Are Speed Traps Legal?
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Speed traps in Florida have been deterring speeders in problem traffic areas for years. Many question the legality of these operations, but as long as the police conduct the traffic stop and citation as they would with any other instance, speed traps are valid in the eyes of the law.
Because of the types of misconduct that can occur during a speed trap traffic stop, it’s important to know your legal rights for dealing with speed traps in Florida. A Florida traffic attorney can help you review the citation and determine if and how you can fight the charge against you.
Who Regulates Speed Traps in Florida?
There are many areas where speed traps in Florida may appear. Depending on the law enforcement department involved, a speed trap may be run by the Florida Highway Patrol or the local police force. It is up to the discretion of the local or state law enforcement to determine when and where speed traps in Florida are operated.
Speed traps in Florida on a state road or national highway are most often regulated by the Florida Highway Patrol. The trap may take place from 1 to 7 days and involve multiple patrol officers. These operations are designed to be temporary to crack down on problem areas and bring them into a safer control range.
When local law enforcement sets up speed traps in Florida, they may be temporary or permanent depending on the severity of the problem. Some Florida speed traps have become famous, such as the traps in Waldo and Lawtey, as they were recognized as official speed traps by the American Automobile Association. Many smaller municipalities depend on the revenue from permanent speed traps.
When you are stopped at a speed trap, the officer must conduct the stop as any other traffic violation. Your rights are the same, including the right to a Florida traffic attorney if you are arrested for any violations during this traffic stop. In most cases you will be issued either a warning or a citation for speeding, but a Florida traffic attorney can still help you fight your case.
Fighting a Ticket from a Speed Trap
There are many legal defenses a Florida traffic attorney can use to help you fight a speeding ticket in Florida. Many consider a speed trap to be a form of entrapment, especially if the officers responding are well concealed. Other arguments may be that you were keeping up with traffic flow and did not want to become a hazard yourself.
Your Florida traffic attorney will be able to review your case and determine the best form of defense to fight your traffic ticket based on the specific circumstances involved. With an experienced attorney you can often have your citation dismissed or penalties reduced, saving you money and points on your license. A Florida traffic attorney can also be a valuable resource if your speed trap stop resulted in additional charges such as seat belt violations or DUI.