Do I need a Lawyer if I Received a Traffic Ticket?

checkpoints-DUI-300x225-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no easy answer here. It depends on your situation and why you got the ticket. When we talk about tickets in this blog, we mean civil traffic violations such as failure to signal, speeding (under 30MPH over the speed limit), failure to stop at a stop sign, and other minor traffic infractions. We are not referring to more serious criminal driving charges like Operating Under the Influence, Criminal Speeding (over 30MPH over the speed limit), or Illegally Passing a School Bus. For any criminal charge, you should always have an attorney.

If you have a Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL), drive for a living, or have any concern that the ticket could cause you to lose your license, you should absolutely speak with an attorney. Any person whose driving record shows an accumulation of 12 demerit points for convictions or adjudications within a one year period may have his or her license, permit or privilege to operate suspended for a period of up to 15 days.

Here is a short list of examples of some of the demerit point values for common traffic tickets:

CONVICTIONS AND ADJUDICATIONS           DEMERIT POINTS

            Operating After Suspension – Traffic Infraction …………………………………………….. 8

            Violations that carry a 6 point weight:

Driving Wrong Side …………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

            Driving Wrong Way ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

   Exceeding Posted Speed by at Least 15, But Less Than 30 Miles Per Hour ……………… 6

            Illegal Transportation Liquor – Minor …………………………………………………………. 6

            Illegal Transportation Drug – Minor ……………………………………………………………. 6

            Improper or Erratic Lane Change ……………………………………………………………….. 6

            Improper Passing ……………………………………………………………………………………. 6

            Leaving Scene of an Accident (Property Damage) ………………………………………….. 6

            Mispresentation of Identity or Other Facts to Obtain Alcohol ……………………………. 6

            Operating Beyond Restriction ……………………………………………………………………. 6

            Operating With Improper License ………………………………………………………………. 6

            Operating Without Corrective Lenses ………………………………………………………….. 6

            Operating Left on Curve …………………………………………………………………………… 6

            Other Improper Pass ………………………………………………………………………………… 6

            Pass Within 100 Feet of Intersection …………………………………………………………… 6

            Pass on Curve or Hill ………………………………………………………………………………. 6

            Pass on Right …………………………………………………………………………………………. 6

            Pass Wrong Side …………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

            Violation – Do Not Pass ……………………………………………………………………………. 6

            Violation of Instruction Permit …………………………………………………………………… 6

            Operating Motorcycle Beyond Restriction ……………………………………………………. 6

Violations that carry a 4 point weight:

Exceeding Posted Speed by Less Than 15 Miles Per Hour ………………………………………….. 4

            Excessive Acceleration …………………………………………………………………………….. 4

            Failure to Keep Right ………………………………………………………………………………. 4

            Failure to Return to the Right …………………………………………………………………….. 4

            Fail to Yield to Emergency Vehicle …………………………………………………………….. 4

            Fail to Yield – No Sign …………………………………………………………………………….. 4

            Fail to Yield to Pedestrian ………………………………………………………………………… 4

            Fail to Yield – Sign …………………………………………………………………………………. 4

            Fail to Give Way to Other Vehicle ……………………………………………………………… 4

            Fail to Obey Stop Sign …………………………………………………………………………….. 4

            Fail to Stop at Red Light …………………………………………………………………………… 4

            Fail to Yield Right of Way ……………………………………………………………………….. 4

            Imprudent Driving ………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

            Imprudent Speed …………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

            Operating a Motor Vehicle With Obstructed View …………………………………………. 4

            Operating Without a License (traffic infraction) …………………………………………….. 4

            Red Light Violation ………………………………………………………………………………… 4

Violations that carry a 2 point weight:

            Crossover Violation ………………………………………………………………………………… 2

            Displaying a Blue Light ……………………………………………………………………………. 2

            Displaying a Red Light …………………………………………………………………………….. 2

            Failure to Dim Headlights ………………………………………………………………………… 2

            Fail to Signal …………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

            Fail to Obey Traffic Island ………………………………………………………………………… 2

            Failure to Obey Railroad Grade Crossing …………………………………………………….. 2

Failure to Maintain Control of Vehicle …………………………………………………………………… 2

            Failure to Reduce Speed on a Grade or Curve ……………………………………………….. 2

            Follow Too Close …………………………………………………………………………………… 2

            Illegal Left Turn …………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

            Illegal Right Turn …………………………………………………………………………………… 2

Illegal U-Turn …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

            Impeding the Flow of Traffic …………………………………………………………………….. 2

            Improper Turn ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

            Lane Conviction …………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

            Littering ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

            Obstructing the Flow of Traffic ………………………………………………………………….. 2

            Obstructing Traffic …………………………………………………………………………………. 2

            Operating Motor Vehicle Without Tail Lights ……………………………………………….. 2

            Operating Without Lights …………………………………………………………………………. 2

            Other Moving Violation …………………………………………………………………………… 2

            Speed Under Posted Minimum …………………………………………………………………… 2

            Squealing Tires ………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

            Trailer Without Lights ……………………………………………………………………………… 2

            Trucks Traveling Less Than 150 Feet Apart ………………………………………………….. 2

 

Can an Attorney Help?

Sometimes the real question is what can an attorney do to help. Unlike a criminal case, the standard for a traffic ticket is not beyond a reasonable doubt which makes it is harder to win a case. For example, in a speeding traffic ticket case, as long as the officer used radar that was working, to measure your speed, the burden shifts to you to prove that their radar was wrong. This is no easy task and would require evidence and likely an expert witness to show the radar was wrong. The cost of this is very often unrealistic and there is still no guarantee that any judge would find in your favor.

The biggest benefit to have an attorney in these cases isn’t for trial, but for negotiating with officers to avoid a trial. Officers are sometimes willing to negotiate an agreement to help you avoid a traffic conviction such as if you do not get another traffic ticket for an agreed number of months and pay a fine, the case will eventually be dismissed with no impact on your license. However, if an officer is unwilling to agree to anything like this, a lawyer will have an uphill battle to win any traffic trials most of the time.

For someone who would lose their license from any traffic ticket, there isn’t much to lose by going to trial if there is no helpful plea option. This is why it all depends on your individual situation. However, Webb Law Firm does not charge for a consultation and would be happy to go over your case with you to help you figure out what your best options are moving forward. Our office is open 24/7 and can be reached at 207-283-6400 to set up a time to speak with an attorney at no cost.

by
Published on:
Updated:

Comments are closed.

Contact Information