If you have been issued a traffic citation for speeding in Tampa, Florida, you may be wondering how much you can expect to pay in increased car insurance premiums. In most cases, a Florida driver’s motor vehicle insurance will increase after being issued a ticket.
However, there are numerous factors that affect the amount by which your insurance may increase. With the assistance of experienced Tampa traffic ticket lawyer Ryan Sulte of the Sulte Law Firm, you will be better prepared to fight significant increases in your insurance premiums.
One analysis showed that Florida drivers may expect an increase of about 20 percent annually if they are convicted of a speeding ticket—specifically, of driving more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. On average, this increase is close to $600 in a year!
Discounts a driver has enjoyed for a clean driving record may be forfeited. The increase in premium costs may continue for a year or longer, depending on the insurance policy and how long the ticket stays on a driver’s record.
A driver’s driving record plays a substantial role in how much insurance premiums will increase for a speeding ticket. A driver with a single citation on the driving record will not see increases as large as a driver with multiple citations. For every traffic citation a driver receives, motor vehicle insurance will likely increase.
In Florida, a citation may remain on one’s driving record for at least five years from the date the ticket was issued. Each citation is assigned a specific number of points, with more severe citations carrying a higher number of points. If a driver accumulates too many points in a given time, his or her license may be suspended.
As an illustration of the points system, consider the following citations:
- Driving too fast for conditions is a penalty that carries 3 points
- Reckless driving carries 4 points
- Leaving the scene of an accident without providing information to other drivers is 6 points
The amount of time between violations impacts insurance premium increases as well. If it has only been a few weeks or months since the driver last received a traffic ticket, the insurance increase will likely be higher.
In fact, in Florida, if a driver accumulates 12 points within a 12-month period, his or her license may be suspended. Therefore, hiring an experienced attorney to assist with the reduction or dismissal of traffic violation charges is imperative.
The Severity of the Traffic Violation
Like other states, Florida ranks its traffic violations according to severity. This is why some traffic violations receive a 3-point penalty, whereas others may receive a 6-point penalty. Even if it is the driver’s first traffic violation, a charge such as running a red light or leaving the scene of an accident will result in a much higher insurance premium increase.
However, if you do receive a traffic citation in Florida, you may be able to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. At the Sulte Law Firm, attorney Ryan Sulte will carefully study the facts and circumstances surrounding your traffic ticket and build a defense on your behalf.
Steps You Can Take to Lower Your Insurance Premiums
If you have been issued a traffic violation in Florida, the first step you should take is to hire an experienced Florida defense attorney. Your attorney will look over the ticket given to you by the law enforcement officer and will investigate. For example, your attorney may request the officer’s dash cam footage or may speak to witnesses.
If there is not enough evidence to support the traffic violation, your ticket could be dismissed, preventing any points from being added to your license—and keeping your insurance premiums at the same rate.
Your attorney may also be able to negotiate a deal with law enforcement and other agencies. For example, if you agree to complete a defensive driving course, you may be able to avoid having any points added to your license. You may only be asked to pay a fine. Your attorney will work hard to obtain the most favorable results on your behalf.
Additionally, once your case is resolved, you may be able to shop around for a new motor vehicle insurance company. Some companies charge more than others for similar coverage. If you have been with the same insurance company for years, you may save a significant amount of money if you transfer coverage to a new company.
Similarly, you may be able to reduce the amount of coverage you carry on your motor vehicle. Although Florida requires all drivers to have minimum amounts of liability insurance, you may be able to drop other types of coverage from your policy if you no longer need them.
If You Are Facing Traffic Charges in Florida, Call the Sulte Law Firm today
At the Sulte Law Firm, attorney Ryan Sulte is experienced in all types of Tampa Bay traffic violations and has obtained favorable results for many clients. To learn about your legal options, contact the firm today at 813-223-4343.