Traffic Violation Lawyers In New Port Richey, Florida
Fight Your Traffic Ticket With Musca Law Firm
While a traffic violation could be viewed as a minor offense to many, it should be considered very important. It can just be easy for one to pay the fine and forget about the ticket. But it will still be there, with the damage already done.
Now one might ask, how much damage could a traffic offense do? Well, when you consider that it leaves marks on your record, could force one to take driver’s schooling, and costs thousands if a traffic violation is not paid and forgotten about, you can see how important it is.
And do not forget, you could look at imprisonment time and a driver’s license that has been suspended. All from one piece of paper that many see as a minor thing.
If you have had any traffic violations in the New Port Richey area, we urge you to call Musca Law Firm at (727) 480-9675 to see what one of our skilled lawyers can do for you.
Traffic Violations We Handle At New Port Richey’s Musca Law Firm
- Moving violations
- Reckless driving
- Suspended licenses
- Driving under the influence
- Driving without a license
- DUI manslaughter
In Florida, you have thirty days to pay your traffic ticket or fines. If the payment has not been made during this amount of time or you have not responded, you will be charged late fees. There may also be other penalties that are associated with this, such as a driver’s license suspension.
If you pay the ticket, you are admitting that you are guilty. What this means for you is that:
You are giving up your legal entitlement to dispute the traffic ticket in court.
Depending on your New Port Richey and Florida driving record, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) could potentially revoke your Florida driver's license.
The traffic violation could potentially cause higher rates for your car insurance.
If you contest the ticket, you are stating that you are not guilty.
A moving violation is a traffic violation that occurs when the vehicle is in motion.
Examples of moving violations include running a red light, driving faster than the posted speed limit, driving without a seatbelt, driving without a license, illegal use of window tints, crossing over the median or center line, tailgating, driving on the shoulder of the road, and failure to stop after a traffic accident.
Reckless Driving in New Port Richey
In Florida, reckless driving is defined as any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property according to Florida Statute 316.192. When an individual drives in a reckless manner, they cut their response time in half. Because of this, individuals could be injured or death could even occur.
Reckless driving will be given a fine of $500 with up to 90 days in jail. If you are found guilty of a second reckless driving charge, your fines and penalties will double.
Any property damage that is done with driving recklessly will be charged as a third-degree offense. This will result in a fine of $5,000 and 5 years in prison.
Examples of reckless driving include tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and speeding.
In Florida, as in every other state, all drivers are required to have a valid driver’s license.
Reasons as to why an individual may have a driver’s license suspended include the following:
- A points suspension
- Behind in child support payments
- DUI conviction
- Not paying court fines/restitution
- Drug-related charges
- Failure to appear in court
- Physical or mental conditions
- Petit theft convictions
- Habitual traffic offender
Penalties for driving with a suspended license include a fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail for a first-time offense. For a second offense, a person can be given up to one year of jail and will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. A third offense will result in up to 5 years in prison with a fine of up to $5,000. This will also result in felony charges.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence, more commonly known as a DUI, happens when there are impairments to normal facilities. The individuals will have a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
For a first-time offender, they will be charged a fine between $500 and $2,000. This amount will double if there was a person under the age of 18 in the car with them or if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or higher.
Jail time will be up to the judge that is presiding over the case. They will also be given probation time, which will not exceed one year (this also includes jail time). The offender’s driver’s license can be suspended for 180 days up to one year. An impoundment of the car will last for 10 days.
It is mandated by the state that 50 hours of community service must be performed. This community service can be bought off by a rate of $10 per hour.
A second offense for a DUI will result in up to 9 months of jail time. Fines will range from $1,000 to $2,000. The offender’s driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days to one year. With a second offense, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) will be placed in the car. This will be placed in the vehicle at the offender’s expense and will be in place for 2 years.
Driving Without a License
Driving without a license in Florida is considered a misdemeanor in the second degree. Florida Statutes, Section 322.03(1) states that it is unlawful to do so.
Penalties for driving without a valid license include fines up to $500 and up to 60 days of jail time.
There are certain conditions where a driver’s license is not needed in the state of Florida:
- Farm machinery operators, such as those driving a combine or a tractor
- Golf cart operators
- A person who is at least 16 years of age that is not a resident of Florida but does have a valid non-commercial driver’s license from their state or country operating a class E license
- A person who is at least 18 years of age who is not a resident of Florida but does have a valid non-commercial driver’s license from their state or country
DUI manslaughter occurs when an individual drives a vehicle within the state of Florida and the other person of the vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance that affects the person’s normal facilities collide. The driver of the first vehicle is in actual physical control of the vehicle while the driver of the second vehicle has a breath alcohol level of .08% or greater or has a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater.
There is an entire list of penalties that go with DUI manslaughter. It is classified as a second-degree felony. A judge is required to give a mandatory minimum sentence of 124.5 months of prison time. In addition, the following penalties are given: up to 15 years of jail time, up to 15 years of probation, up to $10,000 in fines, community service, permanent driver’s license suspension, impoundment of the offender’s vehicle, completion of a DUI substance abuse course, and psychosocial evaluation and substance abuse treatment.
Hit and Run
Hit and runs in Florida can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties will depend on what the nature of the hit and run was.
A third-degree felony will be charged if the accident involved personal injury to another person. The penalty for this will be up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation, and a fine of $5,000.
A first-degree felony will be charged if the accident involved death. This will be penalized by 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
A second-degree misdemeanor will be charged if the hit and run involved only property damage. The penalty for this will include up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.
Depending on the traffic violation you were charged with, there may be a need to take a traffic school course.
In Florida, there are three different kinds of traffic schools.
The basic driver improvement course is for individuals who had speeding violations, were careless at driving, passed a stopped school bus, or were in a collision that was your fault.
As per Florida section 322.0261, anyone who has been ticketed for the following is required to take the basic driver improvement course:
- Failure to obey a traffic control signal;
- Failure to obey a steady red light;
- Failure to stop for a school bus;
- Racing on the highway;
- Racing on the highway – spectator; and
- Reckless driving.
The offender will have 90 days to complete the basic driver improvement course once the ticket has been cited. If this time frame passes, the driver will license suspended for failing to attend the course.
The 3-in-3 Driver change course is for those who have committed 3 violations that have caused a crash within the past 36 months. Behind the wheel training will be included in this course and there will be an assessment of driving ability.
Advanced driver improvement is for anyone with a suspended license or by court order. It is not for anyone that has a DUI offense.
Any traffic school that the offender has been enrolled in will be paid for by the offender.
Points System In New Port Richey and the Rest of Florida
Florida operates under a points system for traffic violations. Your driver’s license could be suspended if a certain amount of points are accumulated in a specific amount of time:
- 12 points within 12 months will result in a 30-day driver’s license suspension
- 18 points within 18 months will result in a 3-month suspension of the driver’s license
- 24 or more points within a period of 36 months will result in a year suspension of the driver’s license
If you are traveling out of state, and the state you were pulled over in gives points on their driver’s licenses, those points will be added to your Florida driver’s license.
For every point that you obtain, your car insurance will go up. And if you continue to gain points, the state of Florida will view you as a habitual offender.
Point Values In Florida
The following are examples of the points value that you will receive for various offenses:
- Reckless Driving - 4 points
- Passing a stopped school bus - 4 points
- Littering - 3 points
- Improper lane change - 3 points
- Speeding, resulting in an accident - 6 points
- Open container as an operator - 3 points
- Speeding less than 15 mph over - 3 points
- Speeding 16+ over the speed limit - 4 points
- Moving violation - 3 points
- Moving violation resulting in crash - 4 points
- Leaving the scene of an accident - 6 points
- Curfew violations - 3 points
- Child restraint violation - 3 points
- Moving violation resulting in bodily harm - 6 points
- Improper backing - 3 points
- Failure to yield - 3 points
- Careless driving - 3 points
New Port Richey Traffic Offense Attorneys Who Are On Your Side
When you have a traffic offense, it can seem like a minor deal. But in reality, it could be bigger than it seems. Consider letting Musca Law Firm in New Port Richey fight for you. We are a law firm that offers a free consultation. Our attorneys have over 150 years of collective legal experience. All of our lawyers will negotiate for you in the courtroom with a strong defense all while exposing the weaknesses of the prosecution.
Once you have agreed to let us represent you in court, we will handle all of your paperwork for you. We will fight to avoid any fines, driver’s license suspensions, points on your license, and more.
Call us today at (727) 480-9675 to schedule a free initial case consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.