Common Traffic Ticket Myths in Florida
Traffic ticket myths can lead to confusion and misinformation about the legal process and consequences of receiving a citation. While specific myths may vary, there are some common misconceptions about traffic tickets in Florida. No one wants to get a ticket, but it can be especially detrimental to a driver's record. While you should always obey traffic law, if you ever find yourself getting pulled over, know these common traffic ticket myths and the truth behind them.
Paying the Fine Automatically Clears Your Record
Paying the fine for a traffic ticket is an admission of guilt, and it may result in points on your driving record. Depending on the offense, these points can lead to increased insurance premiums and potential license suspension.
Signing the traffic ticket is an admission of guilt
This is not true. Signing the traffic ticket simply shows that you received the ticket. If an officer asks you to sign the ticket, do so. Signing will not harm or help you in any way.
Ticket is dismissed if police officer doesn't show up to court
It is worth nothing that many police officers receive overtime pay for going to court, and that going to court is part of their job. While tickets can be dismissed if the police officer does not appear in court, it is not a guarantee, nor do you know if the police officer will show up or not. If you decide to contest your ticket, do not create a defense around hoping the officer will not show up.
An Officer Must Show You the Radar Gun Reading
While you have the right to ask the officer about the radar reading, they are not required to show it to you at the scene. However, you can request this information later if you choose to contest the ticket in court.
"Radar malfunction" is a valid defense
Not true. Unless you can prove the police's radar detector was malfunction, which is difficult to say the least, this defense will not hold up in a court of law.
Clerical errors on a ticket can get it thrown out
Clerical errors on a ticket are also not a valid reason to have a ticket dismissed.
Traffic tickets don't transfer to other states
You can't escape a ticket by driving across state borders. Either way you have to pay the fine, go to traffic school and/or go to court.
Matching traffic flow is a valid excuse for speeding
Nope. Sadly, even if you feel compelled to speed because of the pace of those driving around you (or are passing you like you're standing still) this is not a legally valid reason for speeding and will not hold up in a court of law.
Police officers give out more tickets at the end of the month to reach their quota
This is also a myth. Most police officers do not have quotas (and some cities ban the use of them), but those who may, have pityingly low ones. No matter what time of the month it is, you risk getting a ticket if you break the law.
Your ticket is dismissed if you pay a little extra for it
Again, not true. No underhanded money dealing is going to save you from having points added to your license, though a defensive driving class might if you are able to elect that option.
Flashing your headlight to warn other drivers is illegal
It's not! You have every legal right to flash your lights and warn drivers of speed traps. A police officer cannot write you a ticket for that.