A suspended license is typically due to either (1) unpaid traffic tickets or (2) accumulation of points due to traffic tickets that were paid without electing a driving school. This easily avoided mistake can put you in danger of going to jail. A traffic ticket lawyer will help you avoid point suspensions.
Florida Point Suspensions
When you receive a ticket you should make one of the elections within 30-days of receiving the ticket. Don’t just pay the ticket. Either elect traffic school or elect a hearing. If you elect a hearing, hire a traffic lawyer to handle it.
Paying Traffic Tickets Can Put Points On Your License
There are several options upon receiving a traffic ticket. The most common are:
- Pay the ticket within 30 days of receiving it. Please do not do this.
- Problem: Paying a ticket without making any elections will place points on your license for all moving violations.
- Points accummulate over time and can be used to suspend a driving privilege long after they have been acquired.
- Elect the driving school option.
- Must make this election through the Clerk of Court.
- Must pay the ticket upon electing this option.
- 90 days to submit completion certificate to the Clerk of Court.
- Elect to have a hearing before a judge or hearing officer (hire a lawyer for this).
Section 322.27 of the Florida Statutes provides the basis for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to suspend a person’s driving privileges in Florida including point suspensions.
- 12-points within 12 months.
- 18-points within 18 months.
- 24-points within 36 months.
Note that this section fails to mention that after the 24 points in 36 months, which is equivalent to eight 3-point tickets, there is another point suspension. It is 45 points in 60 months. This is the Habitual Traffic Offender points suspension. This suspension is for 5-years and is equivalent to 15 three-point moving violations within 60 months.
Section 322.27, Florida Statutes:
Section 322.27 of the Florida Statutes is the law that determines when your license is suspended for points. Under subsection (3) it describes the point suspensions for tickets.
|(3) There is established a point system for evaluation of convictions of violations of motor vehicle laws or ordinances, and violations of applicable provisions of s. 403.413(6)(b) when such violations involve the use of motor vehicles, for the determination of the continuing qualification of any person to operate a motor vehicle. The department is authorized to suspend the license of any person upon showing of its records or other good and sufficient evidence that the licensee has been convicted of violation of motor vehicle laws or ordinances, or applicable provisions of s. 403.413(6)(b), amounting to 12 or more points as determined by the point system. The suspension shall be for a period of not more than 1 year.|
|(a) When a licensee accumulates 12 points within a 12-month period, the period of suspension shall be for not more than 30 days.||30 day suspension|
|(b) When a licensee accumulates 18 points, including points upon which suspension action is taken under paragraph (a), within an 18-month period, the suspension shall be for a period of not more than 3 months.||90 day suspension|
|(c) When a licensee accumulates 24 points, including points upon which suspension action is taken under paragraphs (a) and (b), within a 36-month period, the suspension shall be for a period of not more than 1 year.||1 year suspension; note that there is also a 45 points in 60 months suspension that is for five years.|
|(d) The point system shall have as its basic element a graduated scale of points assigning relative values to convictions of the following violations:||Electing to have a hearing or traffic school can keep points off your driving record.|
|1. Reckless driving, willful and wanton–4 points.||This is a criminal charge. You will be arrested for this offense.|
|2. Leaving the scene of a crash resulting in property damage of more than $50–6 points.||Also a criminal offense.|
|3. Unlawful speed resulting in a crash–6 points.|
|4. Passing a stopped school bus–4 points.|
|5. Unlawful speed:||Less than 5 mph over is a warning only|
|a. Not in excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted speed–3 points.|
|b. In excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted speed–4 points.|
|6. A violation of a traffic control signal device as provided in s. 316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1.–4 points.||Note: 4 points!|
|7. All other moving violations (including parking on a highway outside the limits of a municipality)–3 points. However, no points shall be imposed for a violation of s. 316.0741 or s. 316.2065(12).||High Occupancy Lanes and Bicycle Regulations|
|8. Any moving violation covered above, excluding unlawful speed, resulting in a crash–4 points.||A 3-point ticket becomes 4-points if crash|
|9. Any conviction under s. 403.413(6)(b)–3 points.||Florida Litter law|
|10. Any conviction under s. 316.0775(2)–4 points.||Interferrance With Traffic Control Devices|
|(e) A conviction in another state of a violation therein which, if committed in this state, would be a violation of the traffic laws of this state, or a conviction of an offense under any federal law substantially conforming to the traffic laws of this state, except a violation of s. 322.26, may be recorded against a driver on the basis of the same number of points received had the conviction been made in a court of this state.||Recognition of other states traffic laws. Note that this means that the Fla DMV will add out-of-state points to your Fla driving history.|
|(f) In computing the total number of points, when the licensee reaches the danger zone, the department is authorized to send the licensee a warning letter advising that any further convictions may result in suspension of his or her driving privilege.||DMV does send letters. Make sure the address on your license is up to date.|
|(g) The department shall administer and enforce the provisions of this law and may make rules and regulations necessary for its administration.|
|(h) Three points shall be deducted from the driver history record of any person whose driving privilege has been suspended only once pursuant to this subsection and has been reinstated, if such person has complied with all other requirements of this chapter.|
|(i) This subsection shall not apply to persons operating a non-motorized vehicle for which a driver’s license is not required.|
Avoiding Point Suspensions is the Goal of Traffic Ticket Lawyers
Traffic Ticket Lawyers charge a reasonable fee to represent people on a traffic ticket. The fee to represent a person for driving while license suspended (a criminal citation) goes up dramatically. This can be avoided by always addressing all tickets you receive immediately and properly. Hiring a lawyer is one way or you can elect traffic school on your own. The point is to protect your privilege to drive in Florida.
More information about tickets and driver’s licenses:
- Speeding Tickets
- Careless Driving (Accident) Tickets
- Red Light Camera Tickets
- Commercial Driver’s License Issues
- Toll Tickets
- Suspended Driver’s License Issues