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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 117392
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Need advise to deal with Florida traffic citations

Customer Question

I have a Massachusetts state issued driving license valid until Jan 2017. I moved to Tampa, FL in Jan 2014 but did not change my driving license. The reason I didn't change is because I keep travelling to other states as my work location changes every 9 to 12 months.

I received two traffic citations:

1- Speeding at 70 MPH (posted speed is 50 MPH) I am asked to pay penalty of $268 or to appear at court.

2- Criminal violation for not holding Florida state issued driving license (I am asked for court appearance within 10 days)

Also in order to convert to Florida Driving License, I do not have a valid current immigration document. My work visa got expired on 27-APR-16. My immigration attorney have submitted an application with "US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)" to change my immigration status to dependent status (dependent to my spouse) with effect from 28-APR-16. I am hoping to get a receipt acknowledgement from USCIS by week ending May 13. I may not have the actual change of immigration status document from USCIS by Sep 2016.

Please advise better ways how I should deal with the two citations. Can I request for forgiveness?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

In order to get out of the not having a FL license, you would have to present evidence to the court that you had a valid MA license and could not get the FL license because you had to get your immigration documents corrected. If you prove that you are submitting everything required, the court is likely to dismiss that charge. However, you need to ask your immigration attorney to appear with you to explain or you have to get a traffic attorney locally to appear with you, because the FL law does say when you have been living in state for at least 30 continuous days you need to get a FL license.

Also, having a local attorney who works cases in that traffic court all the time is most likely going to get you a much better deal on the speeding ticket, such as a reduced speed over the speed limit which will reduce your fine and points that would be placed against your license.