Getting a traffic ticket is more than a nuisance. Besides the obvious fees and fines, a traffic ticket can result in higher insurance premiums and even the revocation of your license. Your life without the use of a car is likely to be more difficult.
While it’s not mandatory, legal counsel can help you get your ticket reduced or even dismissed in traffic court.
Types of Traffic Violations
Probably the most common traffic violation is speeding. Two types of speed restrictions exist — those that restrict your speed based on the setting, such as a residential street or a school zone, and those that restrict your speed according to driving conditions, such as rain or snow.
Another common traffic violation is running a red light or a stop sign, and this violation is considered a particularly dangerous one. So is distracted driving, such as texting or even looking at your smartphone map. These often result in stiffer penalties and fines.
Reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident are even more serious violations. Reckless driving is subjective, but it comes down to whether the police officer thinks you were driving with a disregard for the safety of others.
Less serious charges that will still result in a traffic ticket include driving without a valid license or without proof of insurance.
Results of a Traffic Ticket
When you’re issued a traffic ticket, you have two options. One is to pay the fine. In doing this, you’re either pleading guilty or no contest. You may lose points on your driver’s license or even have it suspended, depending on the infraction. Your insurance premiums might also increase.
Your other option is to plead not guilty and fight the ticket. You’ll have to go to traffic court. The ticket may be reduced or even dismissed. However, if you are found guilty, you’ll have to pay the fine as well as court costs.
With some of the more serious charges, you may be given no choice but to appear in traffic court. Regardless of whether it’s mandated or your choice, you should at least consider seeking legal counsel for help.
Naturally, the traffic court judge knows the laws and their nuances inside out. Attorneys do too. However, you probably do not know the details of traffic laws.
Sometimes roads have speed limits and sometimes they have presumed speed limits. With the former, driving even one mile over the limit results in a violation. However, if traffic conditions are clear, the presumed limit might be above the posted speed. An attorney might be able to convince the judge to consider a presumed speed limit.
Leaving the scene of an accident or driving recklessly can be considered felony charges. Not only will the fines be steeper, but your license can be suspended or even revoked if you’re found guilty. However, when attorneys review a case, they often find areas they can challenge, such as a mistake in the ticket itself. They can then arrange for a plea bargain that can reduce your penalties.
If you’ve incurred a traffic ticket in another city, consider hiring a lawyer. An attorney can represent you in court, saving you the time and expense of traveling back to that city. This is an important consideration even within your own town because you’d probably have to take time off from work to appear in court.
When you’re thinking about whether you should hire an attorney to fight a traffic ticket, consider the maximum costs of the ticket itself and insurance premiums down the road. Legal advice from Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. can help mitigate the negative consequences of your ticket.