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Criminal charges for traffic offenses in Florida can arise from numerous situations, including receiving too many points under Florida’s driving point system, harming another person while driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol, or failing to pay for traffic citations. Common criminal traffic offenses in Florida can include, but are not limited to any of the following:
Although a traffic citation may seem minor, serious traffic offenses or being labeled as a Habitual Traffic Offender for numerous traffic offenses can result in serious penalties, including driver’s license revocation, lengthy license suspensions, jail sentences and/or fines.
If you have been charged with any criminal traffic offense in Gainesville, or any of the surrounding areas of Florida, including Ocala, Alachua, and Lake City, contact the Galigani Law Firm. Dean Galigani has been evaluated for professionalism and tested for expertise by the Florida Bar and is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law. Additionally, he is knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s motor vehicle and traffic laws. Call the Galigani Law Firm today for a free consultation at (352) 375-0812 about your alleged criminal traffic charge.
Some of the most common criminal traffic offenses in Florida can include, but are not limited to the following:
Reckless Driving – Fla. Stat. § 316.192: This offense can occur if an individual drives without regard or care for the safety of other drivers on the road. If an individual flees from or eludes a police officer, they will automatically be charged with reckless driving. This is also known as per se reckless driving.
Driving With a Suspended License - Fla. Stat. § 322.34: An individual can be charged with this offense if they drive on Florida’s roads with a license that has been suspended or revoked. This offense can result in a conviction for a moving violation, misdemeanor or felony, depending on the underlying reason their license was suspended, the number of prior offenses the individual has, and whether the individual knew their license was suspended.
Vehicular Manslaughter – Fla. Stat. § 782.07: This offense can occur if an individual operates a motor vehicle negligently and it results in the death of another person.
Vehicular Homicide – Fla. Stat. § 782.071: This offense can occur if an individual kills another human by recklessly operating a motor vehicle in such a way that it is likely to cause bodily harm or death to another person.
Leaving the Scene / Hit and Run – Florida Statutes § 316.027: Any individual involved in a car accident that causes injury to another person who intentionally does not stop their motor vehicle and remain at the scene can be charged with this offense. This offense can result in a conviction for a felony of the third degree. If the accident results in death to another person, the individual can be convicted of a felony of the first degree.
Like many states, Florida has a driving point system that assigns a number of points to many serious traffic violations. The number of points assigned to each offense depends on how serious the offense is. If an individual is assigned too many points within a specified time period, their driver’s license can be suspended or revoked. However, these points are only assigned if an individual pays their traffic citation. If an individual is able to have their traffic ticket dismissed, they will not be assigned any points. The points for various traffic offenses are listed below.
Offenses Receiving Three Points:
Offenses Receiving Four Points:
Offenses Receiving Six Points:
If an individual receives 12 points or more within one year, their license can be suspended for 30 days. If anyone receives 18 points or more within 18 months, their license can be suspended for 90 days. If anyone is assigned 24 points within three years, their license can be suspended for one year.
If an individual attends traffic school after they receive a citation, any qualifying points they have under Florida’s point system can be negated. However, traffic school attendance that is used to negate an individual’s points is only permitted once per year and only five times during a ten year period. If an individual does desire to attend traffic school instead of receiving the points, they are required to notify the clerk of court they intend to go to traffic school for their traffic offense. The traffic school option is not permitted for drivers with a commercial driver’s license.
If an individual’s license has been suspended for having too many points, they may be eligible to receive a hardship license. They can become eligible once they complete a 12-hour driving improvement course, pay a fee for reinstating their license, and any other additional fees the clerk may require before they can receive their hardship license.
An individual’s driver license can be permanently revoked or suspended for up to five years if they are considered a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) under Florida’s laws. According to Fla. Stat. § 322.264, a Habitual Traffic Offender is defined as someone who has numerous criminal traffic offense convictions within a five-year period.
If within a five year period, an individual is convicted three or more times of any of the following offenses, they are considered an HTO under Florida’s laws:
An individual can also be classified as an HTO if they receive 15 or more traffic violation convictions that fall under Florida’s driving point system within a five year period.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles – The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) provides information on driver’s licenses, commercial motor vehicle drivers, fees, and vehicle registration.
Florida Statutes Online – This link is to Chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes, or State Uniform Traffic Control. This chapter can be found in Title 23 of the Florida Statutes, which is entitled Motor Vehicles and contains many of the rules and regulations associated with traffic offenses.
Alachua County DMV Guide – This government website provides information on obtaining a driver’s license in Florida, registration of vehicles, access to driving records and access to the state’s driving and DUI laws. A Gainesville DMV location is at:Driver’s License Office
Alachua County Clerk of the Court – This website is to the Clerk of the Court for Alachua County and provides court resources for members of the community, access to court records, and other information pertaining to the judicial system in Alachua County. The Alachua County Criminal Justice Center is located at:220 S Main St
Contact the Galigani Law Firm today for a consultation about your criminal traffic offense throughout Alachua County in Florida. Dean Galigani is an experienced Gainesville criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties in your particular situation. Call at (352) 375-0812 or send an online message for a consultation about your alleged traffic crime throughout the counties in Florida, including Marion County, Levy County, Columbia County and Gilchrist County.
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