Columbia County is in North Florida. It shares a border with Georgia. It has a population of approximately 70,000 residents. The county’s city seat is Lake City, Florida. Osceola Nature Preserve and Ichetucknee Nature Park are located in the county as well. Lake City has a farmers market, a historical museum, and a golf course that has good reviews. The county’s location puts it directly in the middle of the state where it has Interstate 75, Interstate 10, US 41, US 90, US 27, and other state roads that cross it. These roads are patrolled by local law enforcement. These agencies are Columbia County Sheriff’s Department, Lake City Police Department, and Florida Highway Patrol. These agencies can issue citations of two different types: criminal and civil.
Criminal infractions require a hearing before a judge or magistrate. At these hearings, you, your Lake City Speeding Ticket Lawyer should you decide to hire one, any witnesses, and the judge or magistrate presiding over the case will be present. You can then tell the judge what happened and defend your case and your rights. A Lake City Traffic Attorney can outline your case for you, give you ideas of possible defenses, tell you about likely outcomes (both favorable and not favorable) and present your case to the judge for you. Criminal infractions also have higher penalties, these include: probation, points assessed on your license, license suspension, even jail time are possibilities.
Civil infractions do not require a hearing; however, you may elect to have one. One of the options upon getting a civil citation is to elect to have a hearing so the judge or magistrate can hear your side of the case. Civil violations include: careless driving, failure to stop or yield at the traffic signal, unlawful speed, among other violations. By electing to going to a hearing, you are subject to being found guilty of the charge, which would require the payment of additional court costs and fees. You need to notify the Clerk of the Court in writing that you are electing to have a hearing within thirty (30) days of the citation. The Clerk will give you a court date for you to attend. The Clerk of the Court and all hearings are located at the courthouse: 173 NE Hernando Avenue, Lake City, Florida 32055. At the hearing, you, your Columbia County Traffic attorney, any witnesses, the citation issuing officer, and a judge or magistrate may be present. You or your attorney may present your case with the applicable defenses. You can also elect to simply pay the fine. Your other options involve payment of a fine or fee. You may elect to pay the fine or fee by simply mailing your payment to the Clerk of the Court within thirty (30) days of the citation. Also, you can elect to take the Driver Improvement Course approved by the State. You would need to send in your election to take the course within the thirty (30) day period with a fee of seven dollars ($7) and an affidavit. You will need to complete the course, presenting your certificate of completion, within ninety (90) days of the citation. This will keep points from being assessed on your license.
Points on your license may be assessed to the according schedule:
|3||Littering, Speeding 15 miles per hour or less over the speed limit, child restraint violations|
|4||Passing a stopped school bus, reckless driving, speeding 16 miles per hour or more over the speed limit|
|6||Leaving the scene of an accident (<$50 damage) or Speeding resulting in a collision|
Assessed points can result in higher insurance premiums or a license suspension. If your insurance company determines that you are a “high risk” driver in their sole discretion, you may be required to carry a SR-22 policy. These policies cost upward of four (4) times as much as safe driver insurance premiums. Accrued points can result in a license suspension. Twelve (12) points in twelve (12) months can result in a one month suspension. Eighteen (18) points in a year and a half may result in three months. Twenty-four (24) points in thirty-six (36) months may result in a year long suspension. Any additional violations may add up to three months of suspension to your license. In the event of a license suspension, you may qualify for a hardship license, which you can use to drive to work and home. There are strict parameters including hours you are not permitted to drive at all in some cases with the hardship license.
If you have gotten a speeding ticket in Columbia County, you should contact your local Lake County Speeding Ticket lawyer today to assist you in educating you about the process, insuring your driving privilege is protected and to offer guidance about how to present your case. You are not alone. Many individuals find themselves faced with both civil and/or criminal citations. Contact your Columbia County Traffic Attorney to get the information you need to protect your rights, not miss any deadlines, and construct a case to present the judge on your case. Protect your rights. Protect your freedoms.