Motion to Dismiss – Traffic Citation
COMES NOW the Defendant, by and through her undersigned counsel, and hereby respectfully requests this Honorable Court dismiss the December 21 failure to stop at a steady red light traffic citation, which alleges a violation of F.S. §316.075(1)(c)1, and in support hereof, states as follows:
1. On September 11, the City of Jacksonville Traffic Safety Program issued a Notice of Violation (“Notice”) for failing to stop at a steady red light.
2. As confirmed by the attached Vehicle Inquiry Information, the vehicle that was captured running the red light is owned by both the client, and by her estranged daughter.
3. On January 19, in a previous Duval County Case, the client was arrested, and pled to, driving under the influence, resulting in the DMV administratively suspending her driver’s license for one year, expiring January 20.
4. On February 19, the client obtained an Identification Card, but then moved, and was no longer living at the address at the time the Notice was issued.
5. The client was not required to update her records showing her new address, as she did not have a valid driver’s license, and, as a result, she never received the Notice, nor the December 21, Florida Uniform Traffic Citation (“Citation”). Further confirmation of the client’s lack of notice is confirmed by the Docket, stating that the Citation was “RETURNED MAIL-UNDELIVERABLE.”
6. On January 20, the Clerk reported the case as “D6,” and a court suspension was issued for failing to pay this fine.
7. It wasn’t until the expiration of the one year administrative suspension period, January 20, when the client was attempting to reinstate her license, did she discover the issuance of the Notice and Citation, and the D6 court suspension for failure to pay traffic fine.
8. The Defendant respectfully requests the Court dismiss the traffic citation, as she was not the person that committed the alleged offense, but rather, it was her estranged daughter.
9. Due to the client’s lack of a valid Florida’s Driver’s license, she was not obligated to update her address with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The client was denied her opportunity to timely file an affidavit indicating that her daughter was driving the vehicle that is registered to her daughter. No notice was provided, denying the client her due process rights.
10. Additionally, it is violative of the client’s due process rights that she is issued a citation, rather than the actual driver, merely because she is listed first on the vehicle registration. This is particularly significant where, as is the case here, where no citation or notice was sent to the client’s estranged daughter and there is a separate address for her daughter listed on the registration.
11. Florida §316.0083 (4)(c)(2)(d)(1) states that the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the violation is responsible and liable for payment of the uniform traffic citation issued, unless one of the exceptions that are listed applies.
12. Nowhere in this section, nor any other section, is the issuance of the UTC authorized to the registered owner. Further, placing an entry on the driving record of the registered owner is not authorized. The burden of proof rests with the State of Florida in this traffic citation case, like all others, to prove all elements of the charge. Once a UTC is issued and one’s driving record is in jeopardy, the identity of the driver becomes a critical issue and rests with the State of Florida. State v. Dupont, (Fla. 5th DCA 1981).
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully requested that this motion be granted, and this Honorable Court dismiss the traffic citation in this case.