Liberty County is located in the Florida Panhandle. With a population of almost 9,000, the county maintains a rural, country lifestyle. The county is full of nature trails, local flora and fauna and seasonal fruit and vegetable picking. The county seat is Bristol. Local law enforcement agencies are Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, Bristol Police Department, and Florida Highway Patrol.
The law enforcement agencies that monitor the roadways may issues one of two types of citations: civil or criminal. Criminal citations require a hearing. Criminal citations include driving under the influence, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, among other violations. Penalties include jail time, probation, community service, drug and/or alcohol treatment, points, fines/fees, among other penalties. At the hearing, you, your local Liberty County Traffic lawyer, any witnesses, the arresting or citation issuing officer and a judge or magistrate will be present. You can then present your case and any defenses you may have for your case. The judge will hear your case from you and/or your Liberty County Speeding Ticket Lawyer. He or she can inform you of your rights and any defenses available to you. You should defend your rights.
Civil infractions have three options that are available to you. The first option is to pay the fine or fee and then have the points assessed on your record. The second option is to pay the fine or fee and take a driver improvement course. The driver improvement course will keep points off of your record. It is available online, in person, or by DVD/video. The course is four (4) hours long. You must notify the Clerk of the Court in writing at the following address: 10818 Northwest State Road 20, Bristol, Florida, within thirty (30) days of getting your citation. You must take the course within ninety (90) days of getting the citation. Upon completing the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion. You will need to submit the Certificate of Completion to the Clerk of the Court at the aforementioned address. The Clerk will then stop any fines or fees or penalties from being added to your license. If you do not submit the required paperwork, your license may end up suspended and/or you may have to pay higher fines and/or fees. There are limitations on the number of times you can take the course. If you have taken the course in the last twelve (12) months you may not take it again. If you have taken it five (5) times or more, you may not take it again.
In these cases you would either have to accept the points on your license or contest the ticket. If you contest the ticket, you will have to notify the Clerk of your intent to contest the ticket in writing within thirty (30) days of getting the citation. Once you have done that, the Clerk will give you a hearing date, which you must attend. At this hearing, you, your Liberty County Traffic Lawyer should you choose to hire one, any witnesses, the citation issuing officer, and the judge or magistrate presiding over your case will be present. You and/or our Liberty County Speeding Ticket Attorney can present your case with the applicable defenses and allow the judge to determine your guilt of innocence. If you are adjudicated guilty, you may be required to pay additional court costs. You may be ordered to take a driver improvement course even and still have points assessed on your license.
Points on your license can cause two hardships in addition to fines/fees. You may incur higher insurance premiums as a result of numerous points on your record. If your insurance company feels as though you are a “high risk” driver in their sole discretion, you may be required to carry SR-22 insurance. These insurance policies are up to four (4) times as expensive as safe driver “normal” insurance. These rates are so much higher than normal insurance that they may be cost prohibitive and you may not be able to have insurance and thereby no longer drive. Your license may be suspended as well. If you are found to have gotten twelve (12) points in one year, your license may be suspended for one month. If you have eighteen points accrue in a year and a half, your license may be suspended for three months. Finally, if your license points add up to twenty-four (24) points in thirty-six (36) months, your license may be suspended for an entire year. Any additional violations or penalties may result in three (3) months of suspension being added to any existing suspensions you already have. Penalties for higher number of points are above and beyond just fines and fees.
If you find yourself with a traffic citation, you should get informed about your rights. The more you know about your rights, the more you will determine the best case scenario and best plan of action on how to protect those rights. One of the best ways is to contact your local Liberty County Traffic Attorney so they can inform you about the process and the substance of the law. Contact your Liberty County Speeding Ticket lawyer today!