Aside from speeding, failure to stop at a stop sign is one of the most commonly seen types of traffic ticket in Ohio. If an officer believes you didn’t fully stop at a stop sign, or didn’t stop behind the painted stop line at an intersection, you may find yourself getting pulled over and being handed an Ohio failure to stop at a stop sign ticket.
A stop sign ticket may seem minor, but if you’ve had a run of bad luck and have gotten other traffic violations within the past year, such as speeding, failure to yield, or running a red light, then a stop sign ticket can result in jail time if you don’t have the help of an experienced Columbus traffic ticket lawyer.
Ohio Stop Sign Laws
There are a few different Ohio traffic laws that pertain to stop signs. Depending on the circumstances, you could get a stop sign violation ticket that cites:
- Ohio Rev. Code 4511.12 — This statute generally requires drivers using Ohio streets, roads, and highways to obey traffic control devices, which includes stop signs.
- Ohio Rev. Code 4511.43 — This statute establishes the right-of-way rule for stop signs, and requires drivers to stop at a clearly marked stop line, or if there is no line, to stop where they have a view of the intersection when stopping at a stop sign.
- Ohio Rev. Code 4511.432 — This statute establishes the rules for placing stop signs on private roads or driveways, and applies the right-of-way rule and stopping requirements in ORC 4511.43 to stop signs on private roads and drives.
It’s important to note that the law requires you to come to a full stop, not a “rolling stop” in which you slow down and proceed through the stop sign because there’s no other traffic. A rolling stop may seem perfectly safe, but can result in an Ohio failure to stop at a stop sign ticket from a Columbus police officer or other Ohio law enforcement officer.
Penalties for a Stop Sign Violation in Columbus
When you get a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign, it’s typically a minor misdemeanor offense under Ohio law. You’ll have to pay a fine of up to $150 if you plead guilty or are convicted, but that’s usually the extent of your penalties. However, if you have previous traffic violations on your record within the previous year, you may find yourself charged with a higher level of misdemeanor and even facing possible jail time.
- One Prior Traffic Violation — If you already have one moving violation on your driving record within the past year, your failure to stop at a stop sign violation may be charged as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. When you plead guilty or are convicted of a fourth-degree misdemeanor, you may be penalized with a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $250.
- Two or More Prior Traffic Violations — If you have two or more moving violations on your driving record within the year preceding your stop sign ticket, your stop sign violation may be charged as a third-degree misdemeanor. If you are convicted or plead guilty, you may face a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Other Consequences of a Stop Sign Violation
In addition to the statutory penalties such as fines and possible jail times, there are a number of other consequences you may face when you get a ticket for failure to stop at a stop sign.
Those may include:
- Driver’s License Points — Running a stop sign typically is a 2-point violation in Ohio. If you have prior traffic violations, the 2 points you receive from the stop sign ticket could push you over the 12-point limit that requires the BMV to suspend your driver’s license for 6 months.
- Employment Background Checks — Some employers will check your driving record when you apply for a job, or periodically when you already have a job, especially if you drive as part of your job. Employers who check your driving record may want to know whether you pose any risk of liability to them if you get into an accident while you’re on the clock. If they pull your Ohio driving record and see that you have a ticket for running a stop sign, they might decide you’re too high a risk and deny you the job, put you on probation, or terminate your employment.
- Insurance Rates — Likewise, car insurance companies may use traffic violations to assess how much risk you are to insure. The higher the risk that you’ll get into an accident, the higher your car insurance premiums are likely to be. Even with a good prior driving history, you may find that a stop sign ticket causes your vehicle insurance rates to increase.
- Civil Liability — If you got the stop sign ticket because of a car crash, the other driver might sue you in civil court for compensation of injuries or property damage. If you plead guilty to or are convicted of a stop sign violation, that may be used as evidence in a lawsuit that you were at fault, and you may end up with a civil judgment against you.
How a Columbus Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help Fight an Ohio Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign Ticket
A stop sign ticket can have many negative consequences for you beyond a simple fine. Paying a fine is the same as a guilty plea, and if you have previous traffic violations and are charged with one of the more serious misdemeanor forms of a stop sign violation, then just paying the fine to make it go away won’t be an option. It may be worth your time to consult with an experienced Columbus traffic defense attorney about your options for fighting your Ohio failure to stop at a stop sign ticket, and whether that’s the right choice for you.
Some possible defense strategies that your Columbus traffic defense lawyer may use on your behalf include:
- The stop sign wasn’t visible — If the stop sign was obscured by bushes, trees, debris, or some other object, or was bent, or was knocked onto the ground, and you couldn’t reasonably be expected to have seen the stop sign, you may have a defense against the ticket.
- The stop sign was improperly placed — If the stop sign wasn’t placed in accordance with Ohio laws, you may have a defense against the ticket.
- You were under the direction of a flagger — In some cases a flagger may direct you through a stop sign without stopping to keep traffic flowing through a work zone. If you went through the stop sign at the direction of a flagger, you may have a defense against the ticket.
- You actually did stop — Sometimes the officer who observed you allegedly running the stop sign simply may have made a mistake. The officer’s attention may have been drawn elsewhere for a moment, or the officer may not have been at a good vantage point to see that you really did stop. If you can establish that you did stop, then you may have a chance at beating the ticket.
- Good driving record — If you have a good driving history that’s relatively clean of traffic infractions, your Columbus traffic defense lawyer may be able to convince a judge or a prosecutor to be lenient, or to let you pay costs or complete driver training in lieu of a guilty finding on your stop sign violation.
Get a Ohio Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign Ticket? Contact us.
Call us today for a free consultation with a Columbus traffic ticket lawyer who can help you avoid the long-term negative impact on your driving record. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and fight your traffic ticket. Our experienced attorneys are in these courts defending traffic cases on a daily basis. Contact us today at (614) 500-3836 or email us at [email protected].