Florida Statute 316.650 addresses traffic infractions and moving violations such as illegal U-turns and speeding, has a little known requirement: law enforcement officers must get the case to court within five days from the time they write the traffic ticket. Law enforcement’s failure to do so will result in the ticket being dismissed. While the statute does not specify, most judges interpret it to mean five business days. The policy behind this law is to keep traffic ticket enforcement quick and efficient.
Few people are aware of this little known 5-day rule that can result in resolution of a traffic ticket dispute if law enforcement fails to comply with the “technicality.” However, research shows that almost one in five traffic tickets in Hillsborough County last year were submitted to the courts over five days late. This amounts to 39,523 tickets in Hillsborough County alone, that could have been disputed in court!
Hillsborough County police and the Florida Highway Patrol submitted thousands of late tickets last year. 11% of the tickets that the Sheriff’s office issued were late. This amounts to 6,843 tickets! Tampa police issued 9% of their tickets late, which amounts to 10,065. The Florida Highway Patrol issued a whopping 40% of its tickets late (13,334 tickets!). Many factors contribute to the violation of the 5-day rule, including weekends, holidays, days off for law enforcement, courier or mail issues, officer training days, etc.
There is no guarantee that a judge will dismiss a traffic ticket on the grounds that it was brought to court late but if you want to fight your ticket and you fall within this statute, it is certainly worth a shot. The only way to determine if a driver can get a ticket dismissed under the five-day rule is to get a copy of the citation through the clerk’s office and compare the date it was issued to the date it was received. A traffic attorney can assist you in this process with the goal of getting your traffic ticket dismissed.
Have you received a traffic citation? Do you believe law enforcement was late in getting the citation to you? Do you have grounds to dispute your traffic ticket? If you believe the 5-day rule applies to you and you would like to fight your traffic ticket in court, call the experienced St. Petersburg traffic ticket attorneys at Rooth Law Group today and we can help you in getting your traffic ticket dismissed.