Traffic tickets have a reputation for being minor annoyances. But these tickets can dramatically increase your insurance, cause you to lose money paying fines, and result in a license suspension.
At Skubiak & Rivas, we have spent several decades helping motorists fight their traffic tickets, and we can use our experience for you.
One favorable resolution is to have the charges dismissed. But how to dismiss a traffic ticket in Florida? In this article, we’ll walk through the process.
Understand Your Options
Before choosing to fight a traffic ticket, you need to understand some basics about the system and your options. First, Florida uses a points system. Each traffic ticket you get will add points to your record. If you accumulate too many points in a given period of time, you can have your license suspended or revoked.
One alternative to fighting your ticket is to take a driver safety course, which will remove the points from your record. However, if you choose to fight your ticket, then that option is off the table. Choose to fight and lose, and you can’t go take a course to get the points off.
Think carefully about whether you want to try and get a ticket dismissed or whether you’ll just pay the fine and then take a class to remove points. There are pluses and minuses to each approach.
Identify if Your Tickets Qualify for Dismissal
You can’t dismiss every traffic ticket. You can only do so if:
- You do not have criminal traffic tickets.
- You do not have a parking violation.
If your ticket is something other than the two above, you can try to get it dismissed.
Notify the Court
How to fight a traffic ticket in Florida begins with notifying the court that you intend to request a hearing. You need to notify the court for the county where you got your ticket. This might not be the county in which you live. For example, if you travel across the state and get a ticket, you can’t fight it at home.
Look at your ticket to identify which court to call. The ticket should have this information. You can request a hearing either over the phone or in writing. If you schedule a hearing in writing, then include important information, such as your citation number, phone number, and mailing address.
Meet with an Attorney
Getting a speeding ticket dismissed does not require the help of an attorney, but many people would benefit from a lawyer’s assistance. A lawyer has a much faster grasp of the law and whether the clerk who hears your case will be likely to dismiss the charges. An experienced traffic attorney can quickly identify weaknesses in the case against you and help gather evidence for your case.
You can meet with a traffic attorney in Orlando for a free consultation. At the meeting, the lawyer will ask basic questions about your case to better understand what penalties you are facing and the evidence against you.
Organize Your Evidence
If you choose not to hire an attorney, you need to get organized. Find anything helpful that shows you don’t deserve the ticket. For example, you might have witnesses who were in the car with you and can testify that you didn’t commit the violation. If you were caught speeding, then you might also be able to have a mechanic testify that your vehicle can’t go as fast as the police officer claims.
Go to Court
You absolutely need to show up to court on your hearing date. You and your attorney will meet with a clerk, who conducts the hearing. The clerk will speak to the officer who gave you the citation as well as to your attorney. You can also testify or have your witnesses to testify for you.
Based on the testimony, the clerk will decide whether to dismiss the charges. If you win, you need to fill out some paperwork, but that’s pretty much it. If the clerk finds you guilty, however, you need to pay your fine and other potential costs. You’ll also have points added to your record.
Consider an Appeal
If you lose, you can request an appeal. However, appeals are very expensive, and they don’t make sense in most cases. Discuss this option carefully with your lawyer.
Are You Seeking Dismissal of a Traffic Ticket?
This is a basic article on how to fight a speeding ticket in Florida. Every case is different, and there is no “one size fits all” approach.
At Skubiak & Rivas, we will happily meet with you for a consultation to review the circumstances of your ticket. In some situations, it’s in your best interests to try and get a ticket dismissed. For more information, please contact one of our Orlando Traffic attorneys for a free consultation, 407-904-7943. We practice throughout central Florida.