I am often asked this question “do I really need to hire an attorney to help me with a traffic ticket? Can’t I just go online and pay the ticket?” My response is typically “do you want to ensure you keep your license?” “Do you want to keep your insurance rates low?” A ticket can affect not only your driving record, but your insurance rates.
Even though it may seem like a minor traffic ticket, the consequences can really add up. Some of the reasons NOT to just pay the ticket depend on the type of ticket you receive. Here are a few of the common traffic citations and the consequences of pleading guilty to them:
- Failure to Maintain Lane = 3 points added to your license
- Failure to Yield = 3 points added to your license
- Move Over Violation = 3 points added to your license
- Unlawful passing of a school bus = 6 points added to your license
- Speeding – points depend on your speed:
- 15-18 mph over speed limit = 2 points
- 19-23 mph over speed limit = 3 points
- 24-33 mph over speed limit = 4 points
- 34+ mph over speed limit = 6 points
- Reckless Driving = 6 points added to your license
In addition to an assessment of points, a plea of guilty will include a fine and could include a length of time on probation and possibly community service. Further, accumulation of 15 or more points in a 24 month period will cause the Department of Driver Services (DDS) to suspend your license. If you are under 21, the penalties are even worse, and you are only allowed 4 points before your license is suspended by DDS.
So, the best thing to do is contact an attorney who can help advise you on the best option for you. There are certain things you can do such as take a defensive driving course to possibly obtain a reduction in the points or the fine. An attorney can also advise you of whether it is best to use a plea of no contest (nolo) in your situation.
Contact The Law Office of Nicole L. McArthur, LLC to protect your license and driving record today.