Escambia County is the westernmost county in the State of Florida. There are approximately 300,000 residents in the county. The county seat is Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola is home to many spring breakers and beach lovers. The county also goes into Alabama. Gulf Islands National Seashore is located in the county as well. Pensacola has many festivals, fairs, farmers markets, and other attractions for visitors and residents alike. With so many residents and tourists visiting the area, there are law enforcement agencies that patrol the traffic. These agencies include Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, Pensacola Police Department, and Florida Highway Patrol.
These agencies write citations for both criminal and civil infractions. Criminal infractions require a hearing. The hearing may be attended by the police officer who issued the citation, the individual who got the ticket, a Pensacola Speeding Ticket Lawyer should the individual wish to hire one, any witnesses, and a judge that presides over the hearing and sentencing. Criminal infraction penalties include probation, community service, jail time, possible impoundment, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, among other penalties. These penalties come with fines and fees and points assessed like a civil infraction. Criminal citations may result in further penalties if you do not comply with any deals that are made or if you do not appear for your Notice of Appearance hearing date. It is important to inform the court of any and all defenses and facts that may assist the judge in finding in your favor. A Pensacola Traffic lawyer can inform you of the best facts to present and any defenses available to you.
Civil infractions include careless driving, unlawful speed, failure to stop at a traffic signal, among other infractions. There are three options if you have a civil infraction: 1) pay the fine or fee and keep the points on your license, 2) pay the fine or fee and take the Driver Improvement Course, or 3) elect to have a hearing for a judge to hear your side of the story. A Driver Improvement Course can be taken in order to keep the points off of your license. The course is approved by the state and is offered in different formats: online, in person in a classroom setting, or on DVD/video. The course only takes four (4) hours to complete. You do need to tell the Clerk of Court that you intend to take the course in writing within thirty (30) days of the citation. The Clerk of the Court and any hearings are heard at the following address: Escambia County Courthouse, 190 West Government Street, Pensacola. You must also pay a small fee to take the course. You must take the course within ninety (90) days of the citation being issued. You must then file the Certificate of Completion with the Clerk of the Court to prove that you did complete the course. You can also pay the fine or fee and keep the points on your license.
Points can be placed on your record for moving violations. For example, littering, child restraint violations, speeding 15 miles per hour or less over the speed limit may result in three points on your license. Speeding violations 16 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, passing a stopped school bus, and other moving violations may result in 4 points on your license. Finally, leaving the scene of an accident with less than $50 worth of damage or speeding resulting in a collision may result in 6 points on your license. Twelve (12) points may accrue in a year long period resulting in a month long suspension. Eighteen (18) points in a year and a half can result in three months. Twenty-four (24) points in three years can result in one year. Additional violations will result in tagging on three months of suspension to any standing suspension time period. You may apply for a hardship license. This will require more fees and paperwork. It also means that you will have more regulations, such as only being able to drive to work and back home and only at certain time periods. Points can also accrue to the point where your insurance company may, in their sole discretion, determine that you are in fact a “high risk” driver. If you are rendered a “high risk” driver, you may be required to carry a SR-22 insurance policy. These policies tend to be upward of four times more than the safe driver insurance premiums.
Pensacola is a beautiful area. There are many tourists and of course therefore, many patrol units to make sure the roadways are safe. It is important to note that if you are out of town, you may be able to arrange to appear by telephone or make arrangements with the Clerk of Court to not appear in person the day of the hearing. You can also hire an Escambia County Traffic lawyer, who may be able to appear on your behalf. In addition, a Pensacola Speeding Ticket attorney may be able to assist you in gaining knowledge about the process, substance, and any likely outcomes of the case. He or she can give you plenty of information regarding the nature of the crime or offense you are faced with and the possible defenses that you can present to the court to ensure your rights are protected.