Yielding Right-of-Way in Florida

Hochman BlogThe law in Florida states that there is no one automatic situation in which a person may have the right of way. Instead, Florida law only states those who must yield (in other words, give up) the right of way to another. Each driver, motorcyclist, moped driver, cyclist, and pedestrian must pay attention and yield the right of way to avoid a crash in every situation.

At stop signs, the right of way is yielded to other traffic and pedestrians, and drivers should only proceed forward if the road is clear. Four-way stops indicate that the first vehicle to stop is the one that will move forward first. If there happen to be two cars at one intersection at a time, the driver on the left should yield right of way to the one on the right.

At open intersections (ones without traffic control signals), everyone must yield right of way for vehicles already in the intersection, or when you enter a state highway from a secondary road, entering a paved road from an unpaved one, or if drivers make left turns while vehicles are oncoming from the other direction.

If you are at a roundabout, you may not be required to stop since these spaces are designed to have vehicles move continuously through the intersections. Vehicles that approach the roundabout must yield right of way to circulating traffic.

This update is brought to you by Hochman & Goldin, P.A. A Miami traffic attorney can assist you with criminal traffic violations, and our team is ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-515-5284 to speak with a red light camera violation attorney today.

The Most Common Major Traffic Violations

Hochman BlogTraffic violations, both large and small, occur every day and range from minor offenses to serious charges like misdemeanors and felonies. Not everyone in their life will run into issues with traffic violations – some will face minor charges while others may face jail time, depending on the offense. While smaller violations are common, there are a few larger offenses that unfortunately are too. A Miami expungement attorney can help you fight your tickets and expunge your records where able.

 

Reckless driving happens when a diver is deemed inconsiderate of the safety of others, whether in another vehicle or a pedestrian. If someone flees or eludes a police officer, there is an automatic charge of reckless driving that they will receive, no matter the crime. Most charges will include fines upwards of $500 and 90 days of jail time, though they can vary depending on the severity of the incident.

 

A Miami traffic ticket lawyer can help with leaving the scene or hit and run incidents. Florida law requires you to stop after an accident to exchange insurance information and to administer reasonable assistance for any injuries where need be. Any accidents with at least $500 worth of damages must be reported to the police. If you do not, you will face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on how much damage occurred. A minimum of a misdemeanor with 90 days jail time and a fine of $500 will be given out, but penalties will be more severe if death or serious injuries occurred.

Failure to Yield Law in Miami, FL

Hochman Goldin BlogAs defined by Florida law, failure to yield is when a driver fails to lower speed or come to a full stop for another vehicle or a pedestrian when it was needed. Everyone operating a vehicle must know local, state, and federal driving laws, and that includes the right information to know when yielding is needed. Drivers who fail to yield may receive a citation.

Tickets for failing to yield that is wrongly given out can be fought by a Miami traffic attorney.

Penalties for failing to yield will likely end up in a fine of up to $500 as long as no one was injured. However, if an accident did occur, the fine will be significantly more, and drivers may face reckless driving charges in addition to a failure to yield citation. If bad enough, this can cause drivers to have their licenses suspended, ultimately adding four points to their license and higher insurance rates.

You may still be able to defend your ticket with a red light camera violation attorney. As this can be a bit more of a grey area, there are some statutes that can cause multiple defenses for failing to yield and will vary per case. These would include poor visibility of lines and signs, if another driver broke the law or reckless driving from another driver, avoiding potential harm to the driver, other vehicles, and pedestrians.

 

There must be proof that a driver failed to yield to another vehicle or pedestrian. Many cases are based on the subjectivity of the police officer who handed out the ticket and can be fought in court if needed due to the subjective nature.

Florida DUI Laws

Hochman BlogFlorida law mandates that no person should drive under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances. If such a case occurs, it will be considered a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge. Proven impairment and unlawful blood alcohol levels (0.08 or above) can result in many high-stakes convictions.

A fine costing anywhere from $500 to $1,000 will be given under typical circumstances for the first conviction. If the blood alcohol level was higher than 0.15, or if a minor was in the vehicle, a fine of $1,000 to $2,000 will be issued. For the second conviction, a fine of $1,000 to $2,000 will be given out, and if the blood alcohol level was above 0.15, then fines are doubled, resulting in a charge from $2,000 to $4,000.

After a second offense, the charges and convictions increase exponentially. Fines increase to $5,000 but can be higher as that is only the allotted minimum when it is the fourth conviction. At the discretion of the court, sentences can result in imprisonment and/or abuse treatment programs that may be used toward the detention term. You may also have your vehicle impounded or immobilized.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Hochman & Goldin, P.A., Miami traffic attorney, and red light camera violation attorney provides assistance with criminal traffic violations. To learn more, please visit us online.

FDOT is Urging Drivers to Pay Attention

Hochman BlogThe Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is pleading with drivers to pay more attention to the road this summer. Last year, there were over 48,500 reported crashes caused by distracted driving in Florida. To combat this issue, FDOT will provide opportunities for drivers to educate themselves on distracted driving prevention when traffic is heavier with summer travel.

Director of FDOT, Terry L. Rhodes, says of distracted driving in Florida, “As you drive this summer, respect your safety, respect the safety of your passengers, and respect the safety of other road users by eliminating all distractions and focusing on driving.”

Anyone can be involved in a distracted driving case where you need a Miami traffic attorney, but drivers ages 16 to 24 years old are at the highest risk of distracted driving crashes. Texting while driving is the most common cause of distracted driving and potentially the most dangerous as it impairs visual, cognitive, and manual focus.

FDOT recommends the following to help prevent dangerous situations as a result of distracted driving:

  • Pull over to a safe location and park your car if you must send or receive a text message.

  • If you are riding with other passengers, designate a texter to send and read text messages for you.

  • If you have trouble restraining from looking at your phone while driving, put it in the trunk.

This update is brought to you by Hochman & Goldin, P.A., red light camera violation attorney in Miami. To find out how we can help you fight traffic tickets, visit us online.

Reckless Driving in FLorida

Hochman Goldin BlogDriving recklessly is extremely dangerous but easy to get pulled into if you are not remaining vigilant and careful on the road. Tailgating, weaning in and out of traffic, and speeding are all considered reckless driving. If caught, there can be high penalties, depending on the outcome.

Florida defines reckless driving as any individual driving a vehicle in willful disregard for another person’s safety or property. Reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor in Florida and can land you jail time if the outcome is bad enough. Most charges include a $500 fine, up to 90 days in jail, or both. A second offense will cost these charges to double. If property damage was involved, or you caused injury, you will need a Miami traffic ticket lawyer because these charges are a third-degree offense. You will likely face a fine of $5,000 and up to 5 years in jail.

However, there is a difference between reckless and careless driving. While many get the term confused for one another, they cannot be used interchangeably. Careless driving is speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, but does not include the “disregard” for others’ included in reckless driving. Essentially, they are unintentional accidents, but they can still wind up on your record. A Miami expungement attorney can help you dispute these charges if you feel they were given to you unnecessarily.

These charges are typically a fine from $160 to $500 and court costs. You will earn points on your license as well – most moving traffic violations are 3 points, but careless driving typically ends up in four points. You can also get a withhold of adjudication, which means the offense will not end up on your record. However, this is only available where there were no property damages or injuries to others and if it was the first offense.

Will Florida No-Fault Repeal Benefit Drivers?

Hochman BlogSince 1970, Florida has been under no-fault insurance law, which requires drivers to have personal injury protection coverage as a separate part of their auto insurance, a coverage that pays the insured party’s bills, no matter who was at fault (up to the plan’s coverage limit). The law was initially passed to reduced civil cases following accidents due to negligence – but it is not liability insurance.

In 2021, Florida lawmakers have been looking to repeal the law (Senate Bill 54) in favor of mandatory bodily injury coverage (MBI). Currently, the bill is awaiting Governor Ron DeSantis’s signature, and if he does not take action, the bill will become a new law effective January 1, 2022.

Florida is only one of the two states that do not require MBI coverage, and while coverage laws have not been updated since 1979, roughly 60% of drivers in Florida already have MBI coverage. The exchange from PIP to MBI issuance will mean that the new law will pay out $25,000 for each injured party or $50,000 per event and $10,000 for any property damages that occur during the accident. A failed amendment will mean that drivers will need to purchase medical payment insurance but can only get it if their insurance offers it.

The repeal could cause a surge in premium costs by upwards of 50% and further increase of uninsured drivers in a state that already pays the highest auto insurance premium in the country. American Property Casualty Insurance Association says of the potential veto, “Now is not the time to make major policy changes that affect every Florida driver and impose a tremendous financial burden on Floridians, especially those who can least afford it.”

If you have questions regarding Senate Bill 54 and what it means for you or for a red light camera violation attorney, visit Hochman and Goldin, P.A., Miami traffic attorney, online.

New SunPass and E-ZPass Summer Regulations

Hochman Blog

Florida’s new transponder, the SunPass PRO, part of the E-ZPass toll system used in 16 states across the east coast and midwest, will now allow Florida drivers to use one device to process tolls. E-ZPass customers in other states will also be permitted to use transponders throughout Florida.

Before May 2021, SunPass was only to be used in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina but can now be used for any driver in the system – across Ohio, New York, West Virginia, Main, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Delaware, Indiana, Rhode Island, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. Minnesota will be the newest addition later this year.

However, this only applies to the SunPass Pro, not the Mini, which only applies to Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. No matter which transponder you purchase, ensure you only have one per vehicle, otherwise, you face multiple charges at each toll.

Neither the E-ZPass nor the SunPass are required, but purchasing one will make the cost of driving on the nearly 900 miles of toll roads in Florida much more affordable. Fees are much higher on the toll roads without a pass. If you opt not to purchase either, your car will be marked at the automatic stations, and bills will be received in the mail.

This update is brought to you by the Miami Traffic Attorney, Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-515-5284 to speak with a red light camera violation attorney today.

Florida Driving Laws Now Allow Hazards in Heavy Rain

Hochman BlogFlorida drivers have been used to not being allowed to drive in heavy rain and fog with their hazards, but that is set to change July 1, when the law will start allowing it. Previously, drivers were allowed to drive with headlights on low beams and encouraged to drive slowly in inclement weather conditions. This new law does not come without a set of restrictions – drivers are only allowed to use hazard lights on the highway when the speed limit is 55 miles per hour or higher.

 

However, most drivers in Florida do not realize that it is illegal, and some even struggle with confusion surrounding the law. If you feel that you have been wrongfully issued a ticket, a Miami traffic attorney can help.

 

The Department of Highway Safety reported that at least 46 people have been cited for violating this law in the state of Florida over the last three years. A report from AAA shows that there are currently only ten states that prohibit using hazard lights while driving.

 

Florida Highway Patrol says the functionality of this law is to avoid confusion for law enforcement. When troopers see flashing lights, they assume a driver needs help, but hazards can overturn a vehicle’s turn signals, causing danger when switching lanes. Previously, the lights were only meant to be used during a funeral procession or when stopped on the side of the road.

 

Many drivers still drive with their hazards on because of the extremely low visibility during storms, which can come unannounced, giving the Florida government reason to overturn the law.

 

Hochman and Goldin, P.A. red light camera violation attorney, can provide legal counsel throughout the entire process of disputing a ticket. Visit us online to get started or to learn more information.

Texting and Driving Laws in Florida

Hochman BlogThe State of Florida Statutes permit police to stop cars and give citations to those that are texting and driving. The law states that a person must not be driving while also manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, or symbols into a wireless communication device to send out a text, email, or any other form of message.

These statutes also cover distracted driving. Distracted driving is defined as anything that makes you take your hands off the steering wheel, eyes off of the road, or even distract your mind from driving tentatively, also known as visual, manual, and cognitive driver distractions.

The problem with texting and driving is that it is hazardous because it encompasses all three types of distracted driving. To put it into perspective, a focused driver traveling at a speed of 50 miles per hour will end up traveling a total distance of a football field before coming to a complete stop. If there is cause to put on the breaks up ahead, distracted driving can cause you to react late, often resulting in a crash.

The first offense is a non-moving traffic violation with a base fine of $30, not including court costs, and there are no points assigned to your driver’s license. Since the first violation can set the tone for more, should there be any, getting a Miami traffic attorney to help you dispute wrongful accusations can prevent major repercussions in the future.

The second offense, occurring within five years of the first, is a moving traffic violation with a base fine of $60, resulting in 3 points being added to your license. In work and school zones, texting and driving violations are a moving traffic violation, with a base fine of $60 and three points added to your license.

Any traffic ticket can be stressful for drivers. Hochman and Goldin, P.A. red light camera violation attorney can provide legal counsel throughout the entire process of disputing a ticket. Visit us online to get started or to learn more information.