Traffic Offense Attorney
Traffic offenses in Pinellas County tend to be underestimated and seen as only minor violations of the law. Drivers often bite the bullet, show up in court without a lawyer, pay the fine and move on. But it’s often overlooked that a traffic violation can significantly increase the penalties for future violations, balloon insurance premiums and add points to your driving record.
Experienced Legal Service for Traffic Offenses in Pinellas County
If you or your child need legal expertise to defend you, then you should contact a traffic defense attorney to provide aggressive legal support.
Sean McQuaid has a track-record in successfully defending traffic offenses for over 19 years. Mr. McQuaid is a named partner at Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., which for 60 years has been providing the Tampa Bay area with exceptional legal assistance. Mr. McQuaid is highly respected by the State and the Judges at the Pinellas Justice Center and has received a perfect ranking from numerous review sources from his peers, the judges he practices in front of and his clients and their families.
If you need a traffic offense lawyer in Pinellas County, please contact Sean McQuaid today for a free consultation.
Challenging a Ticket
There are various reasons why your traffic ticket may seem unjust. You can fight or reduce the charge with the help of a traffic offense lawyer.
How long do you have to fight the ticket?
You have until 30 days after you received your traffic ticket to inform the county clerk that you intend to challenge it. You’ll then be scheduled a hearing where all of the witnesses and law enforcement officers are subpoenaed to appear.
Your attorney will guide you through the process and help you decide the best option for your situation.
Common Traffic Offenses in Pinellas County
- Reckless Driving
- Driving with a suspended license/no valid license
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Street Racing
- Careless driving
Driving Under the Influence in Pinellas County
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you absolutely need a lawyer. DUIs are serious offenses that shouldn’t be taken lightly regardless if you are facing jail time or not. A DUI attorney can investigate your case, advise you about possible defenses and take steps to potentially get the charge reduced.
Reckless Driving in Pinellas County
Anyone who drives in Florida with “willful” or “wanton” disregard for the safety of other drivers can be charged for reckless driving. A first-time offense is a second-degree misdemeanor with penalties that include up to 90 days in jail, six months probation and a $500 fine. If there were serious injuries, then the offense may be a felony of the third degree.
These crimes are often overcharged by police. The prosecution will need to prove that you were driving wilfully or wantonly for a conviction. Your attorney will collect evidence to potentially expose the weaknesses in the case, to minimize penalties or prove your innocence.
Driving with a Suspended License in Pinellas County
There are a number of ways that Florida drivers can have their licenses suspended. Florida law is antiquated and punitive when it comes to driving privileges. Whatever the reason, these charges often have a cumulative effect starting as a fine and ending up with an inability to get a license back. DWLS/R charges are a common trap for young drivers because they think the charge isn’t a big deal.
Leaving The Scene of an Accident in Pinellas County
Also known as, ‘Hit and Run’, this is a crime where a vehicle driver willfully leaves the scene of an accident without informing law enforcement or the other party. By law, you are required to inform the other vehicle owner about any damage to their vehicle and leave contact details. You are also required to report the accident to law enforcement and provide them with your name, address, registration information and driver’s license.
Leaving The Scene of An Accident Penalties
Accidents involving property damage only are second-degree misdemeanors, are punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months on probation and up to $500 in fines.
Leaving The Scene of An Accident Involving Injury
This is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years on probation and up to $5,000 in fines.
Many leaving the scene charges arise out of suspected drug or alcohol use, so they need to be handled properly. Your attorney may be able to prove that you had a lack of knowledge of the accident or were physically unable to report the incident. There are many options available to minimize these penalties such as making sure that your insurance has already handled the damage you caused.
Street Racing Crimes in Pinellas County
Street racing is a crime where one or more vehicles are involved in a ‘competition’ on the roads. These offenses typically include speeding or reckless driving and therefore have strict penalties. As a first-degree misdemeanor, the accused could face up to 1 year in jail, fines of $1,000 and mandatory driver’s license suspension.
Racing is another offense that is often overcharged by overzealous law enforcement officers. Sometimes, normal road behavior such as passing or avoiding collisions could be misinterpreted as racing behavior. In these cases, a traffic offense lawyer can ensure your rights are protected.
Speeding in Pinellas County
Fines for a speeding violation can be up to $500, but if you were caught speeding in a pedestrian zone or near a school then fines could increase to $1,000. A speeding violation can also result in points added to your driving record, which will likely cause your insurance premiums to rise.
Unlawful speed of 30 mph over the speed limit actually results in a mandatory court appearance. This often shocks people. The penalties for these charges can be significant because the law considers the offense to be aggravated.
It is highly advised to hire a lawyer who can appear with you at court to minimize the fines and avoid points.
Careless Driving in Pinellas County
Careless Driving can be confusing, as it is a catch-all term for many offenses where a police officer can’t categorize the traffic offense any better. Careless Driving is typically behavior on the roads that are literally ‘careless’, such as cutting in front of another driver or crossing lane markings without using signals.
Most careless driving charges arise from some type of auto accident. These charges are often connected to a claim for injuries and may have unintended consequences in a subsequent civil case. Most people do not realize the liability they put themselves in when defending these cases.
Hire an Attorney for Traffic Offenses in Pinellas County
Don’t just fall on the mercy of the court simply because you are charged with a traffic offense. Sean McQuaid can answer any questions and offer advice that will save you thousands in fines and insurance increases.
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