Tuesday, June 6

Getting a Ticket in JAX: No Easy Way Out

Someone in the family got a ticket in Duval County. It's a traffic ticket issued by a lazy cop who never asked any questions, probably because his very job as a Beaches police officer depends on how many tickets can be issued. Anyhow, the ticket exists, but the way out seems like we're stuck paying full price no matter what, and that seems to be the way it's stacked against us.

Pay and Add Points
You can just pay your ticket and accept the points. Insurance companies claim they don't discriminate based on points, but they might, and you can also eventually lose your license.

Pay and No Points
If you take an online class for $6, you can save $12 (on our particular ticket), but there's also a $20 state fee and $10 fee to get the proof you passed the class, which Duval requires. So you're spending an extra $24 to avoid the points.

Pay Online
Add $7 to pay online. I forget the scenario and whether we had to pay this or not, but there is some kind of online fee for the convenience of an instant transaction that costs Duval a lot less than $7.

Pay and Notarize
Add $7 for some kind of notarized payment option. Maybe this is in-person? I don't remember, but it seemed stupid whatever it was.

Don't Pay
Add $20 if you avoid paying by the due date. You still owe the money and the fees and you'll get the points, just an extra $20 for your decision to avoid the payment.

Pay a lawyer
Several law firms said they'd get you out of the ticket and points for about half the price or the ticket itself. That sounds good, if it works. If I had been the one receiving the violation, I probably would have rolled the dice with an attorney, but we didn't want to have to deal with it in this instance, especially since I checked the intersection and confirmed we were in the wrong. Also, I have to question a system that allows you to nearly automatically get our of a ticket with a lawyer. Also also, the lawyers warn against trying to represent yourself, but that should be just as good of an option, though it does require taking time off work or school with no guarantees.

In the end, it seems like the best option is to not get caught. I see so many bad drivers that don't get caught doing pretty insane stuff that I'm always surprised when someone gets a ticket for going 10mph over or coasting through a barely-red light.

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