Things You Must Know to Fight a Traffic Ticket

Every driver has dealt with the unpleasantness of receiving a traffic ticket at least once. One moment you are cruising down the highway and the next moment you see those dreaded flashing lights behind you telling you to pull over. One small infraction shouldn’t taint your driving record or hike up your insurance rates. If you learn how to fight a traffic ticket, you can keep your driving record clean and keep your hard earned money where it belongs – in your pocket.

When you get pulled over, always remember to be respectful and courteous to the officer. Sarcastic remarks or arguing will not be received well and may actually get you into even more trouble. Be sure to answer the officer’s questions directly, and don’t elaborate on them. Never get out of your car unless the officer asks you to, as this could be seen as a sign of aggression.

Do not openly admit your guilt or try to think of outlandish stories or excuses for your behavior. Reply with a simple, “No, Sir” or “No, Ma’am” when the officer asks if you know why they pulled you over. It is their responsibility to explain what the offense is, and they should do it in as much detail as possible. If you were speeding, make sure they let you know how fast you were going, and how much above the speed limit that is.

If you are going to court, you will need to know the name of the officer and their badge number. This is written on the ticket but is sometimes illegible, so be sure to ask. For a speeding infraction, ask the officer about the device that was used and where they were located when they determined that you were going too fast. Check that area for clearly marked speed limit signs. If there are none, take pictures so that you have further evidence for your court hearing.

When you ask very specific questions, it can sometimes lead the officer to believe that it’s not worth the effort of showing up to the court date. If they think that you will gather enough evidence they may conclude that your ticket will get thrown out or the charge will be lessened anyway. Officers have to appear in court on their day off, and many would rather be with their family or out on the driving range. Your case will be automatically dismissed if the officer does not appear.

You can still win, however, even if the officer does make an appearance, especially if it is your first offense, or it is deemed as a minor one. You can get the charge completely thrown out, or the fine may be reduced. If it is a more serious infraction, you may want to consider hiring an attorney. Companies such as X-Coppers are run by former police officers and can help give you tips and strategies on how to win your case. You will have to determine whether or not it is worth spending the extra money on this kind of help.

You will need to be prepared for your court case, whether you hire a lawyer or not. Prepare your statement to the judge well in advance and gather as much information as possible. A motion of discovery should be filed as soon as your ticket is received, as this is your right to know exactly what you are being charged with and what kind of evidence will be presented. Knowledge beforehand is key in order to defend yourself effectively.

Some jurisdictions offer traffic school as an option, instead of being convicted with an offense. Check your local area to see if this is a viable choice. It is always a good plan to voluntarily sign up for a refresher course and will help to prevent further tickets and fines. Not getting a ticket in the first place is the best strategy in learning how to fight a traffic ticket. Call the Traffic Ticket Team now, 954-967-9888 http://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.

 

Clerks Of Court Facing More Cuts $$$

As elected clerks of court, we are deeply concerned about the amendment to the Senate General Appropriations Act, which proposes another $23 million cut to the clerks’ statewide budget. In Broward and Palm Beach alone, more than 250 employees were laid off last year. These additional cuts mean up to another 130 people may be laid off. The result will be a direct impact on the citizens we serve and our local economy. There are documented, quantifiable costs associated with court-related delays in civil cases, with a direct economic impact approaching $10.1 billion annually in the state of Florida. You may recall that clerks’ budgets across the state were cut by almost $90 million last year, and almost 1,300 people were laid off statewide. More than 30 clerk branch service offices were closed. Those reductions, combined with the ones proposed, will critically impact the ability of Florida’s clerks to provide constitutionally and statutorily required services. However, before we cut services, we adopted technologies to ensure our offices were running as lean as possible. We have been cut to the bone, and with 90,000 foreclosures pending, we’re not getting the job done. The public’s access to the courts will be further restricted as customers wait in line for hours. Businesses will lose thousands of dollars because of case processing backlogs delaying certificates of titles, writs of possession and court docket updates. Civil court lawyers will be the hardest hit by backlogs, as clerks shift from civil departments to criminal to meet statutory requirements such as “speedy trial” — a mandate to give criminal cases top priority. Our legislators need to hear from everyone that cutting the clerks’ budgets for two years in a row will limit access to the courts and directly affect court users. It is unconscionable to impact Florida’s economic recovery by restricting access to the courts in these difficult times. If you are a local Florida Bar member, a member of the business community or just a person who has dealings with the courts, you need to reach out to your state senators and representatives to prevent another direct hit on your economic future and the future of Florida. 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.

New Documentation To Renew Your License

Traffic Ticket Team

Traffic Ticket Team

A visit to the driver’s license office has always been a little slice of hell.  Now it’s gotten even worse.  Florida’s strict new identity requirements for license renewal are steering drivers to new heights of confusion, costing them time from work, sending them on laborious paper chases and forcing return trips to the dreaded DMV. “It’s very frustrating,” said Harmony Hoot, of Lake Worth who, along with her fiancé recently was on her third attempt in a day to renew his license. “I’ll admit I was yelling. There were some profanities.”  The source of Hoot’s woe: A new state law that went into effect Jan. 1 requiring drivers to provide more documentation before renewing a license. Where formerly you needed only to produce your old license to get a new one, you must now cough up more solid identification such as a birth certificate or passport.  Further proof is required in the form of a Social Security card. If the flimsy card has disintegrated in your wallet over the past decades, a W-2 tax form or paycheck bearing the nine magic numbers will do. But that’s not all. The state demands not one, but two proofs of residency bearing your address, which can be a utility bill, mortgage statement or vehicle registration or title. Parents can accompany minor drivers and attest to their residency as long as the parent has the required proof of address.  Married women using their husband’s name will need to produce a marriage certificate. “I was not told I need a marriage certificate just to renew my license,” said a disheartened Lucy Garcia, of Tamarac, who for a second time was turned away from the license office in Lauderhill. “Who knows how much longer I’m going to be coming here?”  But at least the Lauderhill office had staffers out front to cull from the herd people who lacked sufficient documentation, sparing them a wait in line.  The documentation requirements are part of the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005 in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The hijackers used false identification, including Florida driver’s licenses. A majority of states has refused to comply with the act, and federal authorities have postponed until mid-2011 a deadline for it to take effect. Gary Biller, director of the National Motorists Association, a driver’s advocacy group, said the new requirements are too extreme. 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.

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.

Is is Time to Give Up your License?

We all remember when we got our driver’s license. It’s one of life’s great moments, a giant step toward adulthood. Decades later comes a related rite of passage that generates considerably less enthusiasm: the day you stop driving. Most older drivers are aware when that time is approaching. They recognize their diminishing skills; maybe they have a close call or sometimes can’t find the way home. Most relinquish their keys or make concessions to age and adjust their driving patterns. But others, no matter how many times they get lost, blow stop signs or get honked at by fellow motorists, want to keep that grip on the wheel. “I think most people understand the point when it’s unsafe for them to drive,” says Moraine Byrne, senior vice president for Covenant Retirement Communities, a nonprofit organization. “They’re more often afraid they might hurt someone else. They make the decision on their own or cut way back.” Giving up driving can be difficult. People fear a loss of independence and the ability to participate in longtime activities. They worry about being able to do their shopping, visit friends or keep doctor appointments. All good points, all needing to be addressed during any family discussion. “Unless there’s a real emergency, I recommend the family plan to start the conversation slowly,” Byrne suggests. “Ask questions, [don’t] come in with a set plan in mind, but come in with an open mind so the parent doesn’t feel they’re being attacked. You really need to have several conversations, unless there is an emergency situation. You have to have respect for a parent’s position.” When the evidence is in, the family may realize that stopping cold turkey isn’t warranted. If a person’s skills are only starting to erode, there are alternatives.  Curtail higher-risk driving situations, for example. Recent research from the MIT AgeLab and The Hartford found that 69 percent of drivers older than 75 and 58 percent of those 65 to 74 self-regulate their driving. That means avoiding driving at night or rush hour, taking only familiar routes, limiting trips to a certain distance, and keeping off expressways and highways. Then there are classes where older drivers can brush up on their skills. AARP (aarp.com) offers a classroom and online course aimed at older drivers.  “I’ve known several people who have taken it who said it helped them remain focused and helped them to think differently,” Byrne says. “I’ve looked at the course work, and it looks like a tremendous program.” Stress fitness. Research by the National Institute on Aging, published in 2008 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, suggests that physical conditioning helps maintain the performance of older drivers, decreasing errors by more than a third.  The test subjects participated in an exercise program to improve flexibility, coordination and speed of movement relevant to driving. Even with those efforts, a driver’s deterioration is sometimes unmistakable. Pop cruises the expressway at 25 miles an hour, or pulls into the garage without bothering to open the garage door first.  Problems can also be less obvious. Has pop’s insurance rate increased? Has he received recent traffic tickets? Inspect the car; are there fresh and/or unexplained dents? Does driving leave him exhausted or frazzled? Does he take medication that might affect his driving? If Mom, Dad or a Grandparent gets a ticket and you still want her or him to drive, please feel free to call the Traffic Ticket Team, www.trafficticketteam.com, at 954-967-9888 for a free consultation.

Florida Drivers: Top 10 For America’s Worst Drivers

GMAC Insurance recently conducted a survey of a driver’s basic knowledge of the laws of the road. The company quizzed more than 5,000 drivers in all 50 states and the results are in. While New York has what GMAC Insurance deems as the worst drivers, Florida finished ninth overall. Many law firm clients think that the lack of knowledge of traffic laws is a valid defense against their traffic ticket but unfortunately that is not the case. According to the survey about 41 million Americans would fail their written driver’s test if they had to take it today. While most drivers are aware of the laws surrounding speeding, running a red light and driving with a suspended license there are many laws out there that Florida driver’s aren’t as familiar with. Some are newer laws like Florida’s Move Over Law or some are just misunderstood like what is careless driving or reckless driving. If you want to take the test yourself, visit www.nationaldriverstest.com. If you have been cited for a traffic violation in Florida and need qualified legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact experienced Traffic Ticket Lawyers such as Jason Diamond at the Traffic Ticket Team http://www.trafficticketteam.com or email jason@trafficticketteam.com (954) 967-9888

Published in: on March 5, 2010 at 7:55 pm  Comments (5)  
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DRIVER’S LICENSE EXAMINERS SENT TO PRISON.

Another driver’s license examiner has surrendered to begin serving a prison term in a conspiracy in which examiners took payoffs to obtain driver’s licenses for more than 1,500 illegal immigrants. Chenita Byrd-Mosley, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation or reward and conspiracy to commit official misconduct.  Byrd-Mosley will serve 18 months in prison, followed by three years probation. Each of the two charges was punishable by up to five years. Debbie Hunter-Collins, 43, of Delray Beach, pleaded guilty last month and will surrender July 12 to serve a two-year prison term, followed by three years of probation. Prosecutors have said at least seven examiners at the Delray Beach Driver’s License office were part of the scheme.  They say at least six conspirators generated fake immigration documents, then directed applicants to examiners who would wave them through, often without requiring driving or written tests.  At $1,200 to $2,500 per license, the conspirators may have pocketed several million dollars, prosecutors say. Investigators haven’t ruled out that more examiners and conspirators were involved. Examiner Melita Dera Zilea, 28, of Coral Springs, already has been sentenced to three years in prison, followed by two years of probation. And co-worker Jashonda Kaliha Scott, 25, of Palm Springs, got two years in prison followed by three years of probation.  Examiner Patreese Harvey, 29, of Palm Springs, is scheduled to make a plea and is expected to also receive prison time and probation.  The remaining two examiners, Maggie Nelson, 47, of Delray Beach, and Osie Carter, 49, Boynton Beach, are set for trial March 2. So are four alleged conspirators: Jonex Moise, 35, of Boynton Beach; Rene Clairvoyant, 57, of Boca Raton; Willy Adam, 52, of suburban Lake Worth; and Lorigene Jean Baptiste, 41, of West Palm Beach. Alex Adrien, then 42, of Delray Beach, was arrested in April 2009 and eventually deported to Haiti. Two suspected conspirators remain at large. If you think you need an attorney for a related case, please call the traffic ticket team at 954-967-9888 or go to www.traffictcketteam.com

RED LIGHT CAMERA’S DECLARED ILLEGAL

Cities throughout the state scrambled Monday to review their red-light camera programs after a circuit judge ruled that Aventura is illegally using the traffic devices to catch motorists. Although the case is being appealed, its eventual resolution will influence at least 26 cities statewide that have installed red-light cameras. They include Pembroke Pines, Hallandale Beach, Boynton Beach and West Palm Beach. Invoking opinions issued by the state attorney general in 1997 and 2005, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jerald Bagley said traffic laws are the purview of the state and that police officers should witness — and then issue tickets to — red-light runners. Relying on a traffic camera alone, without an officer at the intersection, was “invalid,” Bagley said, according to a transcript of his summary judgment issued Monday. City officials argued red-light cameras prevented accidents and they sidestepped state law by issuing code violations, not traffic tickets. The vehicle’s owner, not the driver, was cited. No traffic points were issued and fines generally cost $125. Appeals could be made only to a special magistrate, who typically worked for the city. “Red-light cameras save lives and the state of Florida has been too slow to approve this life-saving measure, forcing cities to do what they themselves should be doing to protect residents,” said Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo. But traffic lawyers and some motorists say local governments overreached.  The State should run the traffic ticket laws said Jason Diamond from the Traffic Ticket Team, www.trafficticketteam.com. Several hundred drivers from throughout the state last year joined class-action suits filed against Pembroke Pines, North Miami, Homestead, Orlando and more than a dozen other local governments. Pembroke Pines officials have already set aside $253,919 in an escrow account from the 3,072 citations issued since March 2009. It has cameras posted at Southwest 129th Avenue and Pines Boulevard, but postponed the installation of several more until a lawsuit filed by more than two dozen drivers is settled. “We are aware of the order,” said Michael Cirullo, who is helping represent Pembroke Pines in a suit pending against the city’s red-light program. “We have yet to fully review the order, but when we do, we will be evaluating it to see whether it will have any effect on the city’s program.” Officials in West Palm Beach, which began using a red-light camera system on Sunday, said their city will be unaffected by the ruling because it was in a different circuit court.  “We have not had time to completely review the case. However our system will remain active,” city spokesman Chase Scott wrote in an e-mail. “Before we issue a ticket, the incident is reviewed by three people and then a link to watch the video is issued along with the violation. We believe the cameras save lives and prevent injuries to pedestrians and other drivers.”  Fort Lauderdale City Attorney Harry Stewart said he had not seen the order yet, but based on what he’d heard, the city might wait for the appeal to be decided before installing the cameras at 10 intersections. The city on Feb. 3 approved a 39-month contract with American Traffic Solutions in Kansas and hoped to start reaping about $1.8 million a year.  “In order to evaluate whether we should dump our program or continue forward, we need to be able to see the order and evaluate the legal determinations therein,” Stewart said late Monday afternoon. City Attorney Brian Shutt said his city was prepared for the controversy. “We have a provision that says we won’t proceed forward with implementing or installing the cameras until there is state law that provides for this or until there is a favorite court ruling that allows them,” he said. The issue came up in the state Legislature last year, only to fail after lawmakers disagreed over how to apportion the ticket proceeds. In March, the Legislature will consider a bill that would allow cities and counties to use traffic cameras. Part of the proceeds from fines would go to trauma centers, hospitals and nursing homes. If you got a red light traffic ticket, call the Law Offices of Jason A. Diamond at the trafficticketteam.com, 954-967-9888.

Cop Writes Fake Traffic Tickets, Only in Florida.

Concern that a Florida Highway Patrol trooper accused of writing false traffic tickets may have more victims has prompted FHP to open a hot line number. “We have established a central hot line for people filing complaints in this case,” said FHP Maj. James G. Brierton, commander of Troop E, which is based in Dade.  The move comes after a revelation on Tuesday that Trooper Paul C. Lawrence, 38, had been arrested on 22 counts of official misconduct for writing the fake citations.  Already, 203 traffic citations that Lawrence issued since November have been dismissed.  But prosecutors think there might more victims.  Those who believe they received a false citation from Lawrence can call 305-470-2525.  In each case, Lawrence is accused of using information from drivers whom he had previously stopped. Then he manufactured new charges. The citations were not signed by the drivers.  The 22 counts are related to eight specific incidents this winter, according to the arrest affidavit.  Prosecutors said Lawrence started writing the false tickets to boost the number of citations he was reporting to his bosses.  In November alone, he submitted 397 citations to FHP — 82 of them missing a signature.  An FHP spokesman said FHP does not use a quota system.  Supervisors noticed something wrong in November when in one day five motorists called to complain they were being solicited by traffic ticket teams for citations, although they had not been stopped or ticketed by FHP.  An investigation was launched that showed an unusually large number of Lawrence’s citations were not signed by the alleged violators.  Lawrence, an FHP trooper for 15 years, has been placed on administrative duty “pending termination.”