Who's cashing in on your speeding ticket?

Ticket databases can be purchased online

It might be the holidays, but it wasn't the kind of holiday greeting Delray Beach resident Les Weinberg wanted to receive in the mail.

"There are 11 here and I imagine I will receive more in the mail today," he said showing the Contact 5 Investigators a small pile of fliers from local attorneys offering him a cheap, easy way to fight his ticket.

A recent speeding ticket invited all the attention, now he wants answers.

"Why is it that my driving record is a matter of public record?  The only people that should be interested in my driving record are myself and the insurance company," he said.

It turns out that traffic tickets, like any unlawful violation, are big business once they reach court and becomes public record.

In Palm Beach County, the Clerk of Courts website sells a variety of ticket databases.  In fact, a monthly database of the latest traffic ticket holders can be purchased for less than $6.

Criminal defense attorney Nellie King says it's legal and lucrative.

"I don't do it personally to market my own firm but lots of lawyers have found a way to make money off it.  It's an approved method of marketing there's nothing wrong with it, it's just something I choose not to do," she said.

Les Weinberg plans on fighting the ticket he was issued for speeding in a school zone.  He says at the time, the flashing light wasn't working.  In fact, the officer who issued his ticket also submitted an order to get the light fixed just a few days after he was issued the ticket.

Still, all this unwanted attention from attorneys is a little unsettling, he says.

"We have enough invasion of privacies.  We don't need this one."

Unfortunately, Les, times have changed.

"I haven't received a speeding ticket in over 50 years of driving," he said.

The Florida Bar Association does regulate how law firms can solicit you.  However, just recently the rules governing what can and can't be stated on fliers were loosened leaving industry experts to predict you might get even more fliers in the future.












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