Miami Vehicle Offense Attorney
While most motor vehicle violations in Florida are considered minor infractions, some vehicular offenses may result in criminal charges. Although some individuals may be tempted to simply pay the fine for a minor infraction, this could negatively impact your driving record. A more serious vehicle offense can result in fines, a license suspension and jail time. In either case, the best way to protect your driving privileges and your rights it to work with the right criminal defense attorney.
Located in Miami, Valiente Law routinely handles motor vehicle violations in South Florida ranging from simple traffic infractions to criminal traffic offenses. Whether you have received a speeding ticket or face a more serious charge such as driving under the influence, our attorneys will advise you of your rights and explore all options.
What is the difference between a traffic infraction and a criminal traffic offense?
Most traffic violations in Florida are considered infractions, such as speeding or an improper lane change — many of which are handled in an administrative proceeding before the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) Bureau of Administrative Reviews.
We routinely represent clients in these proceedings and typically recommend that they plead not guilty to minimize fines and avoid drivers license points. Common traffic violation points in Florida include:
- Speeding — 3 points
- Reckless driving — 4 points
- Failure to stop at a traffic signal/red light — 4 points
- Speeding in excess of 50 mph — 4 points
- Failure to stop for a school bus — 4 points
- Improper passing of a vehicle – 3 points.
Individuals who have accumulated 12 or more points within a 12 month period will have their license suspended for 30 days, while accumulating 18 points in within 18 months will result in a 3-month suspension and racking up 24 points within 36 months will lead to a one-year license suspension. Having your license suspended for any length of time is a very serious event, which is why it is important to fight the tickets and avoid having points on your license.
More serious motor vehicle violations are heard in court, and a violation that causes or may cause an injury can be charged as a misdemeanor. Examples include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Reckless driving
- Driving without a valid driver’s license
- Driving while your license is suspended (DWLS)
- Driving without insurance coverage
Generally, misdemeanor traffic convictions are punishable by a fine, however, some traffic violations misdemeanors can result in jail time, probation and fines up to $1,000. Finally, some traffic violations can lead to felony charges, such as:
- Multiple DUIs
- Leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury or death
- Vehicular manslaughter
A conviction can result in more severe penalties, including a prison sentence, fines, and probation. Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony motor vehicle charges, we will leverage our knowledge and experience to protect your driving privileges and your freedom.
How Valiente Law Can Help
Regardless of the severity of a motor vehicle offense you have been charged with, we have the knowledge and skill to defend you. Our legal team will evaluate your case and choose the best line of defense against the specific charges.
If you were stopped for speeding after law enforcement used a radar device, for example, we may question whether the device gave an accurate reading or the arresting officer was properly trained in using the device. Similarly, if you have been charged with misdemeanor DUI, we will move to challenge the accuracy of the “breath test” results. In short, if law enforcement fails to conduct a thorough investigation or follow proper procedures, the evidence may not be admissible.
When it comes to felony traffic violations such as vehicular manslaughter, it takes a highly skilled criminal defense attorney knowledgeable in all the technicalities of traffic law to protect your rights. While the stakes may not be as high for a minor traffic violation, having points added to your license may jeopardize your driving privileges and result in a significant increase to your auto insurance premiums. Depending on the circumstances, we we will work to have the charges dismissed or seek a reduced charge with lower penalties and fines.
Well-versed in the applicable vehicle and traffic laws as well as regulations of the DHSMV, we know how to fight traffic tickets and protect your driving privileges. You may have been ticketed unfairly, or there may be other defenses available to you. In any event, don’t fight that traffic ticket alone — call Valiente Law today.