Nothing makes Florida drivers more anxious than seeing the flashing red and blue lights of a police squad car in their rearview mirrors. Under Florida law, drivers may incur moving violations or criminal traffic violations, and criminal traffic violations are the more serious of the two.
Under Florida law, a moving violation – or civil infraction – is a minor traffic offense, after which the driver usually receives a ticket with a payable fine. Some of the most common types of moving violations under Florida law include the following:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Failing to use a turn signal
- Improperly passing a vehicle
Once the driver pays the fine associated with the moving violation, the case is typically over, and the driver need not appear in court – unless the driver is contesting the ticket or fine.
Criminal Traffic Violations
A criminal traffic violation is a much more serious offense than a moving violation. Some of the most common types of criminal traffic violations under Florida law include the following:
- Driving on suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Refusal to submit to breathalyzer test
- Expired vehicles tags or registration
- Expired driver’s license
- Leaving the scene of an accident
At a minimum, a Florida criminal traffic violation will result in a misdemeanor charge on the driver’s permanent record, a large fine, incarceration, mandatory community service, and/or other harsh penalties. Criminal traffic violations may also result in a license suspension or revocation, points on a driver’s license, and increased car insurance rates.
Unlike moving violations, criminal traffic violations are criminal offenses, and the driver must appear in court. The court date is typically noted at the bottom of the ticket which is issued by the officer. If the driver fails to appear in court on the appointed date and time, a warrant will most likely be issued for the driver’s arrest.
Contact a St. Petersburg, Florida, Traffic Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have been charged with a criminal traffic violation in the state of Florida, our experienced team of attorneys may be able to assist you. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg, Florida, traffic lawyer, please call us at 727-269-5300 or contact us online.