When this client came to my office, he felt like the police officer was not being fair with him and he feared that the same thing could happen in front of a Judge. Looking back, I believe his fear was real. Being a middle-eastern immigrant, he had experienced some level of discrimination since moving to Okaloosa County.
The client was involved in a single vehicle car accident in Fort Walton Beach. It was during a rainstorm and his vehicle hit some standing water on the road and started to hydroplane. He slightly lost control of the vehicle and slid into a culvert drain on the side of the road where the water was pooling. When police arrived at the scene, they investigated my client and gave him two citations. One was a second-degree misdemeanor for Failure to Show Proof of Insurance. This was a criminal traffic offense. The second was a civil infraction for Unlawful Speed – too fast for road conditions.
Once we were able to present his defenses on the misdemeanor charge, we were able to get that case dismissed without going to trial. As to the traffic case, it would have been easy to just pay the ticket and let it go, but we decided to take a stand and set the case for an infraction hearing.
The defense attorney in me doesn’t like to give an inch when it comes to injustice, no matter how small. And the issue was so clear: How could the officer cite my client for speeding if he arrived after the accident – and after the fact. At the hearing, I made my argument and summarily moved to dismiss the traffic offense. The Judge agreed and rightfully dismissed the infraction.
** Florida Law requires this statement: Each case is unique, such as Okaloosa County Case Number 2014-CT-154X & 2014-TR-1057X, and no guarantee is made about the result we may be able to obtain.