Traffic Ticket Options in Florida
Your ticket options are: take a defensive driving course, pay the ticket, or fight the ticket at court
DO NOT PAY YOUR TRAFFIC TICKET until you know your options. You have 30 to 60 days (depending on the county), counted from the moment you received your citation to choose an option. Before making a decision, you need to consider the points associated with your violation and the financial consequences of accepting them. In Florida you receive points for all moving violations.
Receiving Points in Florida.- Points will stay on your driving record for many years, this situation will typically cause your car insurance rates to go up. This increase will depend on your age, total points on your record and a few other factors. If you accumulate too many points over a time period, your driver license will be suspended according to the Points and Driving Privileges Suspensions Rules in Florida. Points are important. The following are the three options available to you.
Option 1. Attend a Traffic School Class and Avoid Points on Your Record
To attend a class at ADES Traffic School YOU DO NOT NEED A COURT ORDER, any driver can elect to take a 4 Hour Basic Driving Improvement (BDI) Class to avoid points. You must attend a BDI Driving Course within 30 days of your citation. Florida Law guarantees that your insurance rates can not be increased and NO POINTS will be added to your record.
At the end of the class you will receive a Completion Certificate to be sent to the County Court in which you received your traffic ticket. You are allowed to elect one class in twelve month, and no more than five classes in your lifetime.
Option 2. Pay the ticket and Keep the Points
You will pay the full amount of the fine and the points associated with the citation will stay on your driving record for many years. You are automatically adjudicated guilty. Your car insurance company may raise your rates up to 25% for as many years as you keep the points.
If you decide to pay the ticket first, but still want to attend a 4 Hour Driving Improvement Class, you need to let the Clerk of the County know of your intention, in this case you will have 60 more days to take your traffic school class counted from the day your pay your citation; be aware that if you do not take your BDI class within the next 60 days, your driving privileges will be suspended.
Option 3. Go to Traffic Court
You need to notify the Clerk County within 30 days of your citation that you want to attend a Traffic Court. On your scheduled day of arraignment, the judge will hear testimony from you (or from your attorney) and from the Police Officer. Your ticket could be dismissed, or you could be ordered to pay your ticket, pay court fees, and to attend a Defensive Driving Improvement Class up to 12 hours.
Attending a Class at ADES Traffic School is the smartest choice! Attending a Defensive Driving Class saves you money. Florida Law guarantees your insurance rates cannot be increased because of your traffic ticket if there was not an accident. If there was an accident, call your Insurance company, many will raise your rates less if you go to a class, and you could get the benefit of no points being added to your record.