Friday, October 22, 2021

Traffic Cases

A traffic case gets started when a traffic ticket is delivered to the court by a law enforcement agency, or electronically filed by the officer. This ticket is called a civil infraction traffic citation in which a person is suspected of committing a non-criminal traffic infraction. These violations are classified as either moving or non-moving. A moving violation normally assesses points against the driver license while non-moving violations do not. These violations are not punishable by incarceration and there is no right to trial by jury or to court appointed counsel.

Examples of Moving Violations are careless driving; fail to yield at a stop sign, etc.

Examples of Non-Moving Violations are no seat belt, improper parking, expired registration etc.

If you have been issued a civil infraction traffic citation you have 30 days from the date of issuance to satisfy your obligation. Failure to satisfy your citation(s) by selecting one of the options, listed below, will result in suspension of your driver license and additional payment of late fees. It may take approximately three weeks for the citation to appear in our system. You cannot pay a traffic ticket online, by utilizing the online system for Clerk of Court or by phone, unless the information is in the system; however, you are still responsible for complying with the requirements of your citation within 30 days of the issue date.

You may elect to:

  • Pay the civil penalty
  • Attend a defensive driving course
  • Request a court hearing
  • You may be able to resolve compliance traffic tickets remotely from your own device! The 11th Judicial Circuit is offering Online Case Resolution in proof of compliance cases. To check eligibility, go to www.courtinnovations.com/FL11JC

For further assistance regarding options for civil infraction traffic citations, please visit the Clerk of Court website.

TIP: DO NOT ignore a traffic ticket.

If you request a court hearing, for most civil infraction traffic citations, you will initially be set for a Pre-Trial conference. A pretrial conference is a preliminary hearing where you have an opportunity to enter a plea of guilty, no contest or not guilty, without the police officer or witnesses, if any, being present. However, if you have been issued a citation for a Red Light Camera Case (RLCC) you will automatically be set for trial.

Individuals cited for a proof of compliance violation, will be set for a report hearing. Upon receiving a notice of court appearance, you will be provided a link to an online case resolution platform, to resolve your case online and no court appearance is required.

If you want to plead not guilty at pretrial, a trial will be set in about (6) weeks, where you can present any evidence you wish. The police officer and any witnesses will also be noticed to appear for the trial hearing.

If you fail to appear at the court hearing, a suspension of your driver’s license may be entered.

If you fail to attend your scheduled court hearing for a civil infraction traffic ticket, you may elect to pay the civil penalty or to attend traffic school. You must include the late charge to the initial penalty amount. You may also file a motion by mail or in person to set aside driver license suspension and request to have the case reset for court. (Please visit the Clerk of Court website to obtain the form to submit a motion). Your driver’s license will remain suspended until the judge or Traffic Hearing Officer grants your motion. Be aware, some motions are not granted and may be denied by the judge/Traffic Hearing Officer.

If your driver license was suspended due to failure to comply with a Miami-Dade County traffic citation, upon compliance, you may reinstate your driver license at any of the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts(link to Clerk website) or Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles locations. Please visit the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website for locations and hours of operation.

There is a $60.00 reinstatement fee imposed to re-instate your license, in addition to any other fines or costs.

If your privileges were suspended or revoked for any other reason you must go to your nearest Driver's License Office within the State of Florida.

Since you will only have a few minutes in front of the Hearing Officer/Judge, you will need to be organized, so start preparing for your day in court as soon as possible. Traffic hearings take place in a courtroom in front of a Judge or a Hearing Officer. In the same courtroom there will also be a court clerk and a bailiff or Court Security Monitor, and usually other people in the room waiting for their case to be heard.

  • Plan what you are going to say. Be quick and to the point and stay calm.
  • Bring all the necessary documents needed to prove compliance, i.e. driver license, proof of insurance, registration.
  • Dress neatly and respectfully.
  • Take all of the documents that will be needed to show the Hearing Officer/Judge
  • Be on time. Allow extra time for traffic or other possible delays. (If you are delayed or unable to attend the hearing due to a car breakdown, sudden illness, or other emergency, contact the clerk of court on or before your hearing time.)
  • Turn off your cell phone and/or pager when you enter the courtroom.
  • When your case is called, walk to the table or podium in front of the Hearing Officer/Judge and stand facing the judge.
  • Speak clearly and loud enough that the Hearing Officer/Judge can hear you. Speak only when it is your turn.
  • When you speak to the Hearing Officer/Judge, act respectfully and call him or her “your honor.” Be sure never to interrupt the Hearing Officer/Judge.
  • Answer all of the Hearing Officer’s /Judge’s questions and stop talking immediately if the Hearing Officer interrupts you.
  • If you don’t understand something, say that you don’t understand. Someone will try to explain it for you.

At the end of the court hearing:

  • If found not guilty, there will be no entry on your driving record of the offense.
  • If found guilty the court may impose a civil penalty not to exceed $500.00 or require attendance at a traffic school or both.
  • Failure to complete court ordered traffic school or failure to pay court costs will result in your driver license being suspended until all requirements are met.

For more information, regarding civil infraction traffic citations, please visit the Clerk of Court website.

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