Category Archives: Lifestyle / News

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.

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.

What Happens if You Accidentally Run a Red Light?

Hochman Goldin BlogWhile it does happen, most people do not intentionally run red lights. The large majority of those with red light violations are caught by just barely missing a yellow light’s warning. If your vehicle was snapped going through a red light, you can expect to receive a ticket of roughly $158, and if caught by a police officer, a ticket of even more.

You will get four points added to your license and higher insurance rates. Too many points, and you will wind up with a suspended license.

What if you ran a red light by accident?

Most of the time, there is hard enough evidence to show that you did run a red light. Red-light cameras take a photo of your license plate and show in plain sight where your vehicle was at the time of the incident. However, you can refute it with a red light camera violation attorney if you believe this was done by mistake.

Some red-light tickets are even given out under incorrect circumstances, such as you were not the one driving the vehicle, or you were making a permissible right turn on red. Sometimes machines and technology glitch.

You can defend yourself against these tickets by claiming that you went through a yellow light instead or were avoiding a dangerous situation and had no choice other than to drive through the light.

Receiving a red light ticket is not always your fault. If you have reason to believe your ticket was wrongfully issued, a Miami traffic attorney can help you prove your innocence.

What to Expect in Traffic Court

Hochman BlogIf you want to fight a traffic ticket, like speeding and running red lights, you may end up in court. You will not have a jury (these trials are referred to as bench trials), and while every case is different, you can expect a few universal things in Traffic Court.

Traffic court is quite different from criminal court, which typically is reserved for felonies and misdemeanors only. Minor traffic violations are considered crimes, but they are not handled like one in a courtroom. This type of court is usually less formal, and you may see people representing themselves. However, we recommend a Miami traffic ticket lawyer to help represent you if you end up in court. Since traffic violations are mostly minor infractions, people walk away with fines, not jail time.

Government evidence will be presented, which is more often than not the testimony of the officer who issued the ticket. The defendant is you, and the prosecutors are the state, but there are no prosecutors in some states. The defendant will get the chance to cross-examine the officer and ask their own questions, as well as present their own evidence that supports their case. Then, the judge will decide on whether the defendant is guilty or not.

If found guilty, you will have to pay fines and sometimes go to traffic school to correct the offense.

If your case was dismissed or you granted withheld adjudication, a Miami expungement attorney may be able to help your seal or expunge these charges, even for minor offenses such as traffic violations.

New Auto Insurance Bill Could Cause Higher Insurance Premiums

Hochman BlogThe new Senate Bill 54 bill is estimated to cause a rise of $344 on average for Florida auto insurance. SB 54 plans to eliminate no-fault or personal injury protection insurance, or PIP for short. Instead of paying these premiums, drivers would need to buy bodily injury insurance coverage. Insurance companies for at-fault drivers would need to pay out up to $25,000 for any injuries that resulted from automobile crashes.

PIP covers expenses for medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs if necessary after accidents regardless of who is at fault. This insurance even applies to auto accidents that would require you to have a red light camera violation attorney and those that occur when you’re not driving, such as a pedestrian-auto accident. PIP does not cover property damage, the other person’s injuries, or injuries from an accident if you were committing a crime.

Bodily injury protection insurance helps those who are legally responsible for auto accidents. It helps pay the cost of injuries for passengers in the other vehicle and their loss of income, as well as your own legal fees.

Florida is among the top ten states for uninsured drivers, driving the urge for the bill to pass, including cutting down on litigations, in which you might need a Miami traffic attorney. However, some believe the bill will be harmful to lower-income drivers who could see a 40 percent increase in the cost of premiums.

The governor of Florida has yet to decide if SB 54 will pass or not.

High-Risk Driver Insurance in Florida

Hochman BlogIt is no secret that high-risk auto insurance is expensive. A high-risk driver has been deemed more likely to file a claim because of factors such as their age and past driving record, resulting in a higher cost of insurance. However, in the state of Florida, it is exceptionally pricey. Florida has a higher amount of crashes and claims than any other state, with an average death rate of 14.8 in every 100,000 people (the national average is 11). In 2019 alone, there were a total of 401,867 reported crashes, with 2,951 fatalities. 16% of total crashed involved teenage drivers.

Keeping all these stats in mind will help you better understand why high-risk insurance costs can be so high. Even with a higher national average, the cost of insurance will depend on the individual driver.

Speeding tickets can result in higher insurance rates. It will depend on how fast you were going and how many you have accumulated in the past. Speeding is the leading cause of accidents and insurance claims, so this results in a higher premium. If you have recently received a speeding ticket you feel was not deserved, call Hochman Goldin, Miami traffic ticket lawyer for help.

Car accidents will also raise your insurance costs. Fender benders, causing pedestrian and cyclist injury, and other property (auto or otherwise) damages will undoubtedly cause your premium to rise. The severity of the accident will determine by how much, along with your previous driving history.

Traffic accidents and other tickets on your record will cause your insurance costs to rise. If you have recently been in an accident or received a significant traffic violation that has landed on your record, a Miami expungement attorney can help you remove them, giving you the potential to have a lower insurance cost and clean criminal record.