Understanding Florida's Traffic Laws

In Florida, there are different levels of responsibility when it comes to traffic violations: non-moving violations, moving violations and criminal violations. Under these three umbrellas are myriad types of infractions, from rolling through a stop sign to felony DUI. Every day, people from all walks of life make mistakes on Florida’s roads and highways that could potentially cause difficulty in their lives.

What Are Non-moving Violations?

Non-moving violations are infractions that are committed when the vehicle isn’t moving. Examples include broken lights, expired license plates or other equipment-related violations, like a smashed windshield. You can receive a non-moving violation for parking illegally, as well. Generally, the penalties for these violations are minor, unless you become a repeat offender.

What Are Moving Violations?

Moving violations are those that occur when the vehicle is in motion. Examples include running a red light, texting and driving and careless driving. Like non-moving violations, most moving violations involve light penalties, such as fines, community service, driver record points, driver improvement courses or license restrictions.

Speeding is the most common moving violation and is representative of how Florida addresses minor violations. Generally speaking, if you’re going between six and nine miles per hour over the limit, you’ll pay over a hundred dollars. If you’re going between ten and fourteen miles per hour over, you’ll pay about two hundred dollars. The fines go up with the miles per hour and fines are steeper when they are incurred in a school zone.

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Speeding also gets points put onto your license. Most offenses involve three or four points. When a driver accrues too many points, there are other consequences. Twelve points within twelve months, for instance, leads to a thirty-day license suspension.

What Are Criminal Violations?

A Florida ticket lawyer knows that the difference between a Unified Traffic Citation and a criminal citation can be tremendous. While one might involve a small fine, the other could result in jail time and loss of license. Criminal traffic charges can be leveled at a driver for various reasons, including accruing too many points under Florida’s driving point system, causing harm or death to another party, driving while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or being involved in a hit and run.

To return to speeding, under Florida law, when a driver is traveling 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, the offense is considered criminal speeding. If traveling 50 miles per hour over the speed limit or over 100 miles per hour, you could be charged with felony speeding. Speeding could lead to third-degree felony charges, which could mean up to five years in prison, license revocation for up to ten years and up to $5,000 in fines.

DUI violations

DUI offenses in Florida consist of driving under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances or controlled substances, as proven by obvious impairment of normal faculties or an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.

A first DUI offense in Florida is usually considered a misdemeanor, which means a six-month loss of license and a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000. If the Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, those amounts are doubled. Refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test will lead to a mandatory license suspension.

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Tips for Safe Driving

Every year, there are millions of traffic violations in Florida and the rates of reckless driving are on the rise. There are an awful lot of people on the road, rushing to be on time. Respect is probably the key word when it comes to avoiding trouble while you’re behind the wheel. By respecting the rules and laws, as well as other drivers, and by having a healthy respect for the level of attention that it takes to drive, you minimize the chances of committing any violations. At the end of the day, that’s going to save you time and money.

Originally posted 2023-02-28 00:54:43.

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