(1)(a) The department shall prepare and supply to every traffic enforcement agency in this state an appropriate form traffic citation that contains a notice to appear, is issued in prenumbered books, meets the requirements of this chapter or any laws of this state regulating traffic, and is consistent with the state traffic court rules and the procedures established by the department. The form shall include a box that is to be checked by the law enforcement officer when the officer believes that the traffic violation or crash was due to aggressive careless driving as defined in s. 316.1923. The form shall also include a box that is to be checked by the law enforcement officer when the officer writes a uniform traffic citation for a violation of s. 316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1. as a result of the driver failing to stop at a traffic signal.
(b) The department shall prepare, and supply to every traffic enforcement agency in the state, an appropriate affidavit-of-compliance form that shall be issued along with the form traffic citation for any violation of s. 316.610 and that indicates the specific defect needing to be corrected. However, such affidavit of compliance shall not be issued in the case of a violation of s. 316.610 by a commercial motor vehicle as defined in s. 316.003(66). Such affidavit-of-compliance form shall be distributed in the same manner and to the same parties as is the form traffic citation.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), a traffic enforcement agency may produce uniform traffic citations by electronic means. Such citations must be consistent with the state traffic court rules and the procedures established by the department and must be appropriately numbered and inventoried. Affidavit-of-compliance forms may also be produced by electronic means.
(d) The department must distribute to every traffic enforcement agency and to any others who request it, a traffic infraction reference guide describing the class of the traffic infraction, the penalty for the infraction, the points to be assessed on a driver’s record, and any other information necessary to describe a violation and the penalties therefor.
(2) Courts, enforcement agencies, and the department are jointly responsible to account for all uniform traffic citations in accordance with rules and procedures promulgated by the department.
(3)(a) 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.
(b) If a traffic citation is issued pursuant to s. 316.1001, a traffic enforcement officer may deposit the original traffic citation or, in the case of a traffic enforcement agency that has an automated citation system, may 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 45 days after the date of issuance of the citation to the violator. If the person cited for the violation of s. 316.1001 makes the election provided by s. 318.14(12) and pays the $25 fine, or such other amount as imposed by the governmental entity owning the applicable toll facility, plus the amount of the unpaid toll that is shown on the traffic citation directly to the governmental entity that issued the citation, or on whose behalf the citation was issued, in accordance with s. 318.14(12), the traffic citation will not be submitted to the court, the disposition will be reported to the department by the governmental entity that issued the citation, or on whose behalf the citation was issued, and no points will be assessed against the person’s driver’s license.
(c) If a traffic citation is issued under s. 316.0083, the traffic infraction enforcement officer shall provide by electronic transmission a replica of the traffic citation data to the court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense or its traffic violations bureau within 5 days after the date of issuance of the traffic citation to the violator.
(4) The chief administrative officer of every traffic enforcement agency shall require the return to him or her of the officer-agency copy of every traffic citation issued by an officer under the chief administrative officer’s supervision to an alleged violator of any traffic law or ordinance and all copies of every traffic citation that has been spoiled or upon which any entry has been made and not issued to an alleged violator. In the case of a traffic enforcement agency that has an automated citation issuance system, the chief administrative officer shall require the return of all electronic traffic citation records.
(5) Upon the deposit of the original traffic citation or upon an electronic transmission of a replica of citation data of the traffic citation with respect to traffic enforcement agencies that have an automated citation issuance system with a court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense or with its traffic violations bureau, the original citation, the electronic citation containing a replica of citation data, or a copy of such traffic citation may be disposed of only by trial in the court or other official action by a judge of the court, including forfeiture of the bail, or by the deposit of sufficient bail with, or payment of a fine to, the traffic violations bureau by the person to whom such traffic citation has been issued by the traffic enforcement officer.
(6) The chief administrative officer shall transmit, on a form approved by the department, within 5 days after submission of the original, groups of issued citations and transmittal data to the court. Batches of electronic citations containing a replica of citation data may be transmitted to the court in an electronic fashion, in a format prescribed by the department within 5 days after issuance to the violator.
(7) The chief administrative officer shall also maintain or cause to be maintained in connection with every traffic citation issued by an officer under his or her supervision a record of the disposition of the charge by the court or its traffic violations bureau in which the original or copy of the traffic citation or electronic citation was deposited.
(8) It is unlawful and official misconduct for any traffic enforcement officer or other officer or public employee to dispose of a traffic citation or copies thereof or of the record of the issuance of the same in a manner other than as required herein.
(9) Such citations shall not be admissible evidence in any trial, except when used as evidence of falsification, forgery, uttering, fraud, or perjury, or when used as physical evidence resulting from a forensic examination of the citation.
(10) If a uniform traffic citation has not been issued with respect to a criminal traffic offense, or with respect to an offense that requires mandatory revocation of the driver’s license or driving privilege pursuant to s. 322.26 upon conviction of such offense, and the prosecution is by affidavit, information, or indictment, the prosecutor shall direct the arresting officer to prepare a citation. In the absence of an arresting officer, the prosecutor shall prepare the citation. For the purpose of this subsection, the term “arresting officer” means the law enforcement officer who apprehended or took into custody the alleged offender.
1(11) Driver information contained in a uniform traffic citation, which includes but is not limited to, the accused person’s name and address, shall not be used for commercial solicitation purposes. However, the use of such driver information contained in a uniform traffic citation shall not be considered a commercial purpose when used for publication in a newspaper or other news periodical, when used for broadcast by radio or television, or when used to inform a person of the availability of driver safety training.
History.—s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 1, ch. 71-321; s. 1, ch. 76-31; s. 4, ch. 80-316; s. 193, ch. 81-259; s. 6, ch. 84-359; s. 2, ch. 86-260; s. 2, ch. 91-180; s. 27, ch. 91-221; s. 31, ch. 94-306; s. 905, ch. 95-148; s. 39, ch. 96-350; s. 8, ch. 96-413; s. 6, ch. 2001-147; s. 19, ch. 2003-286; s. 42, ch. 2005-164; s. 2, ch. 2005-194; s. 19, ch. 2007-196; s. 12, ch. 2008-176; s. 28, ch. 2009-21; s. 10, ch. 2010-80.
1Note.—As created by s. 8, ch. 96-413. This version is published as the last expression of legislative will (see Journal of the House of Representatives 1996, pp. 2146 and 2164). Subsection (11) was also created by s. 39, ch. 96-350, and that version reads:
(11) Uniform traffic citations issued by a law enforcement officer, and all information contained therein, including, but not limited to, the name of the person issued the citation, and the person’s address, height, weight, and date of birth shall not be used for commercial solicitation purposes; provided, however, that the use of information contained in a uniform traffic citation for purposes of publication in a newspaper or other news periodical or a radio or television broadcast shall not be construed as a commercial purpose.