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Avoid Florida Speeding Ticket Points with Online Traffic School

Updated on February 25, 2012

Did you know that in the state of Florida, speeding tickets and other traffic citations can be kept off your record by electing to attend traffic school?

That's right! By spending 4 hours taking a Florida approved basic driver improvement course, you can keep your safe driver status, your record clean, points off your license, and no increase in insurance premiums.

Getting a speeding ticket is a stressful affair. Not only does it ruin your day, but you have to worry about all the things that happen after receiving the traffic citation. The ticket will include instructions with a list of options. But what do the options mean? And which do you choose?

Fortunately, you don't need a lawyer just to understand your options. Though if you plan to fight the ticket, an attorney might be helpful. But even on your own, you can reduce the impact of your traffic citation and win in the long-run.


Fight the Ticket or Pay?

You should almost never just pay the ticket. Paying a ticket outright is the same as admitting you are guilty. This admittance will result in points on your license and lead to higher insurance premiums and possible cancellation of your policy.

If you feel you are not guilty, or if the situation resulting in the citation was hazy or uncertain, your best bet may be to fight the ticket. While this may require scheduling and attending a court session, usually there is an option to simply mail in an "Affidavit of Defense" and not show up at court. Your statement can explain the situation. And if the citing police officer does not show up at court, your traffic citation will be thrown out. Even if the officer shows up, your guilt and sentence could be reduced or waived depending on the situation and your record.

But if you know you are guilty, or you don't want to risk a ticket on your record, consider electing traffic school. No points will be assessed, and your insurance cannot change. Traffic school results in "adjudication of guilt" being withheld, or not being considered either guilty or not guilty.

Which traffic citation option are you?

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How does traffic school work?

Florida Statute 318.14(9) states that anyone who does not hold a commercial drivers license and has not committed a criminal infraction, may elect to take a basic driver improvement course. The course may not be elected more than once in a 12 month period, or 5 times in a lifetime.

The 4-hour basic driver improvement course must be taken through a traffic school approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). There are dozens of classroom based traffic schools in Florida as well as the option to take the class through an online traffic school. Be sure your online traffic school is approved by the state of Florida to make sure you aren't wasting your money.

When you elect traffic school, you will still have to pay your traffic citation. Some Florida counties offer a discount, though others will require an additional processing fee. Contact the county clerk for the location you received your traffic ticket with 30 days of the citation to find out the process for electing traffic school. You will then be required to submit proof of completion within 90 days of the ticket.

As long as you comply with all the deadlines and requirements, Florida Statute 626.9541(1)(o) guarantees: "No insurer shall impose or request an additional premium, cancel a policy, or issue a non renewal notice on any insurance policy or contract because of any traffic infraction when adjudication of guilt is withheld and no points have been accessed pursuant to s.318.14(9) and (10)." For those looking to minimize the long-term effects of their traffic citation, these are the most important words.


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