If you have received a traffic citation in Florida, you have three legal options. What you decide can have a major impact on your future, both financially and legally. 

You have just 30 days to act. If you miss the deadline, you run the risk of extra fines and the suspension of your driver’s license. 

Option 1:  Admit your guilt 

The advantage of paying your fine is that you can resume your normal routine without the stress that comes with facing an uncertain legal matter. You can even pay the fine online. 

The disadvantages begin with the fact that you are spending money on both the fine and a likely increase in your auto insurance rates. Depending on the offense, you will face penalties of as many as six points on your license. Another couple of minor infractions within the next year could put you over the 12-point limit that results in a 30-day suspension of your license. 

Option 2: Go back to school 

You can take a Basic Driver Improvement Course. Successful completion can reduce your citation fees by 18%, although you may face additional court charges. Points will be withheld from your license and you can avoid an increase in insurance rates. 

Important: You must take the course within 30 days of receiving the citation. Also, you can take the course just five times. 

Option 3: Fight the ticket 

What if you believe you are innocent? You can contact the Clerk of the Court in the county where you received the ticket to schedule a hearing. 

Sometimes people are able to get out of the ticket, based either on a technicality or another defense strategy. You can save yourself a lot of money because you do not pay either a fine or higher insurance premiums. Points are not added to your Florida license. And there is the satisfaction that comes from winning your case.