Difference Between Criminal Charge and Civil Ticket in Florida

Jacksonville FL Ticket

Confused about a Florida ticket? Call 904-564-2525 to talk to a Jacksonville attorney.

I just answered a question on Avvo.com that made me realize that I need to post more information about a certain topic.  What are the differences between a criminal charge and a civil ticket in Florida?  Will I have a record if I just pay the ticket?  It depends on a variety of factors.  The best thing to do is to call a Jacksonville criminal lawyer and ask about your individual ticket.  Have the ticket in your hand when you call.  There is information on the ticket itself that will help you discuss this with your attorney.  Feel free to call (904) 564-2525 to speak with a Jacksonville criminal attorney at 20 Miles Law.

You may get a citation for a Florida speeding ticket, which is a civil offense.  You could also receive a ticket for Jacksonville driving with a suspended or revoked license.  A Florida suspended license ticket maybe a criminal or civil charge depending on the circumstances.  A Jacksonville reckless driving ticket is a criminal charge.  Those cases are traffic related, so it makes sense that you could receive a citation for those charges.  A police officer can give you a ticket for other criminal charges.  Jacksonville minor in possession of alcohol is a common citation that police give.  This happens a lot at football games during tailgating.  I have seen it happen to people at the Florida-Georgia game and Jaguar football games.

How do you know if your ticket is criminal or civil?  Call a Jacksonville lawyer for help.  A phone call will not cost you a thing.  At the being of this article, I referenced an Avvo.com question.  In the question, the person stated that he received a ticket for underage possession of alcohol, but the police officer told him that he need to pay the fine and that he did not need to go to court.  I gave the following answer:

“Never ‘just pay the fine.’ Minor in possession of alcohol is a misdemeanor crime that will show up on your record, even if the charges are dropped or the conviction is withheld. The strange part about your question is that you are able to ‘just pay the fine.’ In criminal cases, you must set a court date for a criminal citation. Look at the top of the ticket. Does it say ‘notice to appear’ as the title? Check the section that states ‘Florida Statute’ or ‘FSS’ and this will give you a number (there is usually a letter, too). Google the number and the words ‘Florida Statute’ with it. This will tell you about the charge. Most importantly, TALK TO A LAWYER! I do not know how many people’s cases that I have had to fix because of something like this. It is a lot more expensive and difficult to have an attorney reopen your case than to do it right the first time. Feel free to call me at (904) 564-2525. I have articles on my website that will also give you information (link below). They are not exactly the same, but they explain civil versus criminal tickets.”

The articles that I was referencing were Jacksonville Notice to Appear Citation or Ticket for Misdemeanor and Is a Jacksonville Driving on Suspended License Ticket a Crime?

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About Cynthia, 20 Miles Law

Cynthia Veintemillas

Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer Cynthia Veintemillas Photo

Cynthia Veintemillas is an experienced Florida attorney. She began her legal career at the public defender’s office in Jacksonville, Florida. Her primary practice fields include criminal defense, litigation, and family law. She has also represented many people facing foreclosure in Duval County, Clay County, and St. Johns County, Florida.

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • Florida, 2006
  • South Carolina, 2007
  • Middle District of Florida, 2009

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

  • Florida Bar 
Member Since: 2006
  • South Carolina 
Member Since: 2007
  • Jacksonville Bar 
Member Since: 2008
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


Difference Between Criminal Charge and Civil Ticket in Florida — 59 Comments

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