Florida law is very clear that you must stop at a stop sign. The law also tells you where to stop and how you must yield to traffic.
If you sped on through the stop sign and an officer saw you, then you will probably get pulled over and receive a ticket.
What are your best next steps? Let’s run down through the two primary options.
Option 1: Pay the Ticket
This is always a choice. Some people want to brush their hands of the whole matter, so they will pay a fine.
However, if you ran a stop sign, you’ll also get points added to your record. You also must take a mandatory basic driver improvement course. Under Fla Stat. § 322.0261, someone convicted of failing to obey a traffic control device (such as a stop sign) must take a mandatory class. You must complete the course within 90 days or your driving privileges get cancelled.
By paying a fine, you will also probably see much higher car insurance premiums. Some people see a jump of $1,000 or more, and their premiums stay elevated for several years until their infraction falls off their record.
Before deciding to pay a ticket, fully add up how much it will cost you.
Option 2: Fight the Ticket
Many of our clients choose to fight, and there are defenses we can raise to a ticket for running a stop sign. For example, we can argue:
- The sign wasn’t visible. Foliage or another obstruction could have obscured it. A very old sign might have fallen down, or a storm could have toppled it. In some neighborhoods, gravity obscures the sign so that it is no longer recognizable. If you can’t see the sign, then you could argue that you had no reason to assume you had to stop.
- You did stop. An officer might ticket you for not stopping at the white limit line. But these can be hard to see as they fade over time. You might have stopped at an appropriate place, even if it was not where the limit line used to be.
In other cases, you might be able to fight a ticket on a technicality, such as the officer not filling out the ticket properly. You should go over the situation with a lawyer, who can often spot possible defenses that can result in an acquittal or a dismissal of charges.
Fighting a ticket can often be a cost-effective measure, especially if you don’t have a clean driving record. If you win, you can avoid any increase in your insurance premiums. You can also avoid a license suspension because you will not have any points added to your record if you win.
Of course, you might lose, so you should carefully review your defenses with an attorney.
Skubiak & Rivas is Here for You
Before doing anything, meet with one of our attorneys to review your case. At Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., we fight unjust traffic tickets, including tickets for running a stop sign. For more information, please contact us today.