Have you recently received a traffic ticket or other moving violation? The worst thing you can do is to do nothing! Don’t put the ticket in your glove box and forget about it. Ignoring a ticket could result in extra fines, court costs, warrants being issued for your arrest, or even jail time.
At Affordable Legal Services, our attorneys regularly handle traffic matters and fix traffic tickets. We will attempt to keep your speeding ticket, traffic matter, or moving violation off of your record – or at least reduce or eliminate the points you will be assessed on your driving record. This should reduce or eliminate the impact the violation will have on your insurance rates.
Different Types of Tickets
As you likely know, there are many types of traffic tickets: speeding tickets, failure to yield, running a red light, careless and imprudent driving, causing an accident, and on and on. However, of all those different types of tickets, there are generally two basic kinds of traffic tickets that attorneys handle: ones where we have to appear in court, and ones where we don’t have to appear in court. Many simple speeding tickets do not require a court appearance, but some others might.
At Affordable Legal Services, we can handle either type. Of course, we love it when we don’t have to go to court and can handle the ticket by phone, fax, or email. Keep in mind that most people who try to deal with traffic matters themselves (often in an effort to save money) usually do have to appear in court and often must miss work or otherwise inconvenience themselves to do so. Attorneys, on the other hand, can sometimes use special rules to avoid appearing in court, so that you don’t have to go.
Save yourself the time and effort. Hire an attorney to fix your traffic ticket. Please call our offices if you have any questions about your traffic ticket – preferably before you just pay it and move on.
General Tips on Traffic Tickets
Make sure you do something! Don’t ever just ignore a traffic ticket. It can lead to further costs, court appearances, fines, warrants for arrest, and even time in jail.
Think before you decide to just pay the ticket. Just paying will almost always cause your insurance to go up (and stay up) for a period of three years. Plus, you will be out the money for the fine.
Contact an attorney. An attorney can review your specific ticket and give you an idea of what can be done, how much it will cost, etc. Often an attorney can have a ticket dismissed or suspended, or they may be able to plead your ticket down to a lesser infraction that will not cause any “points” to be assessed to your driving record. In our experience, it usually costs less to hire an attorney than it does to simply pay a ticket and have your car insurance costs go up.
What happens if I just pay it?
- This ticket will likely appear on your driving record.
- You will likely get points added to your license. Too many points could cause your license to be suspended, amongst other problems.
- Your insurance company will likely raise your car insurance rates a significant amount, usually for a period of three years.
Why hire an attorney?
- We may be able to keep your ticket and/or the points associated with the ticket off of your record.
- Your insurance costs may stay the same.
- If you can’t make it to court because you are employed, from out of town, or other reasons, we can appear for you.
What are the possible outcomes?
While we cannot guarantee any specific outcome for your case, the following are common outcomes:
The violation is downgraded to a “no-points violation,” so no points will go on your Missouri Driving Record.
We can reduce the amount of points that appear on your Missouri Driving Record.
SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence)
You are essentially given a probationary period. If you recieve no further violations during the probationary period, your ticket never “materializes,” and no sentence or punishment is imposed. Essentially, if you have no further violations or traffic tickets, it is as if the violation never happened; it will never appear on your driving record. However, if you do get a ticket during the probationary period, you will have two tickets!
This is a category that describes many different types of scenarios. Typically you will pay an enhanced fine, and the prosecutor or court will stipulate that there was some sort of defect in the equipment involved, such as a malfunction with your car or the radar.
Your case is dismissed outright.
Of course, there are plenty of other possible outcomes. For example, you could do one of the following:
- Plead no contest (essentially pleading guilty for sentencing purposes, without admitting guilt)
- Make an Alford plea (admitting the State probably has enough evidence to find you guilty, without actually pleading guilty or admitting guilt)
- Have a trial and ask a judge to render a judgment (understanding that you may be found guilty in court)
We have a very good record of keeping our clients’ records clean. However, no two cases are exactly the same. The more squeaky clean your record is, the more likely it is that we can achieve a positive outcome; the more problems you have had in the past, the more challenging your case may be. In any event, if you have any questions or would like to discuss your traffic ticket, speeding ticket, or moving violation with a knowledgeable attorney, please contact our law firm.