Over 685,000 speeding tickets were issued in Florida in 2022, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) statistics. Nearly 94,700 of these were dismissed.
Getting a speeding ticket dismissed isn’t always easy, but if you feel you have a strong case, then it may be worthwhile to contest it in court.
The Consequences of a Speeding Ticket
A speeding violation will result in a fine and points added to your driving record. If you’re a multiple offender, you will likely pay a steeper fine and could have your license suspended. A traffic violation could also result in your car insurance premium increasing.
Sticking to Florida’s speed limits can avoid a citation and the unpleasant consequences that follow. But if you are pulled over and handed a ticket, here’s how to contest it if it is unfair or there are mitigating circumstances.
How to Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Florida
Step 1: Contact the Clerk of Court Within 30 Days
After receiving your ticket, you must request a hearing with the Clerk of the Court in the county where the violation occurred to contest the citation. Your case will be heard in the county you received the citation, even if you do not live there.
Step 2: Consult With a Traffic Ticket Lawyer (optional)
If you suspect the traffic stop was unlawful or the traffic officer acted inappropriately, it can be hard to prove. Consult a lawyer who specializes in traffic violations. They can assess your case and help you create a credible defense.
Here are some defenses that can help your case:
The officer did not witness the infraction.
The officer gave a wrong account of the incident.
The officer did not follow the correct procedure.
The speed measurement is incorrect due to a faulty radar device or using the “pacing” or VASCAR methods, which may have given an inaccurate measurement.
The lawyer doesn’t have to represent you in court, but they can assist you in preparing a strong case and help you understand the process.
Step 3: Plead Your Case in Court
Going to court, even for a traffic violation, can be nerve-wracking. With a well-prepared case, you should feel more confident.
If, however, you were guilty of driving over the speed limit, but there was a good reason for it, you could still have a positive outcome. The court may decide to reduce your fine, remove the points on your driving record, or dismiss the ticket entirely.
Some mitigating circumstances that may influence the court’s ruling are:
There were no speed limit signs in the area you were driving.
Your actions were aimed at avoiding an accident.
You were speeding because of an emergency.
Take any witnesses along who can support your claims.
If your driving record indicates that you are usually a responsible driver and acted out of character in this incident, the court may be lenient and dismiss your ticket.
What Not to Do
Do not try to dispose of the ticket in an improper way, for example, by trying to coerce or bribe the police officer not to issue the ticket or approaching a court official to squash the ticket illegally. Improper disposition of a traffic violation can have serious consequences for you and the public official involved.
Electing to Take a Florida Basic Driver Improvement (BDI) Course
If you decide not to contest your speeding ticket but would like to have the points added to your driving record removed, you could voluntarily sign up for a driver improvement course.
Contact the Clerk of the Court to sign up for a BDI course within 30 days of receiving your ticket. Electing to take a Florida basic driver improvement (BDI) course could also reduce your fine by 18%.
For minor infractions, you only need to complete a 4-hour course, which you can do online. If the offense is more serious or your license was suspended, you may have to take the 8-hour or 12-hour advanced driver improvement (ADI) course.
Once you’ve completed the course, submit your certificate of completion to the Clerk of the Court.
IDriveSafely offers state-approved online Basic and Advanced Driver Improvement courses in Florida. You can register for one our of Florida online traffic school courses here.