Almost everyone gets a traffic ticket at some point in their life. While getting just one is no big deal, it can be annoying to deal with. Things start to get tricky if you are getting traffic tickets on a regular basis. The tips below can help you know what to do the next time you get a traffic ticket.
Respond Within 30 Days
According to Florida law, you need to respond to your ticket within 30 days. Ignoring the ticket will only gain you further fees and penalties, so it is best to get acknowledge the ticket as soon as possible.
Acknowledging the ticket within 30 days doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to pay the ticket within 30 days. Instead, there are three main options to choose from: pay the ticket and take points on your license, go to court, or pay the ticket while avoid adding points to your license by taking a driver improvement course.
Pay the Ticket
If you do not want to fight the ticket in court, you will need to pay for the ticket yourself. There are a couple of ways to do this. Depending on which county you are in, you will be able to pay the ticket online, via a check in the mail, or over the phone. Before you pay the ticket, make sure to contact the court in your county to make sure that you have the right payment information.
Hire an Attorney
If you are unsure of what to do, or if you need help, then it could be in your best interest to hire a traffic ticket attorney. These attorneys are professionals who have studied traffic laws.
There are a couple of outcomes that can happen when you hire a traffic attorney to fight your ticket. The worst-case scenario is that you lose in court and still need to pay a ticket. If this happens, many attorneys will not make you pay for their services. The best case scenario is that your attorney gets you out of your ticket without so much as needing to go to court. When this happens, you will pay a small fee to the attorney. This is often cheaper than paying the ticket and should not affect your privilege of having a license.
Take a Driver Improvement Course
Most traffic offenses do not require a driver to take a driver improvement course, but taking one of these courses is a good way to avoid getting points on your license. This is a good idea if you already have points on your license and want to avoid getting more. Remember, if you get a certain amount of points in a specific period of time, you will get your license suspended or even revoked. Generally speaking, this will happen if you get more than 12 points in a year.
Taking a driving improvement can also keep your insurance rates from going up. When you take a class, the ticket fee is usually lower than it would be if you were not taking a course.
To take a driver improvement course, you will need to sign up on the Florida Online Traffic School website. Each class costs about $20. The state offers three class options: a 4-hour basic driver course, an 8-hour judge-ordered intermediate driver course, and a 12-hour advanced driver improvement course. All of these classes are offered in both English and Spanish.
You do not necessarily need to take your driver improvement courses through the state, but it is usually the most reliable and cheapest option. If you plan on taking classes from another class provider, make sure to check with the state to make sure the organization is legit. To do this, contact your local courthouse.
When you get a traffic ticket in Florida, make sure to acknowledge it as soon the possible. The sooner you do this, the more time you have to weigh your options on what you want to do. If you want to pay for the ticket, you can do so and decide if you want to also take driving classes. If you do not want to pay the ticket, hire an attorney and take the ticket to court to fight your way out of it.