Ticket Fines and Penalties in Florida
Florida handles traffic tickets on a county level, and for the most part, traffic ticket fines don't vary too much by county.
For example, if you're cited for speeding in one part of the state, chances are your ticket fine will be the same as if you were cited for speeding in another part of the state.
Generally, ticket costs are printed on the actual traffic ticket. Check your ticket for your fine; if you can't find your ticket, refer to our section on replacing lost traffic tickets.
Each county sets its own surcharge, or court-related fee, that you must pay in addition to your traffic ticket fine. Typically, these fees don't cost much more than a few extra dollars.
If your applicable surcharge isn't printed on your ticket, contact your county's Clerk of Court for information.
Convictions related to driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs carry additional fines and penalties. These do not vary by county.
Depending on the offense, DUI violations also carry jail time, probation, community service, license suspension or revocation, DUI school, and ignition interlock systems. Learn more in Section Four of Florida's Driver Handbook.
Driving School Election Fee
Drivers who are eligible and opt to enroll in a Basic Driver Education Course for point reduction must pay their clerk an election fee in addition to the traffic ticket fine and surcharge. The clerk will inform you of this fee when you notify the court that you'd like to enroll in traffic school.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine.
- Incur points on your driving record (which could lead to license suspension or revocation).
- Experience an increase in auto insurance rates.
- If applicable, enroll and complete a Basic Driver Improvement Course to avoid points and an insurance increase.
Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest the ticket during a hearing.
- Hire an attorney or represent yourself during the hearing. (Either option will require some prep time.)
- Forfeit the possibility of a plea bargain or incurring lesser charges.
- Suffer no penalties if found not guilty (except any applicable court/attorney fees).
- Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).
Learn more about
Fighting your Traffic Ticket »
Auto Insurance Rate Increase
Sometimes, an auto insurance provider will increase a policyholder's premium for receiving a traffic ticket.
In Florida, insurance providers are prohibited from doing this if the policyholder enrolls in and successfully completes an approved traffic school; however, not all drivers want to―or are eligible to―enroll in driving school. These drivers can talk with their providers about the possibility of increased premiums, and then start shopping for lower rates online.
Traffic ticket fines can slightly vary from county to county, but penalties basically stay the same.
Florida Point System
Florida puts a certain number of points on your driving record each time you receive a traffic ticket; points-per-violation range depending on the violation.
Once you get a certain number of points within a specific time period, the state will suspend your license (see below). Fortunately, many drivers can take a driving course to reduce their points and possibly avoid suspension. Check out our Defensive Driving section to learn more.
FL Driver's License Suspension, Revocation, and Cancellation
Certain violations lead to mandatory license suspension or revocation. Sometimes these are point-based, sometimes they're criminal or conviction-based, and sometimes they happen because you've simply failed to meet some requirement.
License Suspension: Generally, a license suspension means your license is taken away for a predetermined amount of time. Certain situations require you to meet requirements before your license is reinstated; others require you to just wait it out.
License Revocation: License revocations are often longer and more serious than suspensions. Depending on the violation, you may have to complete a requirement (such as waiting a certain time period as well as paying a fine) before you can have your license reinstated.
License Cancellation: Florida doesn't usually outright cancel a driver's license; revocations normally handle that. However, if a driver provides false information in order to obtain a license, or the DMV makes a mistake in issuing the license, the license will be canceled.
Sometimes, traffic violations that lead to license suspension or revocation are due to accumulating too many points rather than the actual violation. In Florida, if you accumulate:
- 12 points during 12 months, your license will be suspended for 30 days.
- 18 points during 18 months, your license will be suspended for 3 months.
- 24 points during 36 months, your license will be suspended for 1 year.
Section Four of Florida's Driver Handbook provides information about all the ways a driver could lose his license to suspension or revocation, including ways unrelated to traffic violations.
In the meantime, the items listed below are a few examples:
- Failure to comply with a traffic summons.
- Failure to pay a traffic ticket fine.
- Failure to complete a court-ordered traffic school.
- Failure to stop for a school bus.
- Being involved in a violation that resulted in personal injury or death.
- Receiving a Habitual Traffic Offender designation.
- Any violation involving DUI.
Penalties for Drivers Younger than 21
If you're younger than 21 years old, Florida will suspend your license for 6 months if you're caught driving with a BAC of 0.02% or higher.
Check the Florida's Driver Handbook (REV 2014) for more reasons the state will suspend or revoke a young driver's license.
Penalties for Florida Commercial Drivers
All CDL holders must notify their employers after receiving a traffic ticket. If it's an out-of-state ticket, they also must notify the DMV.
Your CDL can be suspended or revoked for at least 1 year if you:
- Drive your commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a BAC of 0.04% or higher.
- Drive your personal vehicle or CMV under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.
- Refuse a blood alcohol test while driving your personal vehicle or CMV.
- Commit a felony with a vehicle.
- Leave the scene of an accident without reporting it.
- Cause a fatality with your CMV.
- Operate your CMV while your CDL is suspended, revoked, or canceled or after you've been disqualified.
Note that you'll lose your CDL:
- For 3 years if you commit any of these offenses while operating a CMV placarded for transporting hazardous materials.
- For life if you commit a felony involving a controlled substance using your CMV.
If you commit any of the above offenses a second time, you will lose your CDL for life.
Serious Traffic Offenses
You can lose your CDL for at least:
- 60 days if you have committed 2 serious offenses with your CMV during 3 years.
- 120 days if you have committed 3 serious offenses with your CMV during a 3 years.
Serious offenses include:
- Speeding more than 15 MPH over the speed limit.
- Careless or reckless driving.
- Improperly or erratically changing lanes.
- Following too closely behind another driver.
- Driving a CMV without obtaining, or without having present, a CDL.
- Driving a CMV without the properly classed CDL.
- Using your CMV to commit an offense involving a fatal traffic accident.
The state will suspend your CDL for other offenses, too. For example, if you commit a railroad-highway grade crossing violation, you could lose your CDL for up to 1 year; violating an out-of-service order can get you up to 5 years of suspension.
For more information, check Section One of the Florida CDL Handbook (REV 2014).
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