Franklin County is located in the panhandle on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The area is known for its timber industry and fishing. The biggest city is Apalachicola, Florida. The county also has Eastpoint as one of the larger cities in the county. St. George Island is a big tourist area where many people vacation because the beaches are expansive and not overly commercial. The local area is policed by Eastpoint Police Department, Apalachicola Police department, St. George Police Department, Franklin County Sherrif’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol.
The local police agencies patrol the roadways for any and all traffic violations. These violations are able to be categorized into two distinct types: civil and criminal citations. Criminal citations include a hearing. The hearings are mandatory and cannot be avoided. Should you not attend it, you can have a bench warrant issued for your arrest to bring you to the judge. At the hearing, you, a Franklin County Traffic Attorney should you choose to hire one, any witnesses, any witnesses, and a judge or magistrate will be at the hearing. Criminal infractions include Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Driving with a Suspended License, Vehicular Manslaughter, among other violations. The penalties go above and beyond for the individual facing criminal rather than civil charges. These penalties include: alcohol/drug treatment program, probation, jail time, license suspension, license revocation, fines/fees, among other penalties. The fines and fees are exponentially higher for criminal violations and the possibility of jail time also is a higher penalty.
Civil citations are handled differently than criminal citations. Civil citations include unlawful speed, careless driving, failure to stop or yield to a traffic signal, among other violations. Civil citations can be dealt with three different ways. These options include 1) paying the fine or fee associated with the violation and accept the points on your record, 2) elect to take the Driver Improvement Course and pay the fine or fee or 3) fight the citation and attend a hearing. Should you elect to take the Driver Improvemetn Course, you will need to notify the Clerk of the Court in writing within thirty (30) days of your intention to take the course. The Clerk can be reached at the following address: Franklin County Clerk of the Court, 33 Market Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320. You will need to also provide an affidavit that states your intention to take the course and a seven dollar ($7) fee. There are limitations to the option, however, which are that you can only take the course once in twelve (12) months and you can only take it five (5) times in one (1) year. If you do not meet these limitations, then you cannot take the course. You may, however, choose to fight the citation in a hearing. If you choose to fight the citation, you will also need to tell the Clerk of the Court in writing. At the hearing, you, your Franklin County Speeding Ticket lawyer, any witnesses, the citation issuing officer, and a judge or magistrate presiding over the case will be in attendance. You will be able to present your case to the judge. You or your Apalachicola Speeding Ticket lawyer can request that points be kept off of your license and present defenses for your case.
In both cases, it is in your best interest to attempt to keep points off of your record. Points are assessed differently according to the violation. The points accrue on the following schedule:
Non-Moving Violations……………………………………..0 points
Littering, Child Restraint Violations, Unlawful Speed 15 miles per hour or less over the speed limit…………………….3 points
Unlawful Speed 16 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, passing a stopped school bus……………………4 points
Unlawful speed resulting in an accident or leaving the scene of a crime with damage (<$50)…………….6 points
Points accrue and when they accrue rapidly, the result can be license suspension and/or high insurance premiums. If your insurance company, in their sole discretion labels you as a “high risk” driver, you may be required to carry an SR-22 insurance policy. These policy’s premiums can be up to four (4) times as a safe driver policy. When points accrue at other rates, your license may be suspended. Twelve (12) points in 12 months may get your license suspended for one month. Eighteen (18) points in eighteen (18) months may get your license suspended for three months. Twenty-four (24) points in thirty-six (36) months may get your license suspended for one full year. You may qualify for a hardship license if you meet certain requirements. If you qualify for such, you may only be able to drive to and from school and work.
If you find yourself with a citation, you should hire a Franklin County Speeding Ticket Lawyer today to make sure your rights are protected, you are knowledgeable about your rights and the process, and determine defenses that are applicable to your case. Contact your local Apalachicola Traffic Attorney today!