Traffic Offenses

Most traffic violations are civil, and are only punishable by a fine. However, some circumstances bring traffic offenses to criminal courts. A criminal traffic offense can include driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, and other related offenses.

A traffic offense can carry severe consequences. Those convicted can have their license suspended or revoked, pay heavy fines, or even face possible incarceration. Do not take a traffic or driving offense lightly.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a traffic offense should seek trusted legal representation immediately.

Defense Lawyers for Traffic Violations in St. Lucie County, Florida

Have you been arrested with a driving or traffic offense in the Treasure Coast area? Take the first steps towards a sturdy defense today. Contact the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell now.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have over 20 years of experience in Florida’s justice system. We are dedicated to each and every one of our clients. Our attorneys will pursue every legal avenue to protect your driving privileges. Find legal representation that cares about you. Call the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell today.

Meltzer & Bell defends those accused of driving offenses in Martin County and St. Lucie County including Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Stuart.

Stay ahead of the prosecution. Call us today at (772) 291-2534, or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation.

Overview for Traffic Offenses in Florida


Types of Criminal Traffic Offenses under Florida Law

The majority of traffic offense is under traffic courts. A traffic offense under traffic court will only require you to pay a fine. However, if a person violates certain traffic offenses, their case will be held in criminal courts. Penalties for criminal court cases carry much heavier penalties than most traffic cases.

Below are some of the types of traffic offenses that Meltzer & Bell has experience with.

  • No Motorcycle Endorsement;
  • Reckless Driving;
  • Attaching Tag Not Assigned;
  • No Valid Driver’s License:
  • Driving with a Habitual Traffic Offender Revocation;
  • Expired Vehicle Registration;
  • Driving under the Influence (DUI);
  • Refusing to Submit to a Breath Test;
  • Driving on a Suspended License with Knowledge;
  • Racing on a Highway;
  • Hit and Run;
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Crash;
  • Fleeing or Attempting to Elude; or
  • Vehicular Manslaughter

Hardship Licenses in the 19th Judicial Circuit

In most traffic offense convictions, your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked. However, you may be able to apply for a hardship license. A hardship license allows a person with a suspended license to drive back and forth for specific reasons. Some of these reasons may be commuting to work, taking children to school, or obtaining necessary groceries.

Eligibility to apply for a hardship license is determined by the applicant’s driving history, current license status, and driving needs in accordance with applicable laws. A hardship hearing will present the alleged offender an opportunity to advocate for a temporary license. However, certain offenses are ineligible to obtain a hardship license.

The following sanctions are not eligible for early reinstatement or hardship license:

  • Indefinite revocation for child support delinquency
  • Indefinite revocation for failing to pay traffic fines or failure to appear for a traffic summons
  • Suspension resulting from the “Drop Out Law”
  • Theft of motor vehicle parts or components (unless authorized by the trial judge)
  • Financial Responsibility suspensions
  • First conviction for DUI with two or more prior refusal suspensions
    • If you have two or more prior refusal suspensions then you will also not be allowed to have a hardship license during any court-ordered suspension of your driver’s license after a DUI conviction)
  • Second conviction for DUI outside 5 years of the preceding conviction for DUI
  • Third conviction for DUI outside 10 years of the preceding conviction for DUI
  • Revocation for felony violation of chapter 893, or felony possession of a controlled substance
  • Suspension for possession of tobacco by a minor
  • Permanent revocation for murder resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
  • Permanent revocation for DUI manslaughter where the record shows a prior conviction for DUI;
  • Admin suspensions under Section 322.2615 if there have been two or more convictions for DUI;
  • Admin suspension for a refusal under 322.2615 with a prior refusal
    • In other words, you must serve the entire 18-month administrative suspension which is the reason you should always request a formal review hearing and 42-day permit.

Florida Penalties for Traffic Offenses in St. Lucie County

Criminal traffic offenses can have severe penalties in Florida. Depending on the circumstances, a person can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony. Both charges include large fines, and possible jail or prison time.

The following are the various penalties you may face depending on the traffic offense.

  • Second Degree Misdemeanor
    • Up to 60 days in jail; and
    • Possible fine of up to $500.
  • First Degree Misdemeanor
    • Up to 12 months in jail; and
    • Possible fine of up to $1,000.
  • Third Degree Felony
    • Up to five years in prison; and
    • Possible fine of up to $5,000.
  • Second Degree Felony
    • Up to 15 years in prison; and
    • Possible fine of up to $10,000.
  • First Degree Felony
    • Up to 30 years in prison; and
    • Possible fine of up to $10,000.

Additional Resources

Reinstatement Forms – Visit the official website of the Martin County Clerk to access their reinstatement of license forms. Navigate the site to learn the documents you need and forms required to reinstate your driver’s license in Martin Coutny.

Florida DUI Laws – Visit the official website for driving under the influence (DUI). DUI offenses are one of the most common traffic offenses in the State of Florida. Find more information regarding the charge specifics, penalties, and aggravating factors.


Lawyer for Traffic Offenses in Martin County, Florida

If you or someone you know has been charged with a traffic or driving offense, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Hiring an attorney can greatly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your charges.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell excel at creating strong defenses for their clients. Our attorneys are compassionate with clients and aggressive in the courtroom. We treat each client with the utmost care. Meltzer & Bell will consult with you on every step of the way.

Additionally, our team has a former prosecutor and former public defender on our team. This means we know the techniques and tactics of both sides of the courtroom. Do not settle when it comes to your future. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell today.

Meltzer & Bell accepts clients throughout the 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida including Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, and Jupiter Island.

Dial today at (772) 291-2534, or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation for your case today.


This article was last updated September 5, 2018.

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