Following a traffic ticket offense or violation, you may be trying to determine whether or not hiring a traffic ticket lawyer is worth it. To help you make this decision, you might review the potential penalties which may include, but are not limited to:
- A fine
- Court costs
- Loss of a driver’s license
- Points on a driver’s license
- + More
When the above are combined with the typical insurance premium increase and other related costs, it is often worthwhile to talk with a traffic ticket lawyer to further explain your legal options.
What does it mean when a lawyer or the DMV refers to points on a driver’s license?
All states utilize the Point System. In theory it is a simple system which involves each moving traffic violation to have an assigned number value from one to twelve, depending on the severity of the offense. If you are found guilty of the offense, the Judge will send your records to your own state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will review the offense and any mitigating factors and assign the respective number of points to your driving record. Bear in mind that you may also have to attend a separate DMV hearing where they could suspend or revoke your license. It can be useful to have a traffic ticket lawyer on your side at this hearing in addition to your court hearing (if applicable).
If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, and within a period of time (usually 2-5 years), the DMV may choose to suspend or revoke your driver’s license as a criminal defense attorney in Civic Center San Francisco, CA, like from Hallinan Law Firm, can explain. In addition to this, your insurance company will perform routine checks of your driving record. As soon as they notice the new points, they will very likely increase your insurance premium. If your offense was serious, they might cancel your policy altogether. An example of a serious violation includes:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Reckless driving
- Vehicular manslaughter/homicide
- Driving over 30 MPH above the speed limit
In the event that you are looking for an insurance company, they will check your driving record before they issue a policy. The more convictions you have, the more costly your policy you be because the insurance company will view you as being a high risk driver. The law mandates every driver to have insurance. This means every insurance company must have what is called an assigned risk pool. This pool contains the names of people who are considered to be high risk drivers, are in need of insurance, but having difficulty in getting it. By law, the insurance company must insure a certain number of these people. If you have been placed into the high risk pool, you can expect extremely high policy rates.
What the above might mean to you is that it is advantageous to avoid getting any kind of points on your record. If you are caught by law enforcement and accused of a moving traffic violation, you should consider speaking with a traffic ticket lawyer right away. You might think that it’s only a fine you have to pay, but this is typically the least of concerns. Higher insurance rates can last for three to five years and may be anywhere from 15-60% more than your current cost.
If you would like help with your moving violation, call a traffic ticket lawyer now.