D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
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Understanding more about license suspension in Florida

After being issued a citation for a traffic violation, most motorists simply want to pay the fine and put the matter behind them. While this is an understandable and generally prudent decision for those motorists who are hardly ever cited, those who have already racked up several citations in a short timeframe or have a historically dubious driving record will perhaps want to pay closer attention to the matter.

That's because whenever a person is ticketed here in Florida, they will earn points against their driving record and, if they earn too many points in too short of a window, they could see their driver's license suspended.

Indeed, the law dictates that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend a driver's license according to the following schedule:

  • If a motorist accumulates 12 points in 12 months, it will result in a 30-day license suspension
  • If a motorist accumulates 18 points in 18 months (including points from a prior 12-point suspension), it will result in a three-month license suspension.
  • If a motorist accumulates 24 points in 36 months (including points from a prior 12-point suspension and/or 18-point suspension), it will result in a one-year license suspension.  

This naturally begs the question as to the number of points that are assigned to particular traffic violations. While a complete breakdown of every traffic violation and its accompanying point value is clearly beyond the scope of a single blog post, here are a few examples:

  • Driving 15 miles-per-hour or less over the posted speed limit is 3 points
  • Driving in excess of 15 miles-per-hour over the posted speed limit is 4 points
  • Failing to execute a proper lane change is 3 points
  • Engaging in reckless driving is 4 points
  • Running a red light is 4 points
  • Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in over $50 in property damage is 6 points

We will continue to examine this topic in future posts, taking a closer look at everything from the effect of out-of-state tickets on a driving record to the possibility of traffic school.

In the meantime, if you are issued a traffic violation that you feel was unjustly issued, please don't just give up. Instead, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can fight on your behalf.

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D. Scott Rieth
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