Beginning in 1991 as a prosecuting attorney, Jeffrey A. Haynes has personally handled thousands of traffic court cases, and since entering private practice in 1996, Mr. Haynes has represented and successfully defended countless numbers of persons charged with traffic offenses. If you would like to immediately speak with him about your Florida traffic ticket, call The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Haynes at 941 954-5333. Mr. Haynes answers his telephone calls personally after business hours, which means you will normally reach him at almost any time, even on weekends and holidays.
Florida has two types of traffic offenses, which are defined as being either criminal traffic violations or non-criminal infractions. Examples of non-criminal traffic infractions include driving while license suspended without knowledge, speeding tickets, vehicle equipment violations, and minor accident violations. A non-criminal infraction may very well result in a fine, as well as points being assessed against your driver’s license, but in Florida it cannot result in a jail sentence. The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Haynes can represent you on a non-criminal traffic infraction if necessary, and will either challenge the ticket in court, or Mr. Haynes can normallynegotiate a sentence where no points are assessed against your driver’s license.
The other type of Florida traffic offenses are criminal traffic violations. Examples of criminal traffic violations include, but are not limited to, driving while license suspended with knowledge, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, racing on a highway, and violations of driver’s license restrictions. A criminal traffic infraction may include a fine, as well as points being assessed against your driver’s license. As the name implies, a criminal traffic infraction may also result in a possible jail sentence, depending upon the facts of your case, as well as your previous driving record and/or criminal history. The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Haynes can represent you on a criminal traffic infraction, using over 20 years of trial and courtroom experience to obtain the best result possible, whether by trial, by motion to dismiss and/or motion to suppress, or by successful plea negotiation.
The following questions are some of those commonly asked in a typical traffic infraction case, whether it be a non-criminal or criminal infraction in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, which includes Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
Question: Do I actually need an attorney to represent me on my traffic charge?
Answer: Ultimately, that will be your decision to make. To begin with, anyone who either wants a trial or is facing jail time will almost certainly need an attorney. An attorney who has a background in traffic defense may investigate any possible legal defenses you might have, such as lack of probable cause to stop your vehicle, improper calibration of the speed measuring device, and traffic citations which were improperly prepared by the police officer citing the wrong statute number. An attorney may also contact the prosecutors at an early stage in the proceedings, if there are facts or witnesses that need to be presented in your defense. The attorney may also investigate certain diversionary programs you may be eligible to participate in, such as traffic pretrial intervention.
Question: Does my traffic charge carry points, and what do the points actually mean?
Answer: In Florida, a traffic infraction, whether criminal or non-criminal, may carry points which can add up to 6 points on your driver’s license per ticket, depending upon the particular charge. Not every traffic infraction carries points, but for those that do, an accumulation of points over a period of time can result in a mandatory driver’s license suspension. For example, receiving 12 points on your Florida’s driver’s license within a period of 1 year will result in a mandatory suspension of driving privileges for 30 days. The suspension periods increase as more points are assessed. Because each traffic ticket is treated differently in Florida, it is always best to consult with an experienced traffic attorney regarding your options.See the chart at the bottom of this page, which will tell you whether how many points your traffic infraction carries.
Question: I have been falsely accused of the charge, and I am not guilty. What are my options?
Answer: In Florida, you always have the absolute right to a trial in this matter. For some traffic infractions, you will only have a right to a trial by judge, while in many criminal traffic cases you will have the right to a jury trial, comprised of six people. A jury verdict must be unanimous, which means to be found guilty all six jurors would have to agree upon your guilt. In either case, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. Although you can be “pro se”, which means to represent yourself, this is usually an unwise decision, since the judge will require you to know and follow the Florida Rules of Evidence and Criminal Procedure. Your lack of legal training will not excuse you from these requirements.