If an individual in Jacksonville receives a traffic citation, traffic infraction or moving violation, they may believe it’s not serious and decide to simply pay the ticket. However, Florida law mandates a driving point system, where a conviction for many driving offenses will result in points, and ultimately, a driver’s license suspension or revocation. In order to avoid points on a driving record, it is important to hire an experienced traffic defense attorney who will make every effort to have your ticket dismissed.
Additionally, certain traffic crimes are criminal offenses, such as reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, vehicular manslaughter or homicide, driving under the influence (DUI), and hit and run. A conviction for any of these offenses can result in serious penalties, such as jail or prison sentences, expensive fines, driver’s license suspensions and classification as a Habitual Traffic Offender.JACKSONVILLE TRAFFIC CRIMES LAWYER
If you have been charged with any criminal traffic offense in Jacksonville, or any of the surrounding areas in Florida, including Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine, Orange Park, or Fernandina Beach, contact Roelke Law, P.A. Bill Roelke is knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s motor vehicle laws and is experienced in defending numerous traffic cases. Call Roelke Law today for a free consultation at (904) 354-0333 about your alleged vehicle offense.
Jacksonville Traffic Offense Information Center
- Driving Point System in Florida
- Criminal Traffic Offenses in Jacksonville
- Penalties for Florida Traffic Crimes
- Habitual Traffic Offender Status in Florida
- Jacksonville Resources for Traffic Crimes
Florida’s Driving Point System
According to Fla. Stat. § 322.27(3), the state of Florida assigns points to a driver’s record for paying tickets for certain traffic offenses, which is also considered admitting guilt to the offense. The more serious the offense is, the greater number of points the alleged offender will receive on their record. Once a driver reaches a specified number of points within a certain period of time, their license will be suspended or revoked. If the alleged offender is able to have their ticket dismissed, they will not be assigned points. It is generally helpful to hire an experienced traffic defense lawyer to help you achieve a dismissal of your ticket.
The number of points leading to a driver’s license suspension are as follows:
- 12 points or more in one year – license suspension for 30 days
- 18 points or more in 18 months – license suspension for 90 days
- 24 points or more in three years – licenses suspension for one year
Anyone who has their license suspended as a result of too many points on their driving record may be eligible to receive a hardship license. An individual may be eligible for this kind of license if they complete a 12-hour driving improvement course and pay a license reinstatement fee, in addition to any other fees the Duval County clerk may require.
Traffic offenses that can result in points are as follows:
- Speeding 15 miles or less over the speed limit – 3 points
- Driving with an open container – 3 points
- Toll violations – 3 points
- Child restraint violations – 3 points
- Parking on a highway – 3 points
- Any other moving violation – 3 points
- Speeding 16 miles or more over the speed limit – 4 points
- Reckless driving – 4 points
- Running a red light – 4 points
- Driving during restricted hours – 4 points
- Passing a stopped school bus – 4 points
- Crash resulting from a moving violation – 4 points
- Leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in over $50 in property damage – 6 points
- Crash caused by a speeding violation – 6 points
A driver can receive a reduction in the points on their driving record if they attend traffic school. However, this option is available once per year and only five times during a ten year period. The traffic school option is not available for individuals with a commercial driver’s license suspension.
Criminal Traffic Offenses in Jacksonville
Many of Florida’s traffic or motor vehicle offenses that result in criminal penalties can include any of the following:
Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License - Fla. Stat. § 322.34 - An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate their vehicle in Florida with a license that has been suspended or revoked. This offense is punishable as a moving violation, misdemeanor of the second or first degree, or felony of the third degree, depending on the number of previous convictions and whether the driver knew of the suspension.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Florida Statutes § 316.027 – An individual can be charged with this offense, also known as hit and run, if they are involved in a car accident that resulted in injury to another person and they intentionally leave the scene of the accident without giving assistance or leaving their information. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree, or felony of the first degree if the other person dies from their injuries.
Reckless Driving – Fla. Stat. § 316.192 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate their vehicle on Florida roads with complete disregard for the safety or property of other drivers. A driver is per se reckless driving if they flee or elude a law enforcement officer. Reckless driving is punishable as a moving violation, misdemeanor of the first degree or felony of the third degree, depending on the number of previous offenses, whether property damage occurred and whether serious bodily injury occurred to another person.
Vehicular Manslaughter – Fla. Stat. § 782.07 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they negligently operate their vehicle and cause the death of another person. This offense is punishable as a felony of the first or second degree.
Vehicular Homicide – Fla. Stat. § 782.071 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they recklessly operate their vehicle and, as a result, cause death or serious bodily injury to another person. This offense is punishable as a felony of the second or first degree.
Penalties for Florida Traffic Crimes
The general statutory penalties for traffic offenses are provided for in Fla. Stat. § 775.082, 775.083 or 775.084; however, these penalties can increase depending on a variety of factors. Reasons an individual's punishment may be increased can include: their criminal history, their intent or knowledge, whether serious bodily injury or death occurred as a result of the accident, and the classification of the victim.
Misdemeanor of the Second Degree – A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence not more than 60 days and/or a fine up to $500.
Misdemeanor of the First Degree – A conviction for this offense can result in jail term up to one year and/or a fine not more than $1,000.
Felony of the Third Degree – A conviction for an offense in this degree can result in a prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine not more $5,000.
Felony of the Second Degree – A conviction for an offense in this degree can result in a prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
Felony of the First Degree – A conviction for an offense in this degree can result in a prison sentence not more than 30 years or life and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Habitual Traffic Offender Status in Florida
If an individual has committed numerous criminal traffic offenses within a period of five years, they can be classified as a habitual traffic offender (HTO), according to Fla. Stat. § 322.264. Classification as an HTO can result in a permanent driver’s license revocation or a license suspension up to five years.
An individual can be classified as an HTO if they commit 15 or more traffic or motor vehicle violations on Florida’s driving point schedule within five years. Additionally, three or more of the following offenses in five years can result in an HTO classification:
- Any DUI offense,
- Any felony vehicle offense,
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license,
- Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident,
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license, and/or
- Vehicular manslaughter.
Jacksonville Resources for Traffic Crimes
Florida Statutes Online – This link is to Chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes, which is also known as the State Uniform Traffic Control. This chapter defines many of the state’s traffic offenses, such as reckless driving, careless driving, hit and run and most moving violations.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV) – This Florida government department enforces and regulates many of the traffic laws in the state, and provides information on the state’s driving point system, miscellaneous motor vehicle laws of the state, administrative license suspensions and hearings and reinstating a license after a driving conviction. This link is to the Florida driving point system. A local Jacksonville service center is located at:
12961 N. Main St., Ste. 210
Jacksonville, Florida 32218
Phone: (904) 630-1916
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) – This state governmental department seeks to provide a safe and reliable transportation system throughout the state in order to decrease the rate, severity, frequency and potential for motor vehicle accidents and crashes.
Roelke Law, P.A. | Jacksonville Criminal Traffic Offense Attorney
Contact Roelke Law today for a consultation about your traffic violation charges throughout Duval County in Florida. Bill Roelke is an experienced Jacksonville criminal attorney who will make every effort to find applicable defenses or mitigating factors in your particular situation to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Call (904) 354-0333 for a consultation about your alleged traffic crime throughout Duval County and the surrounding counties in Florida, including St. Johns County, Nassau County and Clay County.