Do I need a lawyer for traffic violations in Florida?

If you are issued a traffic violation in Florida you have 30 days to make decisions on what to do.  After 30 days if you have not contacted the Clerk of Court to pay your fine, contest the violation or elect to take a driver improvement course you may be assessed additional fines along with the suspension of your driver's license.

Pay the fine

You have a choice to pay the civil penalty on the front of the citation to the Clerk of Court by visiting the clerk’s office in the county where the infraction took place.  In sixty-seven counties in Florida, you can visit the website and pay the penalty.

In Florida payment of the penalty is considered a conviction and points will be assessed to your driver’s record. Points are not assessed until you pay the fine, fail in contesting the violation, or take the driver’s improvement course within 30 days.

Other traffic violations to take into consideration

For certain violations, you may have to show proof of compliance to the Clerk of Court such as

  • License expired less than 6 months 

  • Expired tags less than six months

  • Failure to display a valid driver’s license at the time of the violation

  • Failure to display a valid registration at the time of the violation

For some violations you are required to take a drivers improvement course:

  • Passing a stopped school bus

  • Racing

  • Reckless driving

  • Running a red light or other traffic control device

Points and Suspensions

Each traffic violation in Florida if convicted or admitted guilt carries points associated with the violation that goes on your driving record.  The points can add up to trouble, primarily the suspension of your driving privileges.  Increasing the cost of your car insurance is another problem that arises from having points on your record.

Here is a list of points for common violations taken from the




  • 4

  • CRASH - Leaving scene without giving information more than $50 damage 

  • 6

  • CRASH - Fail to leave information UNATTENDED vehicle - property damage

  • 6


  • 3


  • 3

  • Violation of 316.183(2), 316.187, or 316.189, Speed in excess of 50 MPH

  • 4

  • TOO fast for conditions

  • 3

  • Passing on enter/exit side while the bus is stopped [See 318.19(3) Mandatory Hearing Required]

  • 4

  • SCHOOL BUS - failure to stop for (school election available to have adjudication withheld)

  • 4

  • Fail to stop at a STEADY RED signal, one-way street, before making left turn

  • 4

  • Fail to obey traffic control signal (Failed to stop at traffic signal/red light)

  • 4

  • Fail to stop at STEADY RED signal

  • 3

  • Failed to yield the right-of-way to pedestrian

  • 3

  • TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE Fail to obey traffic control device (sign)

  • 3


  • 3

  • BACKING - improper

  • 3

  • CHILD RESTRAINT - Infant thru 3 years MUST be in a SEPARATE carrier, 4-5 years in carrier/seat belt. Applies to ANY location in the vehicle (Driver to be cited)

  • 3

  • Child Restraint required

  • 3

Why be concerned over points on your driving record?

Points stay on your driving record for at least 5 years!  Too many points on your record in a specified period of time can result in a suspension of your driving privileges. Times are from when the first violation occurred.



  • 12 points within 12 months

  • 30-day suspension

  • 18 points within 18 months

  • Three-month suspension

  • 24 points within 36 months

  • One-year suspension

Options to keep points off your record?

too many points will raise the cost of your auto insurance

For some violations or first violations attending a driver’s school sponsored by the state online or in-person can prevent points from going onto your Florida driving record.

The best defense is a good offense in most cases.  An experienced traffic court attorney can prevent or minimize the damage of additive points on your record.  Each violation should be taken seriously and contacting an attorney to help you through the court process will save money and hardship in the long run.

Call Law Offices of Edward M. Panzica - 727-588-0966

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