Traffic Citations Information
Traffic violations are non-criminal, payable offenses that generally do not require a court appearance. The duties of the Traffic Division include informing the public of all the options available for disposition of their traffic citation, collecting fines, distributing the proceeds according to Florida Law, and maintaining accurate public records.
A traffic payment is due in the Clerk’s office by the compliance date (within 30 days of receipt of the citation). Payments received, regardless of postmark, or made after the compliance date will incur an additional late fee and a suspension of license.
Your options for a Traffic Citation
In DeSoto County, you have 30 days from the date of issuance to elect one of the following:
- Option 1: Plead guilty, accept points on your driver license and pay the ticket
- Option 2: Pay the ticket and Elect Traffic School to withhold adjudication off your driving record
- Option 3: Contest the ticket and request a court hearing
Option1 - Pay the Ticket
By paying the Traffic Civil Penalty, you are admitting guilt and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will assess points on your driving record for moving violations.
Pay Online, by mail or in person.
Option 2 - Go To Traffic School
To elect this option fill out the Traffic Citation Response Form and pay the school election fee. You will have 90 days from the date traffic school is elected to complete the course and return the certificate to our office.
If you elect the Basic Driver Improvement Course option, adjudication is withheld and the DHSMV will not assess points against your driving record. A course certificate of completion form must be returned to the Clerk’s Office within the 90 day timeframe to be accepted.
Remember, you may only elect the traffic school option five (5) times in your life and the election can only be made once every twelve (12) months. Failure to timely complete the school course or timely submit your completion certificate or pay the fine will result in removal of the fee reduction, points being assessed, and suspension of your license and/or late fees being assessed.
Option 3 - Contesting Your Ticket
If you choose to contest the ticket, you must make your request for a hearing in writing to the Clerk within 30 days of the date of the citation. You will be notified of your court date.
DeSoto County Clerk of Court
115 East Oak Street
Arcadia, FL 34266