Why You Need an Attorney for Your Florida Speeding Ticket
If you have received a speeding ticket in the state of Florida, hiring an attorney may be the very last thing on your mind. After all, how bad can a simple speeding ticket be? Maybe you—like 80-90% of Floridians—will simply write out a check, drop it in the mail and forget about the whole thing. You could do that, of course, but perhaps you are unaware of the potentially serious repercussions a “simple” speeding ticket can bring, particularly when you plead guilty (like you did when you dropped the check in the mail) and received a conviction for the offense. The Law Place has a long, positive track record of obtaining positive results for clients just like you who were charged with a Florida speeding offense. While the charges are not criminal, you could receive three to four points on your driving record, which in turn could cause your automobile insurance rates to skyrocket. If you already have points on your driving record, you could conceivably lose our license for a month, three months or even a year. Having a skilled attorney by your side when you appear in court can make all the difference in whether the charges against you could be dropped completely, or, at the very least, negotiated down to a lower offense so that you will receive fewer points. Having an attorney from The Law Place by your side presents a professional appearance to the judge, and shows that you are very serious about defending the charges against you. Your attorney knows which questions to ask the police officer concerning whether the officer is properly certified on the device he or she used to measure your speed as well as whether the device has been properly calibrated and maintained. In short, unless you have a strong background in Florida law and are a gifted public speaker, you are not likely to prevail in court without an experienced lawyer by your side.
Your Options After Receiving a Florida Speeding Ticket
After receiving your speeding ticket, you essentially have four options:
- You can pay your ticket, receive points on your license and deal with an increase in your auto insurance rates.
- You can attend traffic school (once per year and only five times over your lifetime). You will still have to pay all the fines and fees associated with your speeding ticket, as well as the fees for traffic school, however you will have no points added to your driving record.
- You can appear in court on your own, and attempt to convince the judge that you are not guilty of speeding, however it is unlikely you will prevail.
- You can hire a skilled The Law Place attorney to represent you in court, and significantly increase your chances of a positive outcome.
How Your Speed May Have Been Measured
Your speed was likely measured by laser or radar, however it could also have been measured by aircraft, VASCAR or pacing. Unless you were going extremely fast on an open stretch of highway, it is unlikely your speed was monitored by aircraft, however if you were, both the aircraft officer and the ground officer must appear at your court hearing. VASCAR is basically a sophisticated stop watch, and has some issues associated with operator error; if there is a delay when the officer pushes the stopwatch or stops it, your speed may not have been accurately measured. Pacing involves an officer “catching up” to you, then staying the same distance behind your vehicle for two-tenths of a mile, and determining your speed based on the cruiser’s speedometer. This method may not be accurate unless the officer’s speedometer has been properly calibrated, and the police officer is extremely good at doing several things at once: remaining the same distance behind you for a specific length of time, watching the cruiser’s speedometer and the other cars on the road. Laser and radar are fairly accurate, however the devices must be regularly calibrated by a professional as well as calibrated every day by the officer using the device. There is a margin of error, particularly with radar, that the wrong vehicle may have been targeted.
Defenses Your Attorney May Use on Your Behalf
Of course the defense employed on your behalf by your Law Place attorney is dependent upon the specific circumstances of your speeding citation, however some of the more common defenses include:
- The officer targeted the wrong car—a car which looked just like yours, but due to heavy traffic, the officer lost sight of the actual speeder.
- The officer was not in a good location to accurately view your speed.
- The officer was busy with other tasks and was not focused enough on your car.
- The radar gun actually bounced off a larger vehicle which was close to you, not your car.
- The officer issued you a citation outside his or her jurisdiction.
- You had a valid emergency which caused you to speed.
- The laser or radar gun was not properly calibrated.
- The police officer was not properly certified to use the laser or radar gun.
- Both officers did not show up if your speed was measured via aircraft.
- The officer did not maintain the specified distance between vehicles for at least 2/10ths of a mile when clocking your speed via pacing.
The Law Place Attorneys Deliver Positive Outcomes
The Law Place attorneys offer you skilled representation and over thirty years of combined experience. We will negotiate or litigate depending on which strategy will get the best results for you. Our attorneys will work to have your offense reduced to the lowest level possible in order to avoid or reduce the number of points on your driving record as well as saving you money in fines and fees when possible.