Duval County is located in northwest Florida. The major city is Jacksonville. The county is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, has many riverfront properties, and remains a popular city for tourism in the state. The county has a population of approximately 900,000 people. The county is comprised of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Baldwin. The local law enforcement agencies are Jacksonville Police Department, Atlantic Beach Police Department, Neptune Beach Police Department, Baldwin Police Department, Duval County Sheriff’s Office, and Florida Highway Patrol.
The local police departments can issue two types of citations: criminal and civil citations. Criminal citations require a hearing before a judge or magistrate. At the hearing, you, our Duval County Traffic Attorney, any witnesses, the arresting or citation issuing officer, and the Duval County judge or magistrate presiding over the case may be present at the hearing. The penalties for criminal citations include probation, possible jail time, community service, drug and alcohol treatment programs, among other penalties. Criminal violations, of course, have higher penalties that are imposed for violations to the law. Criminal violations include Driving under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Driving with a Suspended License, Driving with a Revoked License, among many other criminal violations.
Civil citations have other penalties and require other methods to rectify them. Civil violations include careless driving, failure to stop or yield at a traffic signal, failure to yield the right of way, unlawful speed, among other civil violations. For a civil citation, there are three options. The first option is to pay the citation and accept the points on your license. The second option is to pay the citation and elect to take a driver improvement course. There are limitations on how many times you can take the driver improvement course. You can only take it one time every twelve (12) months and five (5) times over the course of a lifetime. The course is approximately four (4) hours long. It is available online, in person in a classroom setting, and on DVD or video. The course will keep points off of your license. You will need to elect to take the course within thirty (30) days of the citation and notify the Clerk of Court. You will then need to take the course within sixty (60) days. Upon completing the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion, which you will need to file with the Clerk of the Court. The Clerk of the Court’s address is: 501 West Adams Street, Jacksonville, Florida. The third option is to contest the ticket completely. This means that you must alert the Clerk of the Court within thirty (30) days of the citation. They will give you a hearing date. At the hearing, you, your Jacksonville Speeding Ticket Lawyer, any witnesses, the citation issuing officer, and the judge or magistrate presiding over your case. The judge will determine your level of guilt or innocence and determine if you need to pay the fine or fee and if any points are assessed on your license.
Points are important to keep off of your license because there are two major hardships that may result: increase in insurance premiums and possible license suspension. Insurance premiums will go up if your insurance company determines that you are a “high risk” driver. The premiums can be up to four (4) times as much as safe driver insurance. The insurance company can deem you to be a “high risk” driver in their sole discretion. Also, points on your license can result in your license being possibly suspended. If you get twelve (12) points in one year, your license may be suspended for one month. If you receive eighteen (18) points in a year and half, your license may be suspended three months. If you accrue twenty-four (24) points in three years, your license may be suspended one entire year. Any additional points, your license may be suspended for an additional three months on top of the suspension you already have.
Points accrue according to the following schedule:
|Speeding 15 miles per hour or less over the speed limit, careless driving, moving violations||3|
|Speeding 16 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, reckless driving, passing a stopped school bus||4|
|Collision as a result of speeding or leaving the scene of a crime (<$50 damage)||6|
Points can remain on your license for up to three to five years.
Any violation can result in points being assessed, further fines and/or fees, and other penalties. A Duval County Traffic Lawyer can assist you in keeping points off of your license and ensuring that you are well aware of your rights. He or she can inform you of the process, the substance of the law, and any defenses that may be applicable to your case. There are deadlines as enumerated above, and it is important to keep your Jacksonville Speeding Ticket Attorney informed about your case and to stay informed about what the next step will be in your case. Defenses in your case may be presented by you or your attorney at the hearing.