A traffic ticket has serious consequences. While it may be inconvenient and costly to hire an attorney to handle a traffic ticket, the long term effects of the ticket may wind up costing the driver more.
If a driver simply pays the fine, the driver receives points on his or her license. These points can cause insurance premiums to rise. Having too many points on one’s license can cause a suspension of driving privileges, also.
The number of points assessed is dependent upon the type of violation and whether the violation is against state law, a county ordinance or a municipal ordinance. If the driver accumulates eight (8) points or more in an eighteen (18) month period, the driver’s license will be suspended for thirty (30) days if it is a first time suspension, sixty (60) days if it is a second time suspension, and ninety (90) days if it is a third time suspension. If a driver accumulates twelve (12) points or more in twelve (12) months, eighteen (18) points or more in twenty-four (24) months, or twenty-four (24) points or more in thirty-six (36) months, the driver’s license will be suspended for one (1) year.
Some typical speeding offenses are speeding, failure to stop at a stop sign, no driver’s license, failure to produce proof of insurance, driving on the shoulder, careless and imprudent driving, failure to keep right, failure to use signal, improper turn, and following too close. The range of points for traffic offenses is from two (2) to twelve (12).
Some offenses require a court appearance by the driver. An attorney will negotiate with a prosecutor and will ask for a reduction of the offense to a non-point violation. Usually the driver will have to pay a fine and court costs. More serious offenses may require the driver to attend SATOP classes or driving school.
If a driver has his or her license suspended and cannot get driving privileges reinstated, the driver may qualify for a Limited Driving Privilege. A Limited Driving Privilege allows a person to drive for employment or other important matters such as court appearances, medical attention, and education. A driver may get such privileges unless he or she has certain convictions or losses of driving privileges on driver’s record. Some reasons for a denial of a Limited Driving Privilege are already received one within the last five year period, a felony conviction involving the use of a motor vehicle, two or more revocations for refusing a drug or alcohol test, or multiple convictions involving alcohol or narcotic drugs.
A minor in possession charge is when an individual between the ages of 16 and 21 is found to have alcohol on his or her person or visibly intoxicated. This is a serious charge. A minor who pleads guilty to the offense or is found guilty of minor in possession will have his or her driver’s license suspended for thirty (30) days if it is a first offense, ninety (90) days if it is a second offense, and revoked for one (1) year if it is a third or any subsequent conviction.