Traffic Ticket FAQ in Florida

What do I do if I get a traffic ticket in FL?

You'll plead either guilty, no contest (or nolo contendre), or not guilty―and you must do so within the allotted amount of time. Some counties allow only 30 days to respond. Your traffic ticket should notify you of how many days you have to respond, but if you lost your ticket or it doesn't give the information contact the court in the county you received the ticket.

Pleading not guilty, no contest, or nolo contendre means you'll pay the ticket fine and any other applicable court costs. You might incur points on your driving record and you may experience an increase in auto insurance rates, but often drivers bypass these penalties by enrolling in an approved Basic Driver Improvement Course.

If you plead guilty, you'll schedule a hearing date, perhaps solicit the help of a traffic ticket attorney, and make your case in court. If you win, you're good to go (except for the attorney fees), but if you lose you'll forfeit any possibility of pleading to a lesser charge or enrolling in a course for point reduction, and you'll have to pay all the fines and fees.

Learn more in our Paying Your Traffic Ticket and Fighting Your Traffic Ticket sections.

How can I get a Florida traffic ticket dismissed?

For the most part, this depends on what you mean by “dismissed."

Some (but not all) drivers can get their traffic tickets dismissed if they:

  • Show the court or even the officer that they're abiding by the law. (For instance, if an officer pulls you over for an expired registration, but you swear your proof is at home on the kitchen table, he may give you a certain number of days to present it and have the ticket dropped.)
  • Contest the ticket in court, with or without a traffic ticket lawyer, and win your case.

Consider the nature of your violation and perhaps seek the advice of a lawyer before determining how to go about getting your ticket dismissed.

What if I have a FL CDL and get a traffic ticket?

You must notify your employer within 30 days of a conviction for a traffic violation; if you were ticketed out of state, you have 30 days to notify the DMV, too.

Your following steps depend mostly on the nature of the violation and your history of traffic offenses as a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver. Your penalties can range from paying a fine to dealing with a license suspension or revocation. If the offense is serious enough, some CMV drivers even face permanent CDL cancellation.

For more information, check our section on Ticket Fines and Penalties as well as the Florida CDL Handbook.

What are the fines for a red light ticket in Florida?

A Florida Red Light ticket can cost starts at $158 and 3 points assessed against their driver license.

What if I am a minor and get a traffic ticket in FL?

Overall, you'll pay (or fight) your ticket like anyone else; however, if you receive enough tickets (or one big ticket) that you accumulate 6 points on your driving record within 12 months, you'll receive a “Business Purposes ONLY" restriction on your license. This restriction lasts for 1 year, or until you turn 18 years old, but is extended for 90 days for each point you accumulate after.

The Florida Driver’s Handbook provides detailed information about what drivers can expect in terms of fines and penalties when they commit particular offenses.

What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket while driving with a Florida learner's permit?

Unfortunately, if you're convicted of a traffic violation while you have your learner's permit, you're banned from applying for your intermediate license until 1 year after the conviction date or until you turn 18 years old, whichever occurs first.

Will taking a motorcycle safety course help me with a FL traffic ticket I got while riding?

Generally, motorcyclists can take the same kind of Basic Driver Improvement Course drivers of regular passenger vehicles take; Florida provides a list of courses online.

By providing your county's Clerk of Court with the ticket number, he or she can help you determine whether you're eligible for such a course.

Can I take a defensive driving course to reduce the number of FL driver's license points on my driving record?

Yes. Check our section on Defensive Driving & Traffic School for information about Florida's approved driving courses.

Note that if you want this option, you must let the clerk in your county know within 30 days of receiving the ticket, but prior to actually starting the class.

Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?

Keeping tabs on your driving record lets you know things like:

  • The driving course you took removed, or failed to remove, the points you incurred during your last traffic violation.
  • Whether you received points even though you were found “not guilty."
  • If the number of points you have is dangerously close to the point of license suspension or revocation.

Learn more about obtaining FL driving records.

What is the cost of my Florida traffic ticket?

You should find the cost printed somewhere on your FL traffic ticket. If you can't find your ticket, check our Lost Traffic Ticket section, or contact your County Clerk of Court for more details.

How many points will I get if convicted?

Points vary depending on the nature of the violation.

For example, if you're convicted of speeding, but weren't going more than 15 MPH above the posted speed limit, you'll get 3 points; on the other hand, if you're convicted of passing a stopped school bus, you'll get 4 points.

Check the Florida Point System or our penalties page for more details.

Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout the state of Florida?

Generally, yes. This means if you're convicted of speeding 5 miles over the posted limit in one part of Florida, your fine would be the same as if you were convicted of speeding in another part of the state.

The differences lie in the court costs and any other fees you have to pay, and those vary by county. You can contact your County Clerk of Court for an exact dollar amount.

How can I find a lost traffic ticket online?

Via Florida's Online Driver’s License Check, you might be able to find your FL traffic ticket online.

If you can't (or if nothing shows up and you're fairly sure you were pulled over and ticketed), your county's Clerk of Court can help you. Visit our section on replacing lost traffic tickets to find out how.

When is it a good idea to hire a FL traffic ticket attorney?

Two of the most common times a driver hires a traffic ticket attorney is when he is:

  • Fighting a traffic ticket.
  • Dealing with criminal charges.

However, you might consider a traffic ticket attorney if you simply want to plead to reduced charges or aren't able to attend a scheduled court appearance.

How many driving record points can I accumulate before the state suspends my FL driver's license?

Florida considers both the number of points and the time period during which you accumulated them.

If you accumulate:

  • 12 points in 12 months, your license is suspended for 30 days.
  • 18 points within 18 months, your license is suspended for 3 months.
  • 24 points within 36 months, your license is suspended for 1 year.

Learn more about the FL point system.

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