Category Archives: Blog

Good News for Florida Drivers With Soon-to-Expire Licenses

i95Previously we told you how the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has decided to suspend the acceptance of cash at the various tolls plazas found throughout the Florida Turnpike in response to the coronavirus. Recently, Governor Ron DeSantis and the FDOT director announced some news that may come as some relief to drivers with a soon-to-expire license.

A 30-day extension past their initial expiry date will be given to all Florida driver licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, and identification cards due to expire in the next 30 days. During the extension period, delinquent renewal fees will be waived.

Furthermore, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is encouraging Floridians who can complete their electronic driver license or motor vehicle transactions online to do so, rather than in person at a driver’s license bureau. Floridians may use GoRenew.com to register a motor vehicle, renew their license, change their address, and much more.

Under normal circumstances, driving with an expired license in the state of Florida during the grace period may result in a $30 fine.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak about Miami civil traffic tickets.

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.

FDOT Hits the Brakes on Cash Tolls

tollsAs efforts continue to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Department of Transportation recently announced it has temporarily ceased accepting cash at the various toll plazas across the Florida Turnpike. Instead, tolls will be collected via an electronic process using the driver’s license plate, or Pay by Plate. Drivers will then receive a bill in the mail for any tolls incurred.

These changes only affect drivers that use cash to pay for tolls. For those that use electronic devices such as SunPass to have their tolls billed, it’s business as usual. While not as common as they used to be, drivers can also use the exact coin lanes when available, though these will not have toll workers present.

The changes to the toll lanes are among the latest efforts by Florida in response to the coronavirus. Drivers are being encouraged to practice social distancing and refrain from going out unless it is necessary. When on the road, drivers should pay close attention to the electronic signs

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a red light camera violation attorney today.

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.

Are Drivers Required to Maintain a Minimum Speed?

speedingOn the Florida roadways, drivers that are moving slowly are expected to remain in the right lane to ensure better traffic flow. Realistically speaking, most drivers don’t follow this rule. So, what happens if a driver is moving well below the posted speed limit? Are they required to maintain a minimum speed?

The minimum speed limit is 50 mph while traveling in a posted 70 mph zone. On that note, a 65 mph zone would require doing a minimum speed of 40 mph. For drivers that decide not to travel the posted speed limit and prefer to drive at a slower pace, they should refrain from driving in the left lane so that faster drivers can move or pass easily.

It is against the law to impede traffic flow and it is possible to receive a traffic ticket for doing so. The minimum speed limits exist as a way to keep traffic flowing smoothly. A driver doing 70 who suddenly comes upon one that is doing 30 can result in a potentially fatal car crash.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

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.

Passing a School Bus May Soon Result in Greater Penalties

schoolBusThe next time a driver passes a school bus with its stop sign displayed, they may be in for a pricier surprise. The Florida Senate was unanimous in its approval of a bill that would up the penalties for first-time offenders. Should the driver commit the offense again within a five year period, they would face another fine and may also have their license suspended for at least a year or as much as a year.

When a school bus has its stop sign displayed, drivers traveling in both directions are required to stop and wait as children exit the bus. Drivers must continue waiting until the school bus has completely retracted the stop sign.

Last year, the Department of Education evaluated school bus drivers regarding the illegal passing of their buses. The survey of more than 10,000 drivers found that in just one day, there were over 12,700 illegal passes.

Now that the school bus bill has passed the Florida Senate, it will be evaluated by Governor Ron DeSantis.

To read more, visit https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/state/florida-bill-would-double-penalties-for-drivers-not-stopping-for-school-buses.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

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.

Florida’s Texting Laws and Fines

adult-blur-bokeh-car-230557Law enforcement officers have been cracking down on drivers that are failing to heed the state’s upgraded texting while driving laws that are now a primary offense. In school and work zones, the law is strictly enforced, meaning drivers may not be able to use their wireless communication device in a handheld manner. Hence, simply holding the phone to the ear may land a driver in trouble if they are caught.

It’s also worth noting that when it comes to fines in Miami-Dade County, for example, there is more to them than meets the eye. While a $30 fine may not seem like much, drivers may not realize that once the extra costs are added in, the seemingly inexpensive fine can ultimately end up costing about $129. On that note, a fine of $60 is more along the lines of $179. The final costs result in a much larger hit to the wallet.

Always remember to put the phone down and focus on the road, especially in a region like South Florida.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket lawyer team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami speeding ticket lawyer today.

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.

Changes in Store for the Palmetto Express Lanes

miamiHighwaysLast year, the Palmetto express lanes were added to ease traffic congestion. However, its success in making a genuine dent in traffic tie-ups may be debatable. According to a CBS Miami article, some drivers believe the lanes have done the opposite and made things worse.

To deal with the express lanes situation, South Florida lawmakers sought to get rid of them entirely. While the legislation was devised, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis eventually stepped in to help with fixing the express lanes situation. Since then, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has devised its own plans to assist with the traffic woes.

The FDOT intends to add another lane for general traffic for those heading southbound on the Palmetto. Furthermore, the northbound express lanes will be reduced, meaning there will only be a single lane. FDOT also plans to add another access point to the express lanes at Northwest 122nd Street. Currently, the only access point is near Northwest 67th Avenue.

While FDOT works on implementing these changes, drivers can look forward to reduced tolls.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with someone at the Miami ticket law firm today.

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.

Officers Are Issuing Lots of Texting While Driving Citations

teen-girl-texting-while-drivingIt’s only been two months into 2020 and law enforcement officers have already written over 300 citations since Florida “upgraded” its texting while driving law into a primary offense. More than 100 drivers have been cited in four of South Florida’s counties in January alone.

The texting while driving law went into effect in July of last year. However, a six-month grace period of sorts was implemented to allow drivers time to acclimate and understand the new law. During this time, officers issued driver warnings versus citations. Before it became a primary offense, a driver had to be stopped for another reason like speeding before they could be issued a citation for texting while driving. Now, however, if an officer spots a driver texting while they are behind the wheel, they can be stopped regardless of whether or not they’re speeding.

Receiving a citation for texting while driving costs about $30 in addition to court fees. Should a driver be caught a second time, the cost increases to $60, the court gees, plus a trio of points on the driver’s license.

To read more, visit https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/115-drivers-cited-for-texting-and-driving-in-4-south-florida-counties-for-1st-month-of-2020.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

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.

New Bill Tackles Drivers License Suspension Fees

camaro-1111753_1280According to a News 4 JAX article, over a million drivers in Florida had their licenses suspended because of outstanding fines. The issue has raised concerns because, as criminal justice advocates believe, a person that can’t legally drive will face difficulties when trying to work which, in turn, makes it harder to pay the fines.

A bill making its way through the House and Senate is looking to tackle this problem by cutting down on license suspensions and allowing people to set up financially manage payment plans. The person would have at least thirty days to contact the Clerk of Court and make it known that they would like to set up a payment plan. After that, there would be another sixty-day period where the details of the payment plan can be worked out. The payment plans would vary based on what the person can pay.

In one example used in the News 4 JAX article, Collier County currently has over $90 million in license suspension fines and fees that have gone uncollected, which may reinforce that based on existing laws, the clerks aren’t receiving the money owed.

Florida is one of eleven states evaluating legislation to cut down or get rid of license suspensions caused by failing to pay fees and fines.

To read more, visit https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2020/02/11/bill-would-reduce-florida-drivers-license-suspensions-for-failing-to-pay-fines/.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with one of the Miami criminal traffic lawyers today.

Driving Slow in the Left Lane

adult-automotive-blur-car-13861An effective way to quickly anger a South Florida driver is to drive behind a vehicle that is not keeping up with the flow of traffic. Drivers can become quite infuriated when they have to slam on the brakes when they’re traveling in the left lane because a driver is going too slow. Often this vehicle is traveling at the speed limit or below it, and will not move into the right lane even if the driver behind them politely flashes their lights to get them to move.

Florida Statute 316.081 states that slower vehicles are required to yield to those that are moving faster, but many drivers either fail to do so or are unaware of this. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, over 40,000 citations were issued between 2014 to 2019 due to drivers running afoul of the law.

Could permanent signs on the road stating “slower traffic keep right” help with reminding drivers what they’re supposed to do? You may have seen this message or something similar to it on the electronic signs found on the highways, but these messages are only temporary.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

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.

Hazard Lights Are Not for Severe Weather

hazardsEvery so often, it’s worth reminding users of something very important: do not turn your hazard lights on during rainy weather, no matter how severe the storm might be. To illustrate its dangers, a Wink News article recently reported that the improper use of hazard lights may have contributed to a crash in Estero that resulted in six people being transported to the hospital. The cause is believed to be a vehicle in the center lane with its hazard lights on.

Again, even if the weather looks like a hurricane has touched down in Florida, it remains against the law to drive in the rain with hazard lights on. With some vehicles, using hazard lights means that other drivers cannot see the brake lights, potentially increasing the chances of an accident. For drivers that are worried about remaining safe in such dangerous conditions, it may be a better idea to use the nearest exit to get off of the road and find a safe place to stop driving.

The only time drivers are allowed to use hazard lights in Florida is if their vehicle is stalled on the road or the side of the road due to reasons like a malfunction or the vehicle becoming disabled. These lights indicate that there is an emergency. The one exception to this is when drivers are part of a funeral procession.

For more information, visit https://www.winknews.com/2020/01/30/florida-law-dictates-hazard-lights-are-only-for-emergencies-not-severe-weather/.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket lawyer team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami speeding ticket lawyer today.

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.