Improper Lane Changes

Florida Traffic Ticket Attorneys

One of the most commonly issued traffic citations in the state of Florida is for improper lane changes. Many people consider improper lane change citations to be inconsequential infractions and simply resign themselves to paying their traffic ticket. After all, moving violations are non-criminal offenses. How bad can they really be? Well, worse than one may think. By resigning yourself to pleading guilty on an improper lane change citation, you risk being subjected to hefty fines, higher insurance rates, and having points added to your license. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced traffic ticket lawyer, you have a decent chance of disputing moving violation charges and avoiding financial penalties.

Have you recently been issued a traffic ticket for an improper lane change? Contact a traffic ticket attorney at 911 Biker Law today to schedule a case consultation!

Improper Lane Changes

What Is An Improper Lane Change?

Essentially, improper lane changes occur when a motorist changes from one lane to another without a clear and open path. Whether this violation causes a wreck or not, law enforcement can issue this citation as an action that leads to an accident. Typically, these violations heavily rely upon the eye-witness testimony of a police officer. 

Specifically, Florida Statute §316.085 outlines in great detail the limitations on overtaking, passing, changing lanes, and changing course when operating a motor vehicle. This statute clearly states that the following. 

  1. “No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless authorized by the provisions of this chapter and unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction of any vehicle overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.”
  2. “No vehicle shall be driven from a direct course in any lane on any highway until the driver has determined that the vehicle is not being approached or passed by any other vehicle in the lane or on the side to which the driver desires to move and that the move can be completely made with safety and without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the same direction.”

Penalties For Improper Lane Changes

As moving violations are non-criminal offenses, being cited for an improper lane change isn’t likely to end in a person’s detainment unless there’s currently a warrant out for their arrest. However, just because an improper lane change is a non-criminal offense doesn’t mean it’s a minor legal matter. The penalties for this kind of violation can still be financially devastating. A few of the most common penalties and expenses for improper lane change infractions include the following.

  • Fines of up to hundreds of dollars
  • Up to 3 points added to an offenders license
  • License suspension if offender exceeds 12 points
  • Higher insurance rates
  • Impact on employment for commercial drivers
  • Requirement to attend traffic safety courts

Improper Lane Change Defenses

With the assistance of an experienced defense lawyer, individuals can pursue numerous legal defenses when facing allegations of an improper lane change. As mentioned above, these citations hinge on the testimony of the officer who witnessed the offense. This means an officer will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged offender’s lane change interfered with the adjacent, approaching, or opposing traffic. However, as it’s not uncommon for officers to mistake a safe lane change for an improper one, these charges can be disputed.

How Our Traffic Ticket Attorneys Can Help

An experienced and knowledgeable traffic ticket lawyer at 911 Biker Law can help drivers and motorcyclists review and dispute their unique moving violations case. Our defense attorneys have helped countless motorists across the state of Florida fight and successfully dispute their traffic violations case. Contact us today to consult with one of our accomplished attorneys!