The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has shifted some of its traffic enforcement priorities, giving drivers more warnings instead of tickets that come with hefty fines and penalties.
The department more than doubled its warning tickets in 2011 to almost 40,000, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. At the same time, traffic tickets issued dropped 13 percent. Sheriff John Rutherford, according to the newspaper report, told officers the job of the police is to educate the public and make the roads safer – not necessarily to hand out a ticket every time a driver is stopped. It will be interesting to see how this plays out when drivers contest tickets. Judges may assume, if this policy gets more attention and continues, that if the officer didn’t just give a warning, the driver must be doing something really terrible.
That wouldn’t necessarily be the case, but it could hurt a driver’s chances of reducing the penalties – especially if the person tried to contest it alone. Traffic violations are scored on a point system. Speeding tickets carry a variety of points. Reckless driving is 4 points. Leaving the scene of an accident is 6 points. As the points build, they can add up to big trouble:
12 points in a year: 30-day license suspension 18 points in 18 months: 3-month suspension 24 points in three years: 1-year suspension
Many drivers do not know that if they simply pay the ticket, that is admitting guilt and the penalties start piling up from there. When people think about times they’d need an attorney, a traffic ticket is pretty low on the list. It shouldn’t be. Our Jacksonville traffic violations attorney will look at the traffic citation and work to see if there is a way to reduce the penalties. Traffic tickets can have high-dollar consequences and can sending car insurance rates skyward. If the points get out of control, drivers can get their license suspended, which affects their ability to get to work, pay off the tickets, etc.
If you or a loved one needs a traffic violations attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County criminal lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.