CIVIL TRAFFIC INFRACTION PROCEDURES
HONORABLE JUDGE SHARON I. HAMILTON
ELECTION OF TRAFFIC COURT:
If you have a received a civil traffic infraction (a payable ticket) and have elected to dispute the charge and have your case heard before the Court, you will receive a court date for traffic court from the Clerk of Court for Civil Traffic Court. Civil Traffic hearings are heard on the second Tuesday of each month beginning at 1:30 p.m.
WHAT HAPPENS IN TRAFFIC COURT:
If you admit the charge you will have an opportunity to give any explanation or special circumstances that you feel are important, as will the officer. A penalty may be imposed. If you deny the charge there will be a hearing after all cases on the docket have been called to determine whether the alleged infraction was committed. You and the officer will be placed under oath and the officer will present his or her case; you will then present your and I may ask questions.
You may choose to have an attorney present with you. You may also use the court’s power to force witnesses to come and testify on your behalf. If you need additional time to retain an attorney or to summons witnesses, you must request a continuance and your case will be reset.
The Rules of evidence and procedure are very relaxed. The officer is required to prove the commission of the infraction beyond a reasonable doubt.
The maximum penalty which may be imposed for the commission of a civil infraction is a $500.00 fine. No jail sentence may be imposed for a civil infraction. If you receive a fine, you will receive a slip of paper in court from the court clerk. You can pay the fine at the Clerk of Court’s traffic Division located at the Roth Building, 50 Highpoint Road, Tavernier, Florida. If your concern is receiving points against your license for insurance purposes, you should be aware that under Florida law you may plead no contest, pay an administrative fee, attend driving school and no points will be assessed against your license. You may elect this in all cases except those involving death or serious bodily injury. You may do so once per year and three times in your lifetime. You must elect to exercise this right prior to proceeding to a hearing and no later than 30 days after you received your citation.
All Motions must be in writing. This includes Motions for Continuance. If you are a pro-se litigant (you are representing yourself without the aid of an attorney) and wish to continue your traffic hearing, you must submit your request in writing and forward it along with a copy of the citation and any relevant documentation supporting your request for continuance to Tracey.Reilly@keyscourts.net. Your request must include your case number, your correct mailing or e-mail address, phone number and specific reason that you are seeking a continuance.
CONVERSION OF FINES/COSTS TO COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS:
If you wish to convert your fines and court costs to community service you must request such in writing and submit your request by mail to The Honorable Sharon I. Hamilton, Upper Keys Government Center, 88820 Overseas Highway, Tavernier, FL 33070 or by e-mail to Tracey.Reilly@keyscourts.net. Requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Fines and court costs will be converted to community service hours at a rate of $10.00 per hour. You will receive an Order specifying the amount of community service hours you are to perform. Community service is monitored by Monroe County probation services.
REQUESTS FOR CONSOLIDATION:
Requests for consolidation of traffic infractions do NOT require a hearing. You must first file your Motion to Consolidate through the Clerk of Court’s e-portal filing system. Please make sure to include both the citation number and the case number of the case you are consolidating into. Orders on consolidation are to be e-mailed directly to Tracey.Reilly@keyscourts.net. Consolidation of civil traffic infractions will be granted ONLY on citations that are 30 days old or less.