If you have received a traffic ticket, you may want to think twice before you pay the fine and move on. Payment of a fine without going to traffic court technically results in a conviction, which could place points on your licenses and increase your motor vehicle insurance premiums. A Plano traffic lawyer should be able to explain the potential repercussions of a traffic ticket and the options that may be available to you to avoid or minimize some of the unwanted consequences.
Rather than just accepting what you may see as the automatic outcome of a traffic ticket, contact a seasoned criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible for advice and guidance.
Texas Transportation Code § 708.052 authorizes the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to add points to the driving records of individuals who receive traffic tickets. While minor moving violations are two-point violations, traffic offenses that result in accidents may be three-point violations. The Department of Public Safety assesses these points to Texas license-holders even if individuals receive a traffic ticket in another state.
Points add up quickly, and if drivers accumulate four or more traffic violations within 12 months or seven within 24 months, they can be at risk for license suspension. Not only can a license suspension make everyday life far more difficult, but it also can result in additional fines, fees, and high-risk insurance premiums, even after license reinstatement. A traffic lawyer in Plano will understand these risks and can work to resolve traffic tickets more favorably.
The costs of traffic tickets tend to add up quickly, especially for individuals who accumulate tickets regularly. Drivers who receive tickets have the option of accepting responsibility for the traffic offense, pay the fine, and have DPS add two or three points to their driving records. In this situation, drivers never appear in court.
The resulting insurance hike, however, may make options for resolving a traffic ticket more appealing. Individuals may choose not to pay the fine and appear in court on the date provided on their tickets. The defendant will also have the chance to retain legal advice from a traffic attorney in Plano, who may be able to examine the circumstances and determine any bases for challenging the ticket in court.
In some cases, the law enforcement officer who issued the ticket may not show up in court, leading to the dismissal of the ticket for insufficient evidence. In other cases, a ticket for speeding only a few miles over the speed limit may allow experienced legal counsel to negotiate a reduction in fines or the dismissal of the ticket altogether. Deferred adjudication, completion of a defensive driving safety course, and other alternatives may also be available in some situations.
Some driving offenses go beyond a traffic ticket and may end up in a criminal conviction. Along with fines, fees, and skyrocketing insurance rates, drivers with a criminal conviction could serve time in jail, ensure terms of probation, and lose their licenses.
Some common examples of driving-related criminal offenses include driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, hit and run offenses, and evading arrest. Criminal driving offenses have substantially harsher consequences than moving violations, which makes the need for legal counsel even greater.
Whether you have received a traffic ticket or been charged with a traffic-related offense, you may need the legal assistance of a Plano traffic lawyer. Having legal representation could protect your rights and safeguard your ability to drive. Contact an experienced traffic attorney today to learn how to mitigate the consequences of a moving violation.