Florida Traffic Citations: They Are Not Generally Admissible in Civil Lawsuit

Florida law is well-established that evidence concerning the issuance of a traffic citation is inadmissible, and that erroneous admission of such evidence is grounds for a mistrial. My firm handled a case in 2000 where the Defense attorney suggested that his client did not get the citation.

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The case went to a jury verdict and my firm appeared. We won the appeal since Florida law clearly prohibits the direct or indirect reference to a traffic citation in a civil case. This law was established to give each party and the the jury the ability to argue a case based on the merits and facts rather than the responding officer who in most instances did not witness the accident. The case we handled is reported at White v. Consolidated Freightways Corp., 766 So.2d 1228 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000).

Over the past 17 years, I have handled hundreds of Florida automobile accident cases. Usually, one driver gets a citation in Florida. Clients believe that this means that they will absolutely win the case at trial. I advise clients up front that the accident report and citation will not be admitted as evidence. However, the accident report and citation are usually submitted to the insurance company to show the adjuster who was at fault.

In addition to automobile accident cases, my firm handles traffic citations as well. We have handled traffic citations throughout North Florida and have been successful in avoiding points on licenses, reducing charges, reducing fines, and in some instances getting the citations dismissed. Each citation is evaluated individually and the disposition of the citation can be affected by the county, Judge, driving record, and violations.

If you like more information on automobile accidents, traffic citations or these issues, please contact David Wolf at Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A., Jacksonville, Florida.