What Is the Difference Between Traffic School and Defensive Driving School?

You have an option to elect a state-approved  4-hour traffic school program of education on driving safety and traffic laws and pay a fine amount if you receive a traffic ticket. The 4-hour basic driver improvement course in Florida is intended to refresh your understanding of safe driving practices, current traffic rules, the risks of distracted driving, and DUI laws.

Florida gives you the option of taking formal sessions with a teacher or finishing the driving course via an online self-study course. “No points” are added to your driving record once you pay the citation, successfully complete the course, and turn in the completion certificate to the county clerk of courts office.

If you elect a court hearing, and the case is not dismissed, a judge may sometimes also order you to attend defensive driving school. This may occur if you are found “guilty” or the verdict is “withheld.” However, a judge may take your driving record into consideration and waive the traffic school requirement if the judge doesn’t feel the sanction is necessary in your situation. The citation is not dismissed when adjudication is “withheld,” but instead “no points” will be given as long as you finish the court-ordered course within the judge-specified time limit. If the judge does impose a school requirement, you are usually also liable for paying a fine and/or court fees.

Court-ordered classes may be the 4-hour course, but they may also be the 12-hour advanced driving course, the 8-hour intermediate course, or the 8-hour course on aggressive driving. The seriousness of the offense and your driving history are often factors in the type class that the court assigns.

If you wish to contest a traffic violation, such as a speeding ticket, or if you believe you received an unfair red light camera ticket, contact a red light camera violation attorney at Hochman & Goldin, P.A. 

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