1. DMV and Insurance Points
With most traffic tickets, if you are convicted, you will be assessed two sets of points, DMV points and Insurance Points. For most drivers their main concern should be Insurance Points. If you are convicted of a moving violation and assessed Insurance Points, those points will remain for three years. During that time your Insurance premium can increase 30% (for one point), 45% (for two points), and 60% (for three points).
WARNING! Some Traffic Citations that are classified as infractions, allow you to pay a court cost and fine, without appearing in Court. If you do this, you will receive Insurance Points: generally, one point, if the speed limit was less than 55mph, or two points if the speed limit was 55mph or higher. Often times the Officer issuing the citation will advise that you can simply pay the ticket, but this is never a good idea.
2. License Suspension
I often see unrepresented people negotiating their ticket directly with the Assistant District Attorney (“ADA”). Most ADA’s will offer some type of speed reduction. Unfortunately, ADA’s are not that familiar with DMV rules and a speed reduction, which is meant to be a compromise, but can often lead to a suspension of your license. An experienced traffic attorney can review your driving history and negotiate a plea that will ensure that your privilege to drive is protected.
3. You won’t have to attend Court.
For most traffic violations (excluding Driving While Impaired and Driving While License Revoked), if you hire an attorney you will not need to appear in Court. Most traffic citations are scheduled for days with heavy caseloads. If you attempt to appear for yourself, you could be waiting hours in Court. If you’d rather spend that time at home or need to be at work, hiring an experienced traffic attorney is a great idea.