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Fighting a Florida Traffic Ticket
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April 5, 2005 -- Fighting a Florida Traffic Ticket
When you get a speeding ticket in Florida you usually have three choices. You can pay the full fine and accept the points. You can fight it in court or you can elect traffic school, which in most cases will result in no points. We often hear from drivers who went to court, lost their case and ended up paying a lot more and being ordered to take an 8-hour traffic school course. So the question is when should you fight a ticket?
We are not lawyers so don't take this as legal advice. But we have been to court and observed. Court is based on these annoying things call evidence and proof. Just feeling that you are not guilty is not enough; you have to be able to prove it with evidence.
How it Goes in Traffic Court
Here's a walk through of the standard traffic court process. The judge asks you how you plead - you say not guilty. The judge asks you how you know you weren't speeding. You say your speedometer said 55 but the trooper says he clocked you at 73. The judge asks you when was the last time you had your speedometer calibrated. You say never (unless you are incredibly anal). Then the judge asks the State Trooper how he determined your speed. He says with his speedometer or radar gun. Then he produces certificates showing they were calibrated in the last 30 days.
The judge then gives you a tongue lashing, the points on your license, an extra fine, and if you are lucky orders you to take the florida 4-hour traffic school course. If you can prove you are not guilty then consider fighting it but don't run into court because a friends says you should fight it.
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