Lane violations are surprisingly common and are regulated under the Florida code.
If you receive a ticket, you have options, but not all options are the same. Generally, you can pay the ticket, fight the ticket, or attend driver’s school to keep the points off your record.
Some options are better than others, depending on your individual circumstances.
What’s Your Driving Record Look Like?
When you receive a ticket, we first encourage people to take a quick look at their situation. A lane violation ticket is a non-criminal moving violation. In other words, it is not a criminal misdemeanor or felony, though you will have to pay a fine.
The big problem with receiving a lane violation ticket is that you will get points added to your driving record. If you accumulate too many points, the state will temporarily suspend your driving privileges. This is a headache. The length of time depends on how many points to accumulate:
- 12 points in 12 months—you are looking at a 30-day suspension
- 18 points in 18 months—you are looking at a 3-month suspension
- 24 points in 36 months—you face a 1-year suspension
A lane violation adds 3 points to your record. So, let’s imagine you have 9 points right now, which you accumulated in the past 8 months. With this latest lane violation, you are now facing a 30-day suspension.
Did You Commit the Violation?
This is also a concern. If you have solid evidence that you did not commit the violation, then you have a chance to argue that the officer made a mistake. Solid evidence would include things like credible witnesses or dash cam video. Just your own testimony or the testimony of a spouse with a criminal record isn’t very convincing.
The officer knows what he saw, and a judge will likely believe him unless you have solid evidence to back up your claim.
Can You Attend Driving School?
Florida lets you take a driver improvement course, which will keep the points off your record. However, you can only take the school once every year, and a maximum of 5 times in your life. If you decide to fight the ticket and lose, you can’t turn around and ask to take the driver improvement course.
Analyze Your Options
Now that you know the relevant considerations, you are better positioned to decide what to do:
- If you can attend driving school, you might do that to keep the points off. True, you’ll pay a fine, but it might be the best move, especially if you don’t have solid proof that you did not commit the violation.
- If you can’t attend driving school, you should consider fighting the ticket if it would lead to a license suspension.
- Even if the ticket doesn’t lead immediately to a suspension, it could later on if you get stopped again. Talk with an attorney about whether it makes sense to fight.
Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., has helped many people with moving violations, including lane violations. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation.