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Like the rest of the country, Florida is home to its share of traffic offenses every year. While they may be minor compared to other crimes, traffic offenses are still important and you shouldn’t take the process lightly. No matter what the reason is, if you get a traffic ticket while in the state of Florida, there are processes you can follow to ensure everything goes smoothly for you. According to the DMV, in 2003 more than four million traffic tickets were issued in the state of Florida alone. A great majority of these are tickets for speeding, but there are other potential violations such as improper lane change, running red lights, careless driving, and other moving violations. If you’re in Florida and are stopped by the police for a traffic offense, there are a few options for you to choose from.

From the moment that you have been pulled over and given a fine, you have thirty days to handle the situation with the state. During this time is when you can attend a traffic school, pay your fine, or request a court appearance to plead your case. However, depending on your driving record at the time of the traffic offense, you may have certain options removed depending on the amount of times you’ve faced traffic violations. Attending Florida traffic schools after a ticket can ensure that your car insurance will not rise and that Florida law cannot cancel your insurance policy after getting a traffic ticket. Completing the traffic school and receiving your certificate of completion allows you to take it to the court in the county of your fine. Doing this process will ensure that no points are taken from your license, and you will not be held guilty. While there are many traffic schools in the state of Florida, certification can only come from a state approved driving school. Following these steps is the only way to keep your driving record clean.

Of course, if you’re not interested in the traffic school option, you can elect to outright pay the fine that was handed to you at the time of your traffic offense. Should you pay the fine directly, the full amount of points per the offense will be applied to your license. Another aspect of this is that your insurance could rise or be canceled per Florida law. While this is the fastest option available to you, the negative aspects of paying the fine can dissuade you from choosing this route. Fines can be different depending on the county in which you are given the traffic offense, as well as how fast you were going over the posted speed limit. Fines can range from $80 for up to nine miles per hour over the speed limit, and go all the way up to $300 or more for exceeding thirty miles per hour faster than the posted limit. Speeding in a school or construction zone will automatically double the fine strictly because you become a danger to pedestrians or workers in the area.

Your other option is to request a court appearance. Hiring a professional traffic ticket attorney to fight for your case could completely dismiss your ticket and removing your fine. However, if your case isn’t strong enough this route could result in you having to pay fines, receiving all points assessed, and still requiring you to attend traffic school if you’re found guilty. In addition to these penalties, you could see your auto insurance rise or be canceled depending on company policies surrounding your auto insurance. Many courts have particular policies about battling traffic tickets, but many drivers have been able to have their tickets dismissed through the courts process.

Proving to the courts that you are a law abiding citizen and have proof that your car is registered, the ticket could be dropped. A lawyer can also help you to dispute any or all parts of the traffic offense to get your ticket dropped. Don’t let the possible penalties scare you away; a professional and skilled traffic offense lawyer is capable of clearing your name.