Serious Traffic Offenses
A majority of traffic violations in Florida are civil matters that are frequently resolved by the offender paying a fine and possibly completing some sort of defensive driving, driver improvement, or student traffic safety council school. However, there are certain violations that result in criminal charges.
A conviction for a criminal traffic violation can result in possible imprisonment and significant fines. Any person facing these types of charges should immediately seek qualified legal representation.
Delray Beach Serious Traffic Offenses Lawyer
If you were arrested for any serious traffic violation, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. McLaughlin Morris, P.A. represents clients facing misdemeanor and felony traffic charges in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County.
Drew McLaughlin and Jeffrey Morris have an extensive background with criminal cases. They can review your case and help you understand your legal options when you call (561) 404-0529 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
South Florida Serious Traffic Offenses Information Center
What kinds of traffic violations result in criminal charges?
How many points are assessed to a driver’s record for these offenses?
What is a Habitual Traffic Offender?
Where can I learn more about this subject?
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Types of Serious Traffic Offenses in Palm Beach County
Some of the multiple criminal traffic violations listed under Florida law include:
Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Florida Statutes §§ 316.061 and 316.027 — It is a second-degree misdemeanor if any person fails to remain at the scene of a crash involving property damage, give his or her name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and render to any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance. It is a third-degree felony if the crash involved serious bodily injury, and a first-degree felony if the crash resulted in death.
Racing on Highways, Florida Statute § 316.191 — Also known as “street racing,” it is a first-degree misdemeanor if any person drives any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, or exhibition of speed or acceleration or for the purpose of making a speed record on any highway, roadway, or parking lot, in any manner participates in, coordinates, facilitates, or collects moneys at any location for any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition, knowingly rides as a passenger in any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition, or purposefully causes the movement of traffic to slow or stop for any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition.
Reckless Driving, Florida Statute § 316.192 — Any person who flees a law enforcement officer or drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. This is a first-degree misdemeanor if such operation results in damage to the property or person of another. It is a third-degree felony if such operation results in serious bodily injury to another.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Manslaughter, Florida Statute § 316.193(3)(c)3 — It is a second-degree felony if a person kills a human being or unborn child by operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in Florida Statute § 877.111, or any controlled substance. It is a first-degree felony if, at the time of the accident, the person knew, or should have known, that the accident occurred and failed to give information and render aid.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer; Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding, Florida Statute § 316.1935 — It is a third-degree felony if the operator of any vehicle, having knowledge that he or she has been ordered to stop such vehicle by a duly authorized law enforcement officer, willfully refuses or fails to stop the vehicle in compliance with such order or, having stopped in knowing compliance with such order, willfully flees in an attempt to elude the officer. It is a second-degree felony if the operator drives at high speed, or in any manner which demonstrates a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. It is a first-degree felony if the operator causes serious bodily injury or death to another person in the commission of this offense.
Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, Canceled, or Disqualified, Florida Statute § 322.34 — It is a moving violation if any person whose driver license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, or revoked drives a vehicle upon Florida highways of this state while such license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked. It is a second-degree misdemeanor for the first conviction if the person drives while knowing of such cancellation, suspension, or revocation. A second conviction is a first-degree misdemeanor and a third or subsequent conviction is a third-degree felony.
Driving While License Permanently Revoked, Florida Statute § 322.341 — It is a third-degree felony if any person drives a motor vehicle upon Florida highways while his or her driver license or driving privilege has been permanently revoked.
Vehicular Homicide, Florida Statute § 782.071 — It is a second-degree felony if a person kills a human being or unborn child by operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner. It is a first-degree felony if, at the time of the accident, the person knew, or should have known, that the accident occurred and failed to give information and render aid.
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South Florida Driving Violations and Points
In the state of Florida, points are added against the driving record of any person who pleads guilty to or is convicted of a driving violation. Accumulating a certain number of points can result in a driver’s license being suspended.
Florida uses the following graduated scale of points that assigns relative values to convictions:
Speeding — 15 mph or less over the speed limit
Speeding —More than 15 mph over the speed limit
Speeding resulting in an crash
Moving violation resulting in a crash
Failing to stop at a traffic signal
Passing a stopped school bus
Leaving the scene of a crash resulting in property damage of more than $50
Improper lane change
Violation of a traffic control sign/device
Open container as an operator
Child restraint violation
All other moving violations
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles can suspend the license of any person who has accumulated 12 or more points within one year. The length of the suspension depends on the total number of points accumulated within a certain time frame:
12 points in 12 months —30 day suspension
18 points in 18 months — Three month suspension
24 points in 36 months — One year suspension
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Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) Designation in Delray Beach
Under Florida Statute § 322.264, a person may have his or her driver’s license suspended for up to five years or permanently revoked if he or she is designated as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). A person may be designated as an HTO if he or she receives 15 convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points may be assessed within a five-year period, or 45 points within 60 months.
A person can also be designated as an HTO if he or she receives three or more convictions of any one or more of the following offenses arising out of separate acts:
Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle
Any DUI violation
Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used
Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked
Failing to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another
Driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified
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South Florida Serious Traffic Offense Resources
Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller — This website for traffic ticket payments also contains information about civil traffic infraction payment plans, contesting a traffic ticket, red light camera violations, tickets in collections, and traffic school.
205 North Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Florida Highway Patrol — You can find information about how to pay a traffic ticket, request a crash report, and various traffic safety problems on this website. There are also a variety of links to other resources, including approved speed measuring devices.
Florida Driver License Suspensions and Revocations — This Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website answers many frequently asked questions about the suspension or revocation of driving privileges. This includes information regarding ignition interlock devices, insurance laws, and violation point values.
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Find the Best Serious Traffic Offenses Lawyer in Palm Beach County
Remember that pleading guilty to a criminal traffic offense can have enormous impact on your driving record. Drew McLaughlin and Jeffrey Morris can aggressively defend you against any misdemeanor or felony traffic violation.
McLaughlin Morris, P.A. helps clients in Delray Beach and such surrounding areas as West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Boynton Beach as well as Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Call (561) 404-0529 today to take advantage of a free, no obligation consultation.