Once you have been issued with a traffic ticket in Florida, the police officer has 5 days to file it.
A common question we are asked is whether a ticket will be dismissed if it is not filed on time. The answer is not as straight forward as you may think. If your ticket is not filed within the 5-day time limit, this is certainly a defense a lawyer may put forward for you. However, the appellate courts have ruled that offenders can still be prosecuted if a ticket is filed late.
However, if your ticket is not filed within 180 days, you will have a strong case for a dismissal due to the violation of your right to a speedy trial. Furthermore, there are other avenues to dismissal if you have an experienced traffic ticket attorney in your corner.
With over 75 years of combined experience, our team of lawyers has the knowledge and expertise to take on any case and help you protect your driving license. For more information, get in touch with The Ticket Lawyers today. We can give you honest, no-obligation legal advice during your free consultation.
Call us at (866)-985-7740. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
According to Florida Statute 316.650, a traffic enforcement officer must file all citations with the traffic violations bureau within 5 days of it being issued, except for those issued for offenses listed under Florida Statute 316.1001 and Florida Statute 316.0083. This can be through a deposit of an original copy of the citation or via electronic transmission.
The Florida statute of limitations can be an important element in many criminal defense cases but is useless when it comes to uniform traffic tickets due to the fact a traffic ticket is not usually affected by these legal time limits. This is because once you have been ticketed, you have been officially charged, and the statute of limitations stops from this point.
This means that if you ignore a traffic ticket, it will not simply disappear over time, and eventually, you will need to face the penalties. You could even face license suspension if you ignore a traffic citation.
If your ticket has not been filed and a significant amount of time has passed, you may be eligible for a dismissal under your right to a speedy trial. This is according to the Florida speedy trial rule, which is in The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This states that all cases must be brought to trial within 180 days. The police officer must file your ticket within this time frame; otherwise, an experienced traffic lawyer can fight to get your traffic ticket dismissed.
The police officer who makes the stop will ask for your signature when issuing your ticket. By agreeing to do so, you are simply acknowledging the charge, not admitting your guilt. So, it is important that you comply with this request. Refusing to sign will not help your case and will only make you look bad in court. Once the ticket has been issued and filed, you have 30 days to respond to your ticket, and you have 3 options:
If you choose to pay the fine, you can do so by reporting to the Clerk of Court’s Office in the county where your ticket was issued. The list of offices and their locations can be found on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website (FHSMV). You also have the option of paying online, with some exceptions, by visiting the Florida Pay Clerk website.
Although this might seem like the easiest option, by paying the fine, you are accepting a conviction. Therefore, the necessary points will be added to your driving record. Your insurance premiums will increase as a result, and if you have accumulated 12 points, your driver’s license will be suspended.
Some drivers are given the option of taking a driver improvement course, which may prevent you from having points added to your driving record. The full list of approved courses can be found on the FHSMV website.
However, the option of traffic school is only given five times in your lifetime and only once within a 12-month period. Therefore, if you no longer have this option, you may need to contest your ticket to avoid the penalties. Furthermore, if you have grounds to contest your ticket, it is worth doing so. This way, you can save the option of a driver improvement course for a future ticket that has no chance of dismissal. Call us now for more information.
You can make the decision to contest your traffic ticket. You must do so within the set 30-day period. To do this, you will need to contact the County Clerk of Court and ask for a court date and contact a qualified attorney. Contesting your ticket is the best way to avoid points, fines, and a license suspension.
There are several defenses available to those who are accused of traffic offenses. The defense will be based on the nature of the violation, the evidence that was used against you, and the circumstances of the event. For example:
Speeding tickets – Defenses for speeding tickets are usually based on the method that was used to calculate your speed. None of the modern devices used by Florida law enforcement officers are foolproof, and errors do occur. Radar and laser guns must meet certain calibration and maintenance requirements. Furthermore, the officer using these devices must have had proper training.
Red light tickets – Defenses for red light tickets are usually based on the legality of the cameras that are used to catch those allegedly running red lights and whether they are accurate enough to be used as evidence. There is an argument that they are used to make money and not to protect public safety.
Using a cell phone whilst driving – According to Florida Statute 316.305 and Florida Statute 316.306, citations can be issued to drivers for texting whilst driving as well as using a wireless communication device. In such cases, your lawyer can look into the police officer’s protocol at the time of the stop. For example, did the officer explain to you that you have the right to not surrender your phone without a warrant?
As well as not filing a ticket on time, there are other mistakes an officer can make that could lead to your ticket being thrown out. For example:
A dismissal on any of these grounds is certainly not guaranteed and would only be possible with the help of an experienced defense attorney.
Living out of state is no reason to give in and pay a fine without considering your options. A qualified lawyer from our law firm can appear in court on your behalf if you are unable to make your court date, as well as taking on any other legal duties, such as submitting documents to the local county clerk.
Many drivers choose not to contest their ticket because they think it will involve too much stress and hassle. But if you hire us to fight your charges, you can leave the majority of the process in our hands. We can even appear in court on your behalf if you live out of the state or simply do not have the time.
The simple fact is, if you pay the fine, you are accepting points, and these points can have long-term consequences, such as an increase in your insurance premiums. If you have grounds for dismissal, why should you give your money to the state and sacrifice your driving privileges?
If you are unsure of what route to take, we can give you more information during a free consultation and help you to make your decision before your 30 days are up.
If you have been ticketed in Florida for a traffic violation, do not ignore it and hope that your ticket won’t be filed. Get the right legal advice today.
An experienced traffic ticket attorney from our law firm can fight for your rights, protect your driver’s license, and save you money in the long run. We can promise an attorney-client relationship that is based on trust.
Call us now at (866)-985-7740 for a free consultation.
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