3 reasons to hire a Florida attorney for a traffic ticket

Hiring an attorney for a traffic ticket in Florida can help protect your freedom and your driving privileges.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 3,387,909 traffic citations across the state in 2015. The tickets vary from non-moving infractions to criminal offenses. The department notes that in 10,480 of those incidents, the driver was found not guilty of the charges brought against him or her.

While not every ticket needs to be addressed in a court of law, there are several times when doing so is imperative to protect the driver's rights. Hiring an attorney is a crucial step, and here is why:

1. An attorney knows the law.

An attorney who focuses on criminal defense and fighting traffic tickets knows how the law will apply to a case. The average person may simply look for a mistake on the ticket itself or try to prove that he or she did not do what the ticket says occurred. However, a lawyer can find a technical mistake the average person would not notice or a loophole in the law that would merit a dismissed ticket.

2. An attorney knows what is at stake.

Penalties for traffic tickets largely depend on the infraction. For example, Florida law states that a nonmoving traffic infraction is a $30 fine. However, speeding at 30 miles an hour over the posted limit constitutes a $250 fine. Causing an accident that injures someone could result in even higher penalties and even jail time, depending on the circumstances. Charges such as drunk driving could result in having to use an ignition interlock device.

Additionally, as the DHSMV points out, Florida uses a system in which someone issued a ticket or convicted of a violation will acquire points on his or her license. After 12 points in 12 months, the driver faces a 30-day license suspension.

An attorney understands the consequences of traffic citations and duly fights to protect the rights of the person facing the charges.

3. An attorney knows how to get penalties reduced.

There are some instances in which dismissing a ticket entirely is not feasible. However, that does not mean that the person accused of the infraction will have to pay the entire fine or face other penalties in full. A traffic ticket attorney can make an argument as to why penalties should be reduced, such as pointing to the driver's outstanding record. Attorneys often have relationships with others in the legal system and know how to negotiate for fair treatment.

Traffic ticket cases can often be more complex than they first appear. Anyone who has questions regarding this topic should speak with a criminal defense attorney in Florida.