Union County, Florida is located in North Florida just west of Jacksonville. The county seat is Lake Butler. The county has approximately 15,000 people that call it home. The county has seasonal fruit and vegetable picking, festivals and fairs, and other nature trails for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.
The county is in the center of North Florida making it a county that is crossed by numerous visitors to the state. The major roadways are patrolled by local law enforcement agencies, Florida Highway Patrol, and Union County Sheriff’s Office. The agencies may issue both civil and criminal citations. The two types of citations are treated differently in terms of penalties, repercussions, and the procedure toward resolution. Criminal citations include driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, among other violations. The penalties include jail time, probation, fines/fees, points assessed on your license, attendance at drug and/or alcohol treatment programs, impounding of vehicle, among other violations. These violations will require a court appearance. At the hearing, you, a Union County Traffic attorney should you choose to hire one, the citation issuing officer, any witnesses, and the judge or magistrate hearing your case will be in attendance. The hearing will determine your guilt or innocence and any penalty you are to face. There may be additional hearings necessary depending on the severity of the crime. The Union County Traffic attorney can help you determine defenses that are available to your case, inform you of the process and procedure for the case, and speak with and deliver your case to the judge and any Prosecuting Attorney. All hearings, both civil and criminal, are heard at the Union County Courthouse, which has its address at: 55 Main Street, Lake Butler, FL 32054. The Clerk of the Court is also located at that address. The Clerk is who you need to request any hearing dates, new hearing dates, you can pay fines or fees, and with whom to consult about most procedural questions.
Civil citations include violations for unlawful speed, failure to stop or yield at a traffic signal, failure to produce evidence of insurance or registration, careless driving, among other violations. Civil citations can be remedied with three options. These options are 1) pay the fee or fine associated with the citation, 2) electing to take a Driver Improvement Course to keep points off of your record, or 3) entering a plea of not guilty and attending a hearing to contest your ticket. By paying the fine or fee, you are admitting guilt regarding the violation and accept the points as placed on your license. Should you elect to take a Driver Improvement Course, you should alert the Clerk of the Court within thirty days from the date of the citation and complete the course within sixty days of notification. It is necessary to return the certificate of completion of the course to the clerk of the court within sixty days to not have your license potentially suspended and to avoid any late fees or penalties. It is important to note that there are limitations to the course. You may only take the course five times in your lifetime, and you may only take it once in a twelve month period. The course election requires a $7 election fee and an affidavit to the clerk of court that you will be taking the course. You must also pay the cost of the citation as well. By contesting your ticket, you may request a hearing. At the hearing, your Union County Speeding Ticket Lawyer may attend. Again, the citation issuing police officer, the judge/magistrate, your attorney, you, and any witnesses may attend the hearing. The judge will determine your guilt or innocence based on the case and the defenses you present. If you are found guilty, you may have to pay the court costs associated with the citation and/or fines up to $1,000. A Lake Butler Traffic Attorney can assist you in avoiding the extra fines, court costs, and points that may have been put on your license.
It is important to keep points off of your license. If you acquire a large number of points rather rapidly you may be deemed a high risk driver. Once you are defined as such, the insurance company may either cancel your policy or require you to carry a SR-22 insurance policy. Rates on these policies can be up to four times as much as a safe driver’s insurance premium. Points can also require a license suspension. Twelve points in a twelve month period may result in a month suspension. Eighteen points in a year and a half may result in a three month license suspension. Twenty-four points in a three year period may result in a year suspension. Additional points may add three month suspensions to the original suspension period.
Should you find yourself with a traffic citation, contact your local Union County traffic attorney today in an effort to meet all deadlines. A Lake Butler Speeding Ticket lawyer can assist you in education of the process, determine a plan for your case, and presenting your case to the court. They will determine the best plan for you to keep your license and keep points off of your license.