The Florida Bar

Traffic Violation

December 14, 2022

There’s nothing great about traffic violations, but unfortunately they’re something most divers will face in their long driving careers. With that said, it is important to have a broad understanding of the severity of traffic violations and what your options are.

In most instances, if you’re convicted of a traffic violation the following things can happen:

  • Negative impact on driving record, which can result in a suspension of your license depending on how many previous violations you have or the severity of this most immediate violation.
  • Expenses: you will typically have to pay the ticket and any court fees, and sometimes can be required to attend traffic school.
  • Insurance increases: if you’re convicted of the violation, your car insurance rates can rise for years to come.

Common Defenses to a Traffic Violation

If you seek to fight a traffic violation with or without the help of an attorney, below are some of the most common defense.

The Officer Does Not Appear

One of the most well-known ways to win a traffic court hearing is by the office not showing up. But why is this?

In the United States every defendant has a Constitutional right to question his/her accuser. If the officer doesn’t show up, you’re not able to assert this Constitutional right, and the judge often will waive the ticket.

It is important to note that the severity of your traffic violation can significantly affect the judge’s decision in this case. A speeding ticket where the accused was going 10 mph over the speed limit is more likely to get dismissed than someone who was speeding 45 mph over the speed limit in a school zone.

Technicalities, Evidence, and Radar Guns

In most jurisdictions, radar guns need to be calibrated every 30 to 60 days for their evidence to be admissible in court. In reality, few radar guns are recalibrated that frequently. Verify that the gun used to clock your speed was calibrated in the required time.

Documentation Issues

Check your ticket or other paperwork for errors. It is possible that if an office cites the wrong law on the ticket, grossly misidentifies the location the traffic violation took place, or misidentified information about you or your vehicle, then the ticket may get dismissed.

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or substitute for the advice of a lawyer.