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How long does a FL officer have to file a traffic ticket?

Miami, FL |

I got a traffic ticket in Miami on 10/12/11 and went to the county clerk to request a court date on 11/4/11. I didn't get a court date.

I went back to the county clerk 12/3/11 and was informed that the officer has never turned in the ticket.

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Attorney answers 3


You may just luck out on this. Sometimes, however rare, officers don't file the tickets with the clerk, whether it be by mistake, forgetfulness, or other reason. You are right to stay on top of it to make sure that you don't miss anything.

To answer your main question, if nothing has been filed within 180 days, the court should dismiss due to speedy trial rules.


Pursuant to Florida Statute 316.650(3)(a) an officer has 5 days to file a copy of the ticket with the clerk.

"Except for a traffic citation issued pursuant to s. 316.1001 or s. 316.0083, each traffic enforcement officer, upon issuing a traffic citation to an alleged violator of any provision of the motor vehicle laws of this state or of any traffic ordinance of any municipality or town, shall deposit the original traffic citation or, in the case of a traffic enforcement agency that has an automated citation issuance system, the chief administrative officer shall provide by an electronic transmission a replica of the citation data to a court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense or with its traffic violations bureau within 5 days after issuance to the violator."

Unfortunately, the statute does not state what remedy there is if the officer fails to comply. It is extremely rare that the officers do comply and I end up filing motions to dismiss in almost all my traffic cases for this reason. I have had some judges dismiss the ticket and others don't – it really depends on the judge.

If the judge does not dismiss your ticket on that basis, keep in mind that you also have a right to a speedy trial within 180 days, which means if you don't get a hearing on or before April 9, 2012, the case will have to be dismissed.

Good luck!


Statutorily, they have 5 days in which to file the tickets. However, the appellate courts have ruled that the failure to file the ticket within 5 days is not fatal, and a person can still be prosecuted for an infraction if it is filed later than that.

If it is not filed within 180 days, you can move to dismiss for violation of your right to speedy trial.

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