It happens to all of us at one time or another – the dreaded traffic ticket. One minute you could be making great time on your morning commute, and the next minute you see those flashing lights in your rear view mirror indicating the need to pull over. One momentary lapse in judgment shouldn’t mean that your driving record be tarnished for years to come; learning how to fight a traffic ticket can ensure that you don’t pay a big fine or have to pay more for insurance.

The first thing to remember is to be polite and respectful to the officer who pulls you over. Being sarcastic or saying things like “my taxes pay for your salary, ” will not go over well and may in fact get you into even more trouble. Answer all of the officer’s questions in a direct manner and don’t attempt to get out of your vehicle unless specifically asked to do so.

Another important thing to remember is not to admit guilt or come up with outrageous excuses. When the officer asks if you know why you were pulled over, answer with a simple, “No I do not officer.” Let them explain to you in detail what your offense is. If you were caught speeding, make sure they tell you the speed that you were going, and what the posted speed limit actually is.

Be sure to get the officer’s name and badge number as you will need it if you go to court. Also, if they offense is speeding, ask very detailed questions about the device they used to determine your speed. Find out where the officer was located and check to make sure that speed limits are clearly posted. If not, take pictures of the area you were driving in as proof that you were not sure what the limit was.

Sometimes, asking very detailed, specific questions may deter the officer from appearing in court; they may determine that it’s just not worth the effort and with all of the evidence that you have gathered, a judge will rule in your favor. Officers have to come to court on their own time, and they may very well prefer to golf that day. If the officer does not appear, then your ticket is automatically deemed null and void.

If the officer does appear, and this is your first offense then chances are you can still win your case. The judge may decide to lessen the charge so you don’t have to pay as much or lose your license. Depending on what the offense is, you may want to hire a lawyer. There are also organizations owned by former police officers that can give you advice and help you fight your ticket. You will have to decide whether it is worth the extra money you will need to spend on this type of assistance.

Whether you hire a lawyer or decide to represent yourself, it’s critical that you be prepared for your court date. Get as much information as possible and know what you are going to say to the judge. File a motion of discovery as soon as you get your ticket; this is your right to know all of the evidence that is being presented against you and will help you build your case. You can’t fight what you don’t know.

The judge may be willing to lessen or dismiss your charge if you indicate that you are willing to go to traffic school. Check with your local jurisdiction to see if this is an option in your area. A refresher course is always a good idea and will help to prevent further tickets and offenses. It may be your best strategy in how to fight a traffic ticket. If you get a ticket, call 954-967-9888 www.TrafficTicketTeam.com

How Points Work on Your License

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Traffic Ticket Team McLovin

The most common civil traffic citation given by law enforcement around the state is for the offense of speeding. In 2007, there were 1.3 million speeding tickets issued by police in the State of Florida. That number is not a true reflection on the real number of speeding tickets, because law enforcement has the discretion to “cut someone a break” and charge them with violating the speed limit sign. That violation is referred to as violation of a traffic control device, and it is possible that the number of speeding tickets would be closer to 1.8 million. Given those unbelievable numbers in the Florida, Speeding tickets can be divided in to 3 distinct categories as far as punishment is concerned.

1) 15 MPH OR LESS OVER THE LAWFUL OR POSTED SPEED

Receiving a citation for going 15mph or less over the speed limit carries with it a fine along with 3 points on your license. The amount of fine is usually listed on the back of the ticket and is actually set by each individual county. The points will stay on your license for 3 years and the ticket will be on your driving record forever. Depending on your insurance company it could also result in an insurance increase. No court date is required if your citation fits within this category. You can either pay it and get the points, do traffic school if eligible, or contact our office immediately to obtain information on fighting it.

2) 16 MPH OR MORE OVER THE LAWFUL OR POSTED SPEED

Receiving a citation for going 16mph or more over the speed limit carries with it a specific fine along with 4 points going on your license. The amount of fine is usually listed on the back of the ticket or you can visit a website that lists every clerk’s office. Then just look in the upper left hand corner of your citation and find the county in which you received the citation. The points will stay on your license for 3 years and the ticket will stay on your record forever. Depending on your insurance company it could also result in your insurance costs increasing. No court date is required.

3) 30 MPH OR MORE OVER THE LAWFUL OR POSTED SPEED

This is the 2nd most serious type of speeding citation you can receive. If you receive a citation for going 30mph over the posted speed limit, it carries with it a fine, possibility of 4 points on your license, possibility of a license suspense, and a mandatory court date. The amount of fine is set by the Judge at the court hearing. The points will stay on your license for 3 years and the ticket will stay on your record forever. Depending on your insurance company it could also result in your insurance costs increasing. Failing to appear at your court date could result in your license being suspended. This is referred to a D-6 suspension.

4) 50 MPH OR MORE OVER THE SPEED LIMIT-STATUTE 316.1926

Beginning October 1, 2008, the Florida legislature passed a new speeding bill. If you are charged with driving 50 MPH over the posted speed limit pursuant to Florida statute 316.1926, you will be facing a civil penalty of $1000.00. On a second offense, the fine is up to $2500.00 and the court will revoke your license for a period of one year. On a third offense you will be charged with a third degree felony and will face a fine up to $5000.00 and the loss of your driver’s license for 10 years.

Regardless of which type of ticket you receive we do not recommend just paying the ticket before contacting our office to go over possible defenses. Often we are able to get the ticket dismissed or keep the points off your license, which normally will save your insurance costs from increasing. **In addition you will not have to attend your court date, we will attend it for you. So call the Traffic Ticket Team now. 954-967-9888 http://www.TrafficTicketTeam.com

**each insurance company is different, contact your carrier to discuss how receiving a ticket will affect you.

 

DUI Labor Day 2010

Traffic Ticket Team DUI

In advance of the upcoming Labor Day holiday, law enforcement agencies throughout the state and in South Florida are taking part in a nationwide crackdown on drunken and impaired driving. The Plantation Police Department is one of the agencies that will be conducting DUI saturation patrols for the 18-day period that began Friday and runs through Monday, Sept. 6. “Many people choose to celebrate with alcohol during the summer,” said Plantation Police Sgt. Joe Gallignani in a statement from the agency.”Our goal is to apprehend impaired drivers in the area before they cause crashes,” the statement said. Statewide, the Florida Highway Patrol is also taking part in the enhanced enforcement campaign called “Over the Limit, Under Arrest.” According to FHP figures, 875 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2009, including 29 who died during the official Labor Day holiday period. This was first reported in the Florida Sun Sentinel.

If you get caught speeding, you should call the Traffic Ticket Team, http://www.trafficticketteam.com, to fight your Florida Traffic Ticket. If you get a traffic ticket for anything, speeding, red light, DUI or anything else, call us anytime to fight your traffic ticket at 954-967-9888, Law Offices of Jason A. Diamond, P.A. and Diamond, Kistner & Diamond.

Speeding Ticket Iphone Application

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Traffic Ticket Team

A popular phone app could help you avoid a pricey speeding ticket. Sounds like the kind of program police wouldn’t embrace, but that’s not necessarily the case. When Art Acevedo took over as Austin police chief, one of his first orders of business was to eliminate the daily news releases about where APD was running radar. However, the Travis County Sheriff’s office is embracing new technology and the concept that the more information the public has, the safer the roads will be.  It’s not uncommon to see law enforcement officers armed with radar guns aimed at oncoming drivers. Now with a simple check of the app on a 3-G phone or by going on line, Central Texas drivers can know in advance where deputies with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office will be running radar. “It’s simply a way for us to communicate with the public the areas where they need to slow down and comply with the speed laws. The added benefit is notifying people if there is some change in the road conditions that affects their safe driving,” said Roger Wade, the public information officer for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.  The Trapster App also alerts drivers to flooded roadways or accidents that could delay their trip, but the main focus is on radar detection.  “The bottom line is we want to make the roads safer for Travis County and this is another tool that will do that,” said Wade. The question seems to be whether it’s better to let the public know where radar is being run or not.  Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo prefers not to give advance notice. “It kind of defeats the purpose of being out there,” said Acevedo. “We want people to know that we were working it but telling them the specific roadways was a little counterproductive for us.”  Drivers we spoke to were split.  “Yeah I think it is a good idea and I probably would use it,” said John Egan. “If you know we are running late for work or if I am in a hurry, we would want to know there is going to be a cop around the corner. I will slow down,” said Sean Munoz. “Some people are going to have radar detectors anyway and they are going to find out if they want to find out,” said Diane from Austin. “But most people are not going to take the time to look into something.”  Drivers can add data to Trapster, just like the Travis County Sheriff’s office does — but if it’s inaccurate, it can be taken down.  By the way, Roger Wade tells us his office doesn’t make any money off Trapster. The app is free of charge. However, if you get caught speeding, you should call the Traffic Ticket Team, http://www.trafficticketteam.com, to fight your Florida Traffic Ticket. Call us anytime to fight your traffic ticket at 954-967-9888, Law Offices of Jason A. Diamond, P.A. and Diamond, Kistner & Diamond.

Red Light Camera’s in Palm Beach County Are Here!

Never mind the court challenges or the bills in the legislature. Warm-ups and warnings are over, West Palm Beach says. For the first time in Palm Beach County, a city with red-light cameras says it will start handing out real fines today. “I think initially we’ll see a lot of resistance and a lot of flak about the program, but in the long run I think people are going to see it’s going to keep our streets safe,” said assistant police chief Dennis Crispo. West Palm Beach and a private camera vendor will split $125 fines generated at four intersections, soon to be five.vSince a warning period began Nov. 21, red-light cameras in West Palm Beach have recorded 17,349 “events,” Crispo said. After reviewing the evidence, police approved the mailing of warnings in 5,815 cases. As of today, cops are supposed to start approving fines, not warnings. Royal Palm Beach indefinitely postponed fines Feb. 8 after some drivers there were upset about warnings for what they considered safe right turns on red. There were also complaints about distracting camera flashes.  Before fines are mailed to car owners based on their license plates, West Palm Beach police will review camera evidence on a case by case basis, Crispo said. Motorists who show a clear attempt to stop during a right-on-red attempt are less likely to get a fine than those who blow through without stopping, he said. Car owners who are sent a fine will be able to go online to see evidence against them, Crispo said. Appeals will be handled by a designated official, he said. Infractions do not count as points on a driver’s record. In some places, the mood has turned testy against the use of various forms of cameras for traffic cases. A dentist’s sign-wielding protests against Juno Beach’s speeding van have preceded the planned March 2 debut of red-light camera fines there. In an extreme case in Arizona, a man has been charged with fatally shooting the operator of a van designed to nab speeders with cameras. Several cities decided to wait for what happens with court challenges to the cameras in Florida, as well as bills in the state legislature. West Palm Beach attorney Jason Diamond argues the cameras are unconstitutional because they fine the car owner as opposed to the driver, presume guilt, and fail to ensure traffic regulations are uniform throughout the state. Other cities are pushing ahead. Palm Springs expects to begin fines from red-light cameras March 1, with Haverhill pegging March 15, officials in those municipalities said.  West Palm Beach’s red-light cameras await at Parker Avenue and Belvedere Road, Parker and Summit Boulevard, Australian Avenue and Banyan Boulevard, and at Australian and Belvedere, One will be added at Australian and 25th Street.

28 Cops Gone Bad in Broward County

28 Broward Cops Under Investigation by the State Attorney’s Office Alu Strikes Again; Threatens To Overturn Untold Number of Cases. State Attorney Sheila Alu is at it again and this time her work threatens to throw the courthouse for a real loop. Sheila Alu Assistant State Attorney Alu has delivered to the Public Defenders Office a list of 28 police under investigation by her bosses at the State Attorney’s Office or internal affairs officers of their own departments. The list could throw into question an untold number of criminal cases, past and present. It could overturn trials. “This notice is a notice that the State Attorney has evidence that indicates because of conduct of the police, a client could be innocent,” Public Defender Howard Finkelstein says. “This could be very, very big. It raises a number of questions for our clients,” Finkelstein says. “We just don’t know the ramifications yet.” The Public Defender’s Office has assigned a team of lawyers to research Alu’s documents. They are scrambling to see whether the cops are involved in cases against their clients. Finkelstein says in his 32 years as a lawyer, he has never seen a prosecutor reveal so many cops under investigation at once. “I’ve seen maybe two or three (notices about two or three individual cops) in 32 years,” says Finkelstein. Finkelstein says the document has no explanation of what the officers are being investigated for or even information about when the investigation took place. He also says he doesn’t know what prompted Alu to deliver the notice to one of his assistant public defenders. “Maybe she just wants to do what’s right,” Finkelstein says. “What I am concerned about is that why haven’t we gotten these notices for the past 32 years?”

Teens, Texting & Driving

Half of U.S. teens with cell phones admit talking on them while driving and a third say they’ve written text messages while they were at the wheel, according to a report released Monday. According to the study by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C, which surveyed 800 teens up to age 17:

* 75 percent of teens have a cell phone, and more than half of them say they have talked on their cell phone while driving.

* 40 percent say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone “in a way that put themselves or others in danger.”

* 48 percent of teens say they have been in a car when the driver was texting.

* More than one-third of teens ages 16 or 17 who text say that have texted while driving.

Peter Andros, 16, of Maitland said he’s aware that some friends have had close calls while driving and texting. “It’s a problem, no question,” he said.

Peter was in Longwood on Saturday taking a driving lesson with Florida Safety Council instructor Victoria Mooney, who’s also a Seminole County deputy sheriff and a school resource officer.  “It’s frightening,” Mooney said. “There are so many other distractions on the road anyway.” Not long ago, she watched a motorist drive up on a curb while texting.  “The focus needs to be on the road,” she said. “Just using a cell phone is bad enough, and now texting — it just has no place while you’re driving.” With teens, distracted driving holds a particular threat, she said. “Young drivers don’t have enough experience to know better. So many of them have to learn the hard way.”

The study contained some troubling comments from the teenagers surveyed. One high-schooler said he thinks texting while driving is “fine,” adding “I wear sunglasses so the cops don’t see [his eyes looking down].” A girl said that her “sister does it, despite my mother’s warnings. So does my brother and my friends despite my warnings.”they made distinctions between reading texts while driving, and actually typing out the answers. “And if I do text while I’m driving,” said one teen, “I usually try to keep the phone up near the windshield, so if someone is braking in front of me or stops short, I’m not going to be looking down and hit them.”  The Pew study was released in advance of a workshop on distracted driving that the Federal Communications Commission plans to hold on Friday in Washington. Industry experts, members of government and the public will participate. If you get caught texting while driving, call Jason Diamond at the Traffic Ticket Team, http://www.trafficticketteam.com or email Attorney@trafficticketteam.com 954-967-9888.

FBI Agent Fails DUI Test

Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties are inundated with “important” people who get arrested, particularly of DUI. The jails here have hosted a “who’s who” of celebrities, from Al Capone to Donté Stalworth. Recently, an FBI agent was arrested for drunk driving near Oakland Park, Florida. His behavior during the arrest was a perfect example of how not to act when you are suspected of driving under the influence.  FBI Special Agent Jorge Miyar was pulled over at a DUI checkpoint on Oakland Park Boulevard near Northeast 17th avenue. The officer’s first clue that Agent Miyar was intoxicated was when he ran over the curb. I will stand by my advice as a lawyer to all of you that running over a curb at a DUI check point is definitely not a good idea. It’s not quite as bad a peeing on an officer’s shoes, but it’s definitely going to get you unwanted attention.  During the course of the interview, Special Agent Miyar told the investigating trooper, “I know I’m F—–, I’ve been drinking and I’m in an FBI car.” He then went on to admit that he had been at a party where he had had about five beers. He took and flunked the field sobriety tests. However, he then refused to take the breathalyzer.  If there was ever any doubt that alcohol impairs your judgment, we can all look to Special Agent Miyar as an object lesson in the degenerative effects that booze has on the decision-making process. Needless to say, any lawyer worth his salt will tell you that you have the right to remain silent. That is not to say you should never speak to an officer, but confessing to the crime that the officer is investigating is certainly going to decrease you chances of getting a good plea bargain.  Just as you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to politely decline to perform the field sobriety exercises. There is no law that says you have to do the walk and turn or the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test. The only thing this trained law enforcement officer refused was the breath test, but by that time, it was too late.  DUI cases are built on four things: driving pattern, statements, roadside tests, and the breath test. If you want to avoid a DUI: Don’t swerve on the road or break any traffic laws. When you are pulled over, respectfully decline to answer any questions. When offered field sobriety exercises, respectfully decline to do so. Refusing to perform a breath test is also a crime, although it is infrequently charged. If you perform a breath test, you have the right to an independent test at your own expense. You should definitely avail yourself to that right. If you get a traffic ticket or a DUI, call the Traffic Ticket Team and Jason A. Diamond to fight back for you.

Red Light Cameras and Traffic Tickets

https://i1.wp.com/www.bigfoto.com/sites/galery/photos2/red_light.jpg Two separate lawsuits involving red-light cameras in Aventura and Temple Terrace, Florida have officials in Pembroke Pines worried that their Broward city could be next. Critics of the red light cameras assert that the cameras violate drivers’ due process rights. A few months earlier, Florida’s legislature killed a bill that would have allowed municipalities to install red-light cameras at intersections. In response to these concerns, city officials are working to amend their contact with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) so that ATS would shoulder part of the burden of any lawsuits. Last March, Pembroke Pines became the first city in Broward County to fine drivers for speeding using red-light cameras. The first camera is at Pines Boulevard and 129th Avenue. They have since added five more, and violators are fined $125. Twelve other Broward County municipalities are either researching this option or are about to vote on it. Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, and Hallandale Beach have all approved red-light camera programs, despite it being a legal gray area. If you get a traffic ticket for a red light camera, you don’t need to worry about points on your license, but the fines are hefty. If you need some advice, please call me at (954) 967-9888 or email me at jason@trafficticketteam.com

Question from a Client about Accident Tickets, by Jason A. Diamond, Esq.

This was a question from a client. “I was involved in a car accident and received a citation. How can the officer issue a ticket for something that he didn’t observe?” The important thing to know is that the officer can only PROVE his case in court through the testimony of the other drivers or through the testimony of lay witnesses who may have witnessed the accident. Regardless of what may have been said at the accident scene, once a hearing is elected then the Judge will only consider the live in-court testimony in rendering his/her decision. This is called the “accident report privilege.” What that means is that anything said at the scene of the accident is immaterial. It’s only what happens in the courtroom that matters, and if there are no witnesses against you at trial, your case will be dismissed. In fact, if all the witnesses appear but the officer doesn’t, then your case will be dismissed at trial as well. The second most common accident question is “I was involved in an accident and although a deputy arrived on the scene first, a long period of time passed until the Florida Highway Patrol trooper who issued the ticket appeared on the scene. Why did it happen that way?” The Florida Highway Patrol is just that, a highway patrol agency whose sole purpose is to enforce the traffic laws in the State of Florida and to investigate traffic crashed in the unincorporated areas of the State. So when there is an accident in many areas of the State, a deputy sheriff will arrive on the scene first and call for a trooper to investigate the crash. The Trooper will issue any citations for any violations that they believe was committed. So whether you think the ticket is your fault or not, call us to fight your accident ticket or you will automatically get points on your license. So if you get charged with anything from a traffic ticket to any criminal charge, call the traffic ticket team or go to http://www.TrafficTicketTeam.com. Our traffic ticket team of lawyers have handled over 1 million traffic tickets and Jason Diamond has presented traffic ticket clinics before audiences for over ten years.