Many drivers view traffic citations as nuisances that disrupt their commutes. Getting pulled over to be issued a citation for an action that seemingly all other drivers are committing can feel like police officers are picking and choosing people at random to meet quotas. What many drivers fail to realize is that, although many infractions are civil matters, some violations are criminal offenses that require their immediate attention. Additionally, failing to respond to a civil citation can lead to penalties.
Rather than ignoring a traffic ticket, your first step should be to contact a traffic attorney in West Palm Beach to learn more about your citation and what steps to take next.
You Might Have Been Cited for a Crime
Not everyone accused of committing a crime endures a physical arrest. Drivers who commit criminal traffic offenses may simply be issued a ticket. If you fail to look into your ticket and respond to it within the allotted time frame, you can unknowingly hurt your case.
Actions like racing on the highway, leaving the scene of an accident, and reckless driving are all criminal traffic offenses for which drivers usually receive a traffic ticket. Ignoring the ticket could lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest. It’s best to respond to traffic tickets immediately.
Your License May Be Suspended or Revoked
Florida drivers have thirty (30) days to respond to traffic citations. Failing to respond to a ticket within thirty days may lead to license suspension. Maintain your legal ability to drive by resolving your traffic tickets as soon as possible with the help of an attorney.
Additionally, accumulating civil citations can become a criminal matter. Accumulating 45 points against your license within a 60-month period can make you a habitual traffic offender or HTO. The State of Florida revokes licenses of HTOs for a mandatory period of 5 years.
Your Traffic Ticket Might End Up in Collections
Courts do not spend much time pursuing unpaid civil traffic citations. The Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller’s office sells traffic debt to collection agencies, which can charge additional fees. Once a collection agency owns your debt, interest may accrue causing the original fine to increase exponentially.
Contact an Experienced Traffic Attorney
You may be able to avoid the downsides of a traffic citation by discussing your traffic case with a criminal defense lawyer in West Palm Beach. Attorney Brian Gabriel has extensive experience helping the people of Palm Beach County resolve serious traffic offenses and protect their driver’s licenses. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or complete a contact form.