Saint Johns County is located in the Jacksonville metropolis area. It has nearly 200,000 residents. The county calls for tourism and has many museums, fairs, and cultural events. Saint Johns County is home to Saint Augustine, the state’s oldest city. The county also has Hastings, Marineland, and Saint Augustine Beach. Due to the popularity and location of the county, there are a lot of traffic issues. The local law enforcement agencies must enforce the traffic laws.
Local law enforcement agencies include Hastings Police Department, Marineland Police Department, Saint Augustine Police Department, Saint Augustine Beach Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, and Saint John’s Sheriff’s Department. These law enforcement agencies can write two different types of citations: criminal and civil citations. A criminal citation does require a hearing. At the hearing, you, your St. Augustine Traffic Attorney should you choose to hire one, any witnesses, the arresting or citation issuing officer, and a judge or magistrate presiding over your case will be present. Criminal violations include driving under the influence, driving with a suspended or revoked license, among other violations. Penalties for criminal violations include jail time, probation, community service, fines or fees, among other penalties. Treatment programs may also be ordered at the hearing.
Civil citations include different violations. These violations include careless driving, unlawful speed, failure to stop or yield, among other violations. These violations usually result in fines or fees being assessed on your license. These violations can be rectified in one of three distinct methods: 1) by paying a fine or fee and accepting points on your license, 2) by paying a fine or fee and take a driver improvement course, or 3) contest the citation. If you elect to take a driver improvement course, you must notify the Clerk of the Court within thirty (30) days of the citation being issued. The Clerk of the Court can be found at the courthouse: 4010 Lewis Speedway, St. Augustine, Florida. Once you have elected to take the course, you will need to take the course within sixty (60) days. Once the course is complete, you will receive a Certificate of Completion. You must submit the Certificate of Completion to the Clerk of the Court to ensure that you are not being assessed any additional fines or fees and/or your license is not going to be suspended. The Clerk of the Court can be reached at: . There are limitations to how many times you can take it in your lifetime and in one year. You can only take it one time in twelve (12) months. You can also only take it five (5) times in your lifetime. If you have already reached the number of limitations legally set forth, you can contest the citation. You will need to notify the Clerk of the Court within thirty (30) days of the citation. He or she will give you a hearing date. At the hearing, you, your Saint Johns Speeding Ticket lawyer, any witnesses, the citation issuing officer, and a judge or magistrate presiding over your case. At the hearing, the judge will determine your level of guilt or innocence. If you are found guilty, you may be required to pay court costs.
Points assessed on your license can bring about two hardships: insurance premiums increase and license suspension. If your insurance company determines that due to the high number of points on your license, in their sole discretion, that you are a “high risk” driver, you may be required to carry an SR-22 insurance policy. If you are required to carry this type of policy, your premiums may be up to four (4) times as high as safe driver insurance. Points on your license can also lead to license suspension. If you accrue 12 points in twelve (12) months, your license may be suspended for one month. If you accrue eighteen (18) points in eighteen (18) months, your license may be suspended for three months. Finally, if you accrue twenty-four points in thirty-six (36) months, your license may be suspended for an entire year. Any additional violations or point accruals may result in an additional three month suspension being added to any existing suspension.
|Careless Driving, littering, unlawful speed 15 miles per hour or less over the speed limit, child restraint violation||3|
|Unlawful speed 16 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, passing a stopped school bus, reckless driving||4|
|Collision as a result of unlawful speed or leaving the scene of a crime (>$50 damage)||6|
Points may remain on your license for 3-5 years after the incident that caused them to be assessed on your record.
If you find yourself with a traffic citation, rest assured you are not alone. The best idea you can have is to get an attorney. An attorney will assist you in getting you the information you need regarding the process and substance of the law, educate you about the defenses that are available to you, and determine a best case scenario with a case plan for you. As you can see, there are some deadlines that you may need to meet. It is in your best interest to contact a Saint Augustine Traffic lawyer today to get the information you need to protect your rights!