Chilly northern winters often drive residents to southern states like Florida to bask in the warmer weather and get away from the dangerous and depressing icy conditions of their home state. However, just because you’ve visiting Florida for the winter season doesn’t mean you’re immune from getting a traffic ticket.
Types of Florida traffic violations
Some states will waive a traffic violation if you committed one outside of your home state and if it was a minor infraction. Florida, however, will more often than not subject you to the same penalties as the residents of the state you are visiting receive. Common traffic violations that warrant a citation in Florida include:
- Reckless driving
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Disobeying other traffic signs
- Having invalid vehicle registration
Receiving an out-of-state traffic ticket can follow you home. For each infraction, a Florida officer will add points to your license, and these points remain on your license no matter what state you’re from. After amassing a certain amount of points, you could face license suspension ranging from 30 days to one year. You may also face license revocation if you commit 15 or more traffic violations within a five-year period.
What can you do after getting a ticket?
You have two options after you receive a ticket in another state. You can either:
- Pay the ticket — While it can be costly, paying your ticket is the fastest way to move on from the incident. Although paying your ticket won’t erase the points on your license any faster, not paying or ignoring the charge could lead to additional penalties.
- Contest the ticket — Fighting the charges against you could lead to a clean driving record. However, contesting a traffic ticket can be more difficult when you’re not in your home state. When you’re visiting Florida and you’re considering contesting your traffic ticket, you will likely need to return to Florida to attend traffic court if your staying period is coming to a close. It can be costly to make the trek back. However, the benefits of a clean driving record often outweigh the drawbacks of choosing to fight an out-of-state traffic ticket. If you do choose to fight it, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you build a strong defense may give you a better chance of winning your case.