Monroe County is a unique county since it is comprised of a body of land on the peninsula of Florida and also is comprised of islands known as the Keys. The county seat is Key West, the southernmost key of Florida. Other incorporated towns and cities include Marathon, Key Colony Beach, Layton, and Islamorada. The Keys are of course known for their tourism, as they are largely included on cruise ship tours. The only major thoroughfare that runs through Monroe County is US 1. This road is a narrow road that takes you across bridges all along the keys until you reach your destination: Key West.
The county has law enforcement officers that patrol the only large thoroughfare, US 1, and all of the side roads that each Key possesses. Monroe County Sherriff’s Department, Marathon Police Department, Key Colony Beach Police Department, Layton Police Department, and Islamorada Police Department, along with the Florida Highway Patrol will monitor the keys. They may write one of two citations: criminal and civil. A criminal citation will require a hearing. Violations that are criminal in nature include Driving under the Influence, reckless driving, driving with a suspended or revoked license. These infractions call for higher penalties. You may face jail time, probation, drug and/or alcohol treatment programs, rehabilitative therapy, fines and/or fees, community service, among other penalties/processes for rehabilitation. The court will determine your sentence at the hearing that you MUST attend. At the hearing, you, your Monroe County Traffic Attorney should you choose to hire one, any witnesses, and the judge or magistrate presiding over your case will be in attendance. If the judge determines that you are guilty, you may be required to pay additional court costs.
There are also civil infractions. Civil infractions include unlawful speed, careless driving, failure to stop at a stop sign or yield to a pedestrian, among other violations. A civil infraction can be dealt with in one of three ways: 1) You can pay the citation and accept the points on your license, 2) you can take the driver improvement course and pay the fine or fee. The driver improvement course is designed to keep points off of your license and 3) you can elect to contest the ticket. If you elect to take the Driver Improvement Course, you must alert the Clerk of the Court in writing thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the citation. The course is available in a classroom in person setting, online or on DVD/Video. You must then complete the course within sixty (60) days of the citation and return the Certificate of Completion you will receive at the end of the course to the Clerk of the Court so she can determine that no further fines or fees are assessed on your account. You can find the Clerk of the Court at the following address:.There are limitations on how many times you can take the course: one time in twelve months and five times in a lifetime. If you have taken the course the allotted number of times, you may either accept the points on your license or contest the ticket in court. The third option to contest the ticket. You, your Monroe County Traffic Lawyer, any witnesses, the citation issuing officer, and a judge or magistrate presiding over your case will be present. The court will determine your sentence. If you are found guilty you may be required to pay courts costs and fees.
Points assessed on your license can be detrimental. You may have your license suspended. If you accrue 12 points in a year, your license may be suspended for one month. If you accrue 18 points in 18 months, your license may be suspended for three months. If you accrue 24 points in a three year period, your license may be suspended for an entire year. Your insurance premiums may go up too. If you are deemed to be a “high risk” driver, you may be required to carry SR-22 insurance. These policies are up to four (4) times as much as safe driver insurance premiums.
Points are assessed according to the following schedule:
Six Point Violations:
Four Point Violations:
As you can see there are many violations that may leave you with a dent in your pocketbook and with points on your license. In order to assure that your rights are protected, you should contact your local Key West Traffic Attorney today. They can assist you in getting educated about your rights, learning about the process and putting together the best plan to ensure the best case scenario happens for you!