Failure to Turn
In order to keep public roadways safe for the drivers and pedestrians we share it with, we are expected to obey the traffic code. An important part of being a safe driver is lawfully and accurately executing turns. A large percentage of collisions happen during left turns, often because someone isn’t paying strict attention to the flow of traffic. Failing to turn when and how you’re obligated to could result in a failure to turn ticket, a regularly enforced Ohio traffic violation.
A failure to turn violation could have serious consequences for your life and your driving record. If you’ve been ticketed for failure to turn, you may need the help of an experienced Columbus traffic defense lawyer.
Turning at intersections is governed by statute 4511.36 of the Ohio traffic code. This provision outlines how to safely and lawfully make a turn.
Most failure to turn tickets are minor misdemeanors that are punishable by up to $150 in fines. However, if you plead or are found guilty of a failure to turn violation and have previously been convicted of another traffic offense within the last year, you may be found guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to $250 in fines and 30 days in jail. If you have two or more previous traffic violations in the last year you may be found guilty of a 3rd degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to $500 in fines and 60 days in jail.
Other Possible Consequences of a Failure to turn Violation
A failure to turn violation can have many other potential consequences, especially if you already have other violations on your driving record. Possible consequences include:
- Driver’s License Points – failure to turn adds 2 points to your license in Ohio. If you have over 12 points on your license, the BMV will automatically suspend your driving privileges for six months. Depending on your driving record, those two points could push you into an automatic suspension.
- Background Checks – Today, many institutions and organizations run background checks on applicants. This means employers, colleges, and licensing organizations like the state Bar. Having a failure to turn violation on your record, especially if it’s in conjunction with several other violations, could make it harder for you to secure employment or get into a university. If driving is part of your current job, your employer may run periodic background checks. Violations on your record could lead to probation or even termination from employment.
- Higher Insurance – Insurance providers use traffic violations and points on your license to calculate what kind of risk you are, and what kind of rate you qualify for. More violations on your record means higher risk for insurance companies, and higher insurance premiums for you. Insurance rates can rise with as little as one violation on your record.
- Civil Liability – Depending on the circumstances leading to your ticket, you could be exposed to civil liability. If you were in an accident or injured another driver or pedestrian, or caused damage to someone’s property, you may be sued. A failure to turn violation may be offered as evidence of proof of your guilt, increasing the chances of a judgment against you.
How a Lawyer can Help
A Columbus traffic defense lawyer will help you fight your ticket by exploring a number of possible defenses on your behalf. Possible defenses include:
- Sign was Obstructed – If you were ticketed after failing to obey a “must turn” sign, and that sign was impossible to see through no fault of your own, this may be a defense to a failure to turn violation. Your lawyer will take pictures of the sign and interview any possible witnesses as to its visibility around the time you received your ticket.
- Someone Else was at Fault – If you failed to turn because another driver made it impossible for you to proceed safely, this may be a defense to failure to turn. Your lawyer will interview any possible witnesses about what happened at the scene of your ticket.
- Police Officer was Mistaken – Police officers are certainly capable of making mistakes. Maybe you were obeying all traffic codes and signs and your ticketing officer was completely mistaken about your failure to turn. Your lawyer will interview your ticketing officer about what they observed, how they saw it, and the general circumstances of your ticket.
- Good Driving Record – If you have relatively few, or no, other offenses on your driving record, your lawyer may be able to convince a prosecutor or judge to be lenient with you. This may mean adding no points to your license, smaller fines, or attending a driver’s training course instead of being found guilty at all.
Call today for a free consultation with one of our Columbus traffic defense attorneys. We can help you avoid the long term consequences of having a violation on your driving record. We’re here 24 hours a day to answer your questions, and help you build a defense against your traffic ticket. You can reach us by phone or email at email@example.com.