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Michael Gonzalez
Michael Gonzalez,
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 538
Experience:  Managing Member at EWF Title, LLC
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I was involved in a serious car accident in which there was

Customer Question

Hello. I was involved in a serious car accident in which there was a lot of damage and no injury to myself. The traffic citation that I received listed property damage (I believe these are the cars involved at $30,000.) It said injury to another, yes. Serious injury to another, no. The charge against me was improper left turn. I didn't consider this to be a very serious offense. The accident was serious but it was an accident and accidents happen. The citation even had the box checked which said that I was not required to go to court. I think I could have elected traffic school. However, the officer said to me at the time of the accident that I should pled not guilty because 90% of the time witnesses don't show up at the ticket is thrown out. Well, I decided to plead not guilty. I was given a court date of August 2nd. I received a letter in the mail today saying that the original date was canceled and the date is now August 16th. That is all fine. What I didn't notice until now (and it did say this on the original paper that I was given) is that the heading says In the county court of the fifteenth judicial circuit in and for Palm Beach County, Florida County Court-CRIMINAL DIVISION. This is something that I DON'T understand. I don't see how this is CRIMINAL. This is a charge of improper left turn. I called the non emergency number of my local police department because the clerk of the court is closed and I didn't want to wait until tomorrow. She said that she thinks that's just how it's headed. Traffic is considered Criminal. This makes NO SENSE to me. I really don't think that I could be arrested for this. It does say that failure to appear can result in suspension of my driver's license. However, is this really CRIMINAL? I mean can I receive a criminal record for this? I doubt it but I'm worry. I sure hope I can't receive a criminal history for this!
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 2 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.This sounds like a non-criminal traffic offense. Please be advised that all traffic tickets in Palm Beach County are heard in the Criminal Traffic division.That said, please make sure there is no criminal charge such as reckless driving. (Note: careless driving in contrast is a civil traffic infraction). If you are at all uncertain, please consult a local attorney to protect your rights and interests.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Okay I understand what you are saying. I am 99.999% sure that there is no criminal charge with this. I was issued 1 ticket. The only offense listed is improper left turn. There are various other offenses that could have been checked but nothing was checked. All the checked boxes were left empty. Then it later says other violations or comments pertaining to offense: Improper left turn. This is the ONLY offense mentioned. Are you saying it is likely that this is only listed as "criminal division" on the notice to appear for hearing because in Palm Beach County traffic tickets are simply heard in the "Criminal Traffic division" and since this is a traffic ticket it is listed as "criminal division." Would you say that this in no way applies that this is a criminal matter and would not leave me with any kind of a criminal record, only a mark on my driving record? However, I should verify that there is no criminal charge just to protect my rights. However, if this is simply an improper left turn it is only listed as "criminal Division" because that's how they handle it but that in no way indicates that it will give me a criminal record? Is that pretty much correct?