If you drive long enough, eventually you will see flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror. It’s unavoidable. You know it’s true. In fact, you should probably consider yourself lucky you don’t get more tickets. If you’re being honest, you are like most people in that you probably do something wrong every time you get behind the wheel.Continue reading “Worst Thing To Do When You Get A Traffic Ticket”
As I was sitting in court today I had an opportunity to watch not only the other traffic attorneys, but the unrepresented people (that would be the people who choose to fight a ticket themselves and not hire a lawyer), and I noticed something interesting. Anyone can get ONE traffic ticket dismissed. Here’s how.Continue reading “How To Get Traffic Tickets Dismissed in Florida”
One of the first phone calls I received after graduating from law school was from a friend of mine who said, “I just signed a contract, can I fax it to you to take a look at it?.” Of course, my answer was “No” because there was no point in me looking over something that had already been signed. What could I have done if I saw things I wanted to change? It was too late, as the document had already been signed.
When I decided to focus on becoming a Traffic Ticket Attorney, I soon realized I would have the same problem. People called me all the time and asked if there was anything they could do with the ticket they just paid.
Unfortunately, my answer was also “No” because once you pay a ticket, you are either going to get points, or you are going to have to attend traffic school, or you are going to end up paying a hefty fine.
Again, too many people were too late. So, I’m hoping this article catches you BEFORE you make the mistake of just paying it.
One of the reasons I chose to become a Traffic Ticket Attorney was the opportunity to help as many people as I could. I’ve been very fortunate over the years to have helped hundreds of thousands of clients with all types of traffic ticket related matters. Of course, in almost all of those situations, the client contacted me before taking an action that could not be undone.
Therefore, when you or someone you love gets a ticket (and let’s be honest, it’s really a question of when, not if) whatever you do, don’t rush into anything. For most tickets in Florida, you are given 30 days before you have to decide what to do.
By all means, take your entire 30 days. There’s no prize for deciding early.
As long as you don’t wait until the time has expired (which might mean that you have to pay more money, but not that you can’t still fight the ticket), you will be in the exact same boat if you decide to fight the traffic ticket the day you received it or the last day you were still eligible to notify the court of your decision.
So, now that we’ve established that you have time, let’s discuss what you should do with the time.
The first thing I tell people is to take a deep breath. Forget about the ticket for the rest of the day (if you can). Getting all upset and letting it negatively affect the rest of your day is not going to help you make the situation better.
In fact, when you go to sleep and wake up to realize the planets didn’t collide and the world kept spinning, you will probably have the ticket in a little better perspective.
It’s not the end of the world, just something you have to deal with.
And deal with it you will. By doing the very first thing I always recommend, which is doing a little bit of research into finding a local traffic ticket attorney in your area.
Let’s be honest. Who knows more about the ticket you received and what you can expect than a traffic ticket attorney? If you call the right one.
As much as we all have a friend who “swears” he’s got a guy who knows a guy who’s mother is best friends with the chief of police and gets all of his tickets dismissed, there’s just no better resource for your ticket than a local traffic ticket attorney who goes to court every day doing nothing but tickets.
The last part of that sentence was very important because believe it or not, there are plenty of attorneys who put “traffic ticket attorney” on their marketing material, but don’t really do this as a major or exclusive part of their practice. They put that down to try and make a few extra dollars by taking cases they plan on passing off to someone at the last minute who doesn’t really have your best interest at heart. That’s not the kind of Traffic Ticket Attorney I’m talking about.
Before you hire ANY traffic ticket attorney, you must read a post I wrote that will give you the 5 questions you must ask BEFORE hiring a traffic ticket attorney. Only then will you be prepared to make the best decision that’s right for you.
Basically, any honest traffic ticket attorney should tell you what will happen to you if you pay the ticket, pay the ticket and elect traffic school, or what will probably happen to you if you fight the ticket.
Only by knowing your options can you decide what to do. Many times, my office ends up telling people to just pay the ticket because there’s no sense to hire an attorney for some matters. We are in the business of helping people and the right decision is obvious when you consider all the options.
My office offers a FREE CONSULTATION with an attorney (not just a secretary) to anyone who calls our office at 866-374-8355. Go ahead and call, you might learn something for FREE.
I understand the desire to want to distance yourself from anything unpleasant. Some people procrastinate and others attack things head on. This is why some people put off paying their taxes until the very last minute while some people rip the band aid off with one quick rip.Continue reading “Three Things Everyone Must Know Before They Pay a Traffic Ticket”
The question of whether you can get pulled over by a police officer for not wearing a seat belt gets asked quite a bit by clients, and because the law has flip flopped, I can understand the confusion. Prior to 2009, if a police officer saw you driving without your seat belt, he could not pull you over. You could have waved to him with your seat belt off and there wasn’t much he could do about it.
But in 2009, then Governor Charlie Crist signed into law the ability for police to pull you over if you are not wearing your seat belt. In doing this, seat belt enforcement went from what’s called “secondary” enforcement to “primary” enforcement.
Now we all like to think the Governor was looking out for the residents of Florida because we all know seat belts save lives and by allowing officers to pull people over, the hope was that more people would buckle up and stay alive.
The reality is, that was probably a nice byproduct, but I’m sure the real reason was that by changing the law, Florida became eligible to receive up to 35 million dollars to promote highway safety.
“What did they do with all this money”, you may ask? Well, let’s look at two things that we all know promote highway safety that they didn’t do. They didn’t bring back auto inspections that would get all these cars with bald tires, no windshield wipers and no working headlights off the roads. Additionally, they didn’t repeal the law that lets people ride motorcycles without helmets.
Oh well, so much for public safety.
Of course, back in 2009 (all of three years ago), seat belt tickets only cost $30, which seemed reasonable. However, much has changed in the past few years, and what seemed quaint like a $30 fine has now gone up. . . . wait for it . . . .almost 400%.
Yes, you read that right. In less than 3 years, a ticket for not wearing your seat belt has gone up 400%!!!!!!! This was during the worse economic period in our lifetime.
The truth is, a seat belt ticket, if it’s the only ticket you receive is around $120.00, but it doesn’t carry points, as it’s a non-moving violation, so you should just go ahead and pay it.
However, if your seat belt ticket came with a moving violation that carries points, and you would like to fight it, please feel free to give us a call for a FREE consultation regarding your case.
We’ve all been there. Not exactly sure where we’re going, looking on both sides of the street for an address, and when we spot it, it’s on the other side of the street and we’re going in the opposite direction away from it.
And, of course, we’re late.
What to do?
You quickly weigh your options, look around and decide to do it.
An Illegal U-turn.
As you sit waiting for the cars to pass so you can turn, you again take a quick look around, and turn the wheel as fast as you can hoping not to get caught.
But, I ask you, do you know if the U-turn you just made was legal or illegal? Do you know how to tell the difference?
In actuality, in Florida, it’s fairly easy to tell. Most U-turns are, in fact, legal.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Florida Statute on U-turns is 316.1515 and it’s very short and easy to read.
Basically, what it says is that you can make a turn in the opposite direction (a U-turn), on any street, as long as it can be made safely and without interfering with the other traffic.
However, there is also one additional thing to consider.
You have to make sure there is no sign saying that you cannot make a U-turn. Sometimes they use fancy language and say things like “U-turn Prohibited” and sometimes it’s a picture of an arrow in the direction of the U-turn you are about to make along with one of those red circles with the line through it, made famous from the movie Ghostbusters.
At any rate, the sign is really the main thing to look out for. No sign, you should be OK, as long as you do it safely and don’t get in anyone’s way. Watch out for pedestrians as well. Sometimes, they are walking along and don’t expect a car to make a U-turn.
The worst thing to happen, is that you get the ticket for making an illegal U-turn. Not only will you be even later to your appointment, but if you don’t fight the ticket and just pay it, you will end up with points on your license.
As a reader of this blog, you know how I feel about just paying a ticket and taking points (hint: always fight your tickets).
If you received a ticket for an illegal U-turn and want to fight it with a traffic attorney whose law firm has fought over 500,000 tickets, feel free to call 866-374-8355.
Seeing as the 4th of July is right around the corner, and people will be taking summer driving trips in record numbers this year, I thought it was a perfect time to discuss the topic of what to do with an out of state speeding ticket.
It’s important to know that there is something called the Driver License Compact, which basically is a collection of states (there are only a few states that do not participate) that have agreed to share information between each other as it relates to traffic tickets, including speeding tickets.
In a nutshell, what it says is that the states that form the compact will agree to share information between each other; and if you get a ticket in one of the states, it will be treated as if it were received in your home state, as long as the violation exists in your home state.
So if you happen to get a ticket in another state for something wacky like driving a black car on Sunday (supposedly illegal in Denver . . . look it up) and your state doesn’t have that law, then the violation won’t transfer.
However, if you get a speeding ticket, and every state has a speeding ticket statute, then you will have to deal with it. And dealing with it should not mean paying it. The points will transfer to your home state and your insurance will probably increase.
My advice? Look into fighting it. It’s simple enough to do. Get on the internet and find a local traffic ticket attorney who will give you a realistic opinion of your case and the expected outcome and fee. It must be fought in the place the ticket was given. So if you don’t want to drive back to defend yourself, a traffic attorney is the perfect solution.
Whatever you do, don’t let an out of state speeding ticket ruin your summer vacation. Get out there and enjoy that road trip.
I am happy to introduce Adam H. Rosenblum a traffic attorney who practices in New York and New Jersey, as the author of this post. Adam contacted us and thought it would be a great idea to give you his take on the subject of out of state traffic tickets, and I couldn’t agree more.
Ever wonder what happens when you get a traffic ticket in a different state?
Some people are under the impression that their home state will never find out about it. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Many states, including Florida, have agreements and compacts with other states that allow them to share information between one another.
These agreements also allow for the negative consequences of a ticket issued in one state to flow through to the other state.
How Does This Affect Me?
This means that if you have a Florida drivers license and receive a New York speeding ticket, the State of Florida will know about that NY ticket.
More importantly, the State of Florida is going to put points onto your license for the speeding ticket that you received in New York!
In other words, if you were clocked going 20 miles over the posted speed limit on the New York Thruway, Florida is going to put points on your license commensurate with a violation for exceeding the speed limit by 20 miles per hour.
What About the Fine?
Do not worry; if you paid the State of New York for your traffic ticket, you will not have to pay Florida. Although Florida will convert the offense, it cannot require you to pay twice.
Moreover, it is important to remember, that if you are going to plead guilty and pay the fine, be sure to pay the state that issued you the ticket (i.e. in our example it is the State of New York, not Florida, who you would pay).
The Importance of an Attorney
Despite all of this, it is highly advised that you fight your traffic tickets, even the ones you receive outside your home state.
After all, sometimes all it might take is scanning a copy of your traffic ticket and summons and having an attorney take care of the rest of it (usually without you even needing to appear in court).
Instead of dealing with the repercussions of points and car insurance hikes or drops, hiring an experienced traffic ticket attorney will save you both time and money.
What if Florida Does Not Recognize My Offense?
Not all offenses are recognized in every state. If you get a traffic ticket in New York that is not equivalent to a ticket issued in Florida, then Florida will not add any points onto your driver’s license.
Also, New York cannot put points on your Florida license for an offense Florida does not recognize. However, your car insurance company will be able to see that you received a ticket in New York that would have warranted the issuance of points.
Therefore, your insurance rate can still go up, even if those New York points never actually make it onto your Florida license.
Listen Up New Yorkers!
If your home state is New York, and you are just visiting Florida, things are different.
In this case, the State of New York will not put points on your New York driver’s license for tickets that you receive in Florida.
Nonetheless, your insurance company will still be able to see that you got the ticket and raise your rates if you are found guilty.
Therefore, hiring an experienced traffic ticket attorney is the key to ensuring that:
- Your Insurance Rate Does Not Go Up
- Points are Not Added to Your License
- Out of State Tickets can be Dealt with Efficiently and Properly
Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm is a traffic ticket attorney licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey.
Ever wonder how far your car needs to be in the intersection to get a ticket for running a red light?
The answer is simple and many people don’t know, so here it is. . .it depends. Ha! Gotcha. No, seriously, like everything else in the world of traffic tickets, it’s a little more complicated (but the good news is, this really isn’t a hard one).
When you are approaching an intersection, there is usually a white line in the ground that indicates the beginning of the intersection. For purposes of this post, we will assume there is a white line at the intersection.
The rule with red light tickets and intersections is that your car can be beyond the white line (sometimes called a stop bar), when the light turns red, BUT, only if your car already passed the white line BEFORE the light turned red.
OK, let’s restate that and clarify, just in case you misunderstood. I don’t want you all out there running red lights and driving like lunatics because you think I said it’s OK to run through every yellow.
As George Carlin once said, “Yellow does not mean put it to the floor.”
If you are approaching an intersection, and you have not passed the white line on the ground, and the light is red, YOU NEED TO STOP!!!
Honestly, you need to stop, not because of a fear of receiving a ticket for running a red light. You need to stop because running a red light can get you killed faster than violating many other traffic laws. This is one rule you need to obey because it will save your life.
If you happen to be in the intersection and look up and see the light change to red (which is easier if you have a convertible), you’re fine and if you get a ticket, that’s one you should win. I was going to say that’s one you should fight, but you should know by now, after reading this traffic ticket blog, that in almost every case, you are better off fighting all the tickets you receive.
This rule applies to red light tickets received from a red light camera or from an actual policeman. It’s no different. The only difference is, if it is not a red light camera that caught you, there is no actual evidence in court, it will just be the officer’s word against yours.
As I’ve written before, you should fight these types of tickets because it’s not what actually occurred, it’s what the officer can prove against you in court. Therefore, if you received a ticket from an officer for running a red light, and there is no evidence to support this, it is more difficult for an officer to prove that you ran the red light and you should fight it. Whether you hire an attorney to fight a ticket for running a red light, or fight it yourself, you should fight red light tickets.
Hiring an attorney for a traffic matter should be done in the same manner as hiring anyone to do anything for you. You must ask questions BEFORE the job begins so you know what you are getting into. Don’t wait until the after the money changes hands before you think of things to ask.
Here’s 5 questions you must ask BEFORE you hire a Broward County Traffic Attorney. (with some bonus material thrown in)
- How long have you been fighting traffic tickets?
- How many traffic tickets have you done?
- Do you guarantee anything?
- What’s this going to cost?
- Who will actually appear in court on my behalf and what does that person know about my case?
How long a person has been practicing law in a specific area is very important. But length of time is only part of the equation. Experience comes not only from the number of years, but more importantly, in the number of citations defended. In many ways, that is the more important number. So don’t be fooled by asking one question about experience. Both are important.
The next two also go together, as you absolutely must know what the costs are going to be and essentially what you are getting for your money. Is the price you are being asked to pay the same that was quoted on the phone or from the advertisment you saw? Here’s an insider tip, most attorneys use bait and switch to advertise a fee that is not the fee you will pay once you call. I mean seriously, do you honestly think you are going to get an attorney to go to court for $5.00? (a fee I’ve seen on some mail advertisements) Here’s a better question, do you think you should hire an attorney that begins your relationship with a sneaky, sleazy sales tactic that is often used by car dealers?
In addition to the cost, you should find out if there will be a money back guarantee. Many attorneys make a guarantee of no points or your money back, but not all guarantees are equal. Make sure you ask what the guarantee is before you spend your money. Additionally, make sure it is written very simply (a sentence or two) and that you fully understand what it is you are signing (that should go for anything you sign).
Finally, you should ask who will be the actual attorney who will appear on your behalf in court AND how much that attorney will know about your case. Here’s another little insider tip, there are four courthouses that handle traffic tickets in Broward County (and many more in Dade and Palm Beach County). It is impossible for one attorney to cover all of them at the same time. Almost all attorneys hire other attorneys to cover the cases they can’t attend. There is nothing wrong with that IF the attorney who is covering the case has EXACTLY THE SAME EXPERIENCE AND INFORMATION as your attorney that you hired. Sadly, that is not always the case.
Imagine if you hired a noted surgeon to perform brain surgery and when you were being wheeled in, your doctor was someone who was not who you hired (and didn’t have the same experience or knowledge about your problem).
It’s the same thing when you take your time and energy to hire the attorney you feel comfortable with and explain all the facts of your case in detail; and then, the day of your trial, an attorney right out of law school with no more information than your name and courtroom date and time “defends” you. Believe me, I see it happen all the time.
Therefore, you should ask in the beginning, who will handle the case if the attorney will not.
These are just 5 important questions, but there are more. Feel free to subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss further tips and important information.