bicyclists and passengers under age 16 are required to wear helmets approved by ANSI, Snell or other standard helmets recognized by Florida. (Bicycle helmets are recommended for all ages)

• Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake or brakes which allow the bicyclist to stop within 25 feet when traveling from a speed of 10 miles per hour on a dry, level, clean pavement.

• A bicyclist on a sidewalk or crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing.

• Keep at least one hand on the handlebars.

• On the roadway, check behind you before changing lanes.

• For use between sunset and sunrise, a bicycle must be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from 500 feet to the front and both a red reflector and a lamp on the rear exhibiting a red light visible from 600 feet to the rear.

• If you are not traveling at the speed of other traffic, stay on the right-most portion of the roadway except when passing, making a left turn, avoiding hazards or when a lane is too narrow for you and a car to share it safely.

• When operating a bicycle on a one-way street with two or more traffic lanes, you may ride as close to the left-hand edge of the roadway as practicable.

If you intend to make a left turn, you are entitled to full use of the lane from which the turn is made.

• In addition to the normal vehicular-style left turn, you may proceed through the right-most portion of the intersection and turn as close to the curb or edge as possible at the far side. After complying with any official traffic control device, you may proceed in the new direction of travel.

• Signal your intent to turn to other vehicle operators by pointing in the direction you are going to turn.

• Do not wear headphones or any other listening device except a hearing aid while bicycling.

• Do not ride a bicycle when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Contact Us

East Coast Law P.A.

A FL, NJ & NY Law Firm

FLORIDA Main Office
1900 S. Harbor City Blvd.
Suite 315
Melbourne, FL 32901
Ph: (321) 984-4100
Fax: (888) 471-5693

New Jersey
475 Wall St.
Princeton, NJ 08540
Ph. (609) 921-0033
Fax: (609) 921-8668

New York
130 Malcolm X Blvd.
Suite 1107
New York, NY 11026
Ph. (212) 729-9987
Fax: (888) 471-5693