Understanding Stop Sign Traffic Tickets: Types, Penalties, and Defenses

Jul 13, 2023 | Traffic, Stop Sign

Types of Stop Sign Violations

Stop sign violations can take different forms and it’s essential to recognize the specific type of violation you’ve been accused of. Some common types include:

  1. Rolling Stop: This occurs when a driver fails to come to a complete stop behind the limit line or crosswalk at a stop sign. Even a momentary failure to stop can be considered a violation. Police officers are looking for the car to rock back, which is a telltale sign that you came to complete stop.
  2. Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device – Stop Sign: A driver commits this violation failed to obey the sign to stop in any manner.
  3. Disregarding a Stop Sign: This violation occurs when a driver completely ignores a stop sign, just blowing through it like it didn’t exist at all.

Penalties for Stop Sign Violations

The penalties for stop sign violations can vary depending on the way the police officer writes the charge on the ticket. Potential consequences may include:

  1. Fines: Stop sign violations often result in fines ranging from $166 to $264 in Central Florida. 
  2. Points on Your Driving Record: Stop sign violations can typically lead to 3 points being added to your driving record under Florida Statute 316.123. Accumulating too many points within a specific period can result in the State suspending your license. 
  3. Increased Insurance Rates: Insurance providers may consider stop sign violations as evidence of risky driving behavior, leading to higher insurance premiums or even policy cancellation. 

Defenses for Stop Sign Violations

When facing a stop sign traffic ticket, it’s crucial to understand that you have the right to defend yourself. Here are some common defenses that a skilled traffic ticket lawyer may assert for you:

  1. Lack of Visibility: If the stop sign was obstructed from view or poorly placed, it could serve as a valid defense.
  2. Necessity or Emergency Situations: Sometimes, drivers may need to proceed through a stop sign due to an emergency situation or an immediate threat to their safety. A lawyer can help demonstrate the necessity of your actions in such cases.
  3. Officer’s Observation Challenge: In some instances, a lawyer can challenge the accuracy of the officer’s account or question their ability to clearly observe the alleged violation.
  4. Dashcam Video Production: The best evidence is producing dashcam video of making an actual stop at the stop sign. When a judge or hearing officer can see it for themselves, they should dismiss the case. 

Defenses that absolutely do not work

Certain defenses just flat out do not work. It is your word against that of a police officer. Guess which one holds more weight in court. The trained police officer or the layman?

1.     “I don’t think I ran the stop sign.” I always want to scream NO in traffic court. As soon as a defendant says the words “I don’t think,” they have lost the case. “You think” without additional evidence, such as a car electronic log or dash-cam footage, you are not very likely to prevail and may have just put yourself in risk of points .

2.     “I always drive carefully so I couldn’t have done it.” We all have moments when we make the slightest mistake while driving. There are many factors that determine how we drive; therefore, the hearing official sees that defense as a reason to retort, “well there’s always a first time.”

Why Consult a Traffic Ticket Lawyer?

When facing a stop sign violation, consulting a traffic ticket lawyer or attorney can greatly benefit you. Here’s why:

  1. Legal Expertise: A traffic ticket lawyer specializes in traffic laws and regulations, providing you with a deep understanding of your rights, potential defenses, and the legal process.
  2. Case Evaluation: A lawyer can assess the specific details of your case, reviewing the evidence against you (which is normally presented on the day of trial so you have to “think quick”) and identifying potential weaknesses or inconsistencies that can be used in your defense.
  3. Negotiation Skills: If you decide to fight the ticket, a lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution for a favorable plea bargain or reduced charges, minimizing the potential penalties you may face.
  4. No points: It is essential that you not have points on your license due to insurance premium increases/cancellation or possible driver’s license suspension with the accumulation of points. Always look for a traffic attorney that guarantees no points.


Understanding the different types of stop sign violations, associated penalties, and available defenses is crucial when dealing with a ticket for a stop sign violation. By seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable traffic ticket attorney, you can navigate the legal process with confidence, increase your chances of a successful defense, and protect your driving record.

Sergio Cruz

I’m a criminal and traffic attorney with 17+ years of experience. I was a prior chairman of the Florida Bar Traffic Rules Committee. I’m the lawyer other lawyers call when they need advice on any traffic matter, criminal or civil.