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traffic violations Archives

Hit and Run Accidents

  • The driver is always required to stop either at the scene of the accident or, if that is not safe, as close as safely possible.
  • If the accident results in bodily or property damage each driver is required to provide the other drivers with their name, address, and the registration number of their vehicle. They must also provide their license to the other drivers if asked. Additionally, if someone was injured in the crash the others involved must provide him or her with reasonable assistance in traveling to medical assistance.
  • In the event that there is no other driver available to give the above-mentioned information to, then this information must be given to the nearest police officer.
  • Anyone involved in an accident with property where the owner is not present, they must leave a note, securely and in plain sight with the driver's contact information. The driver must also notify the nearest police officer or law enforcement agency of the crash.

What are the possible penalties of a hit and run conviction?

DUI on a Bicycle

It is commonly known that driving a car while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal and dangerous. What about operating other types of vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol? It is commonly thought that riding your bike home from a night of drinking is an easy and safe way to avoid harm and a DUI arrest. However, Florida is one of five states that have statues considering a bicycle a vehicle. Because of these statues Florida considers biking under the influence a crime. If your ability to drive is impaired, whether you are operating a motorized vehicle or a non-motorized vehicle, you are at risk for a DUI arrest.

How to Handle a Traffic Stop

If you are pulled over for a traffic stop you have nothing to fear, in fact it is the police officer that may be fearful because they never know what situation they are walking into. A police officer may pull you over for any traffic violation, no matter how minor. If you are ever pulled over, do not fight with the police or disrespect the officer, it will worsen your situation and ruin both your day and the officer's. 

DUI Checkpoints

While the United States Supreme Court has ruled that DUI checkpoints, also known as sobriety checks, are legal eleven state Supreme Courts have ruled that DUI checkpoints are a violation of the drivers Fourth Amendment rights against unwarranted searches. Florida is not one of those eleven states and DUI checkpoints are legal.

Comparative Negligence

If an accident occurs rarely is it ever easy to point a finger and say that one party was 100% at fault for the accident, usually both parties are at fault to different extents. In 1973 Florida adopted a comparative negligence statue  that allowed parties to be held partially liable.

The Real Cost of a DUI

If you or anyone you know has ever received a DUI you know that the real cost of the DUI is significantly higher than the fine Florida law assigns. Once you calculate the fines, court fees, attorney fees and more the real cost of a DUI is significantly higher than the fine printed on your ticket. The real cost may vary depending on the specific case, for example, if a minor under the age of 15 is in the vehicle the fine may reach $10,000 even if it is your first offense. In Florida it is considered a DUI offense if you drive, attempt to drive or are in control of the vehicle (yes, this includes sleeping in the car with the keys in your possession) if the level of alcohol, drugs or prescribed medication is over the prescribed or legal limit (the BAC limit is .08). The attorneys at Platt Hopwood are here to examine the cost of a DUI and let you know how to minimize them.

What to do After Being Involved in an Auto Accident

Odds are that you or someone close to you has been involved in a car accident, whether a minor fender bender or a devastating accident. Regardless of how big or small the accident was, it took a physical toll, an emotional toll and a financial toll. Here are seven steps on what to do instantly after you have been involved in a car accident from the Platt Hopwood Law Firm:

Passenger Rights in an Auto Accident

As the passenger in an auto accident you have multiple options as to where you file your claim; depending on the circumstances of the accident you may file your claim with your own insurance, the insurance company of the vehicle you were occupying or the insurance company of any other vehicle at-fault in the accident. As a passenger you are not at fault in a car accident and may collect insurance even if the driver of the vehicle you were occupying was at-fault.

What To Do After Being Arrested and Charged With a DUI

If you find yourself arrested or charged with a DUI - Driving while Under the Influence - you may face serious monetary, driving and criminal penalties. The most important thing you can do after being arrested and charged with a DUI is to seek legal counsel. Retaining a skilled and qualified attorney can make the process significantly less confusing. It is essential to have someone fighting for you that is knowledgeable about the state DUI laws and proper police procedure. There are instances where charges are dropped because of breathalyzer malfunctions and other police errors.

Red Light Cameras

As the light turns yellow many drivers approaching intersections scan for pedestrians, other cars and police officers before making a split-second determination of whether to risk running a red light, or slam on their brakes. Sometimes the split-second decision of whether or not to run a yellow light is a difficult call to make and depends greatly on circumstances, such as the proximity of the car behind the driver, the amount of traffic in the intersection and whether or not a police officer is near to issue a ticket. The introduction of red light cameras may cause the scan for police officers to shift into a scan for cameras in the intersection. A driver crossing the white line on their side of the intersection once the light has turned red activates a red light camera to flash and capture video and photo evidence of the possible violation. The red light camera then sends information to a law enforcement official that reviews what the camera has gathered to determine whether a violation has occurred. If the law enforcement officer has determined that a violation has occurred then a citation is issued to the registered owner of the vehicle and if they pay the fine on time no points will be added to their license.