If a person commits a traffic violation, there are many potential outcomes they could face. Depending on the severity of the charges, a driver could face fines, required traffic school, or driver’s license suspension. In this article there is a brief overview of what can be expected when a person receives a traffic ticket.
Different Severities, Different Outcomes
In some jurisdictions, routine violations are regarded as civil infractions. The burden of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal matters, and the officer may not have to appear at the hearing. There are three severity levels:
* Petty or summary infractions are minor, such as illegal lane changes or failure to use a turn signal. A driver can argue such a violation in court, or they can hire a traffic ticket attorney in Jefferson County, MO for help.
* Misdemeanors such as DUI and reckless driving can be punished by steep fines and up to a year in county jail.
* Felony traffic offenses have the most severe outcomes, such as extreme fines and more than a year in prison.
Unless the violation is severe, most drivers won’t face any jail time. Judges cannot send drivers to jail for routine citations, and most will face some or all of the punishments listed below.
* Fines. A routine citation typically carries a fine of up to $500, and the driver’s history can play a role. Paying the fine is equivalent to a guilty plea, meaning that the offense will stay on the driver’s record for up to three years.
* Required traffic school. In most jurisdictions, judges can force drivers to attend a traffic school, or offer it in combination with a fine. This is one of the best outcomes, because it allows drivers to settle the ticket without affecting their insurance rate.
* Loss of license. Most won’t lose their driver’s license for a couple of minor tickets. However, if the person has more than three violations in five years, or they are convicted of reckless driving, they’re likely to lose their license for a while.
Most tickets are minor, but some can be severe. If a driver is facing a serious outcome in a traffic violation case, a traffic ticket attorney in Jefferson County, MO with the Wegmann Law Firm can explain their options and help them choose the right steps to take.