Although they may seem less serious than “real crimes,” a traffic violation in Columbus can still have a serious impact on your life, and depending on the case, even still lead to criminal convictions or jail time. That’s why it’s important to find out everything you can about these violations when deciding how to deal with them. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we are always happy to give you clear answers to your important questions in person, but we have also answered some of our most frequently asked traffic violation questions here as well.
Can I contest any traffic citation?
Yes, you have the right to contest any arrest or citation, and we think it is usually in your best interest to do so. You always have three plead options: guilty, no contest and not guilty. “Not guilty” gives you to chance to contest the ticket.
If I’m guilty, should I just pay the ticket and get it over with?
You may think your case is a lost cause, but you there are many factors that could affect the outcome in your favor. If you plead guilty, you will be responsible for paying the maximum fine, get points on your license, and experience an increase in your insurance premium. If there is a chance of avoiding all this, we think it is worth it. Talking to an experienced Columbus traffic lawyer can help you decide if it’s worth fighting the charges in your case.
What if I just ignore the citation?
Ignoring a ticket won’t make it go away. You’ll just end up causing yourself additional penalties and risk a bench warrant being issued. It’s important to take care of your ticket right away.
Can I avoid getting points on my license?
If you successfully contest a ticket, you won’t get any points, and it’s possible that you can reduce the charges and avoid points that way. Your traffic attorney knows that you want to avoid this and will do whatever he can to minimize the damage. If you don’t contest the violation, however, you’ll get maximum points no matter what.
How much is a traffic conviction going to cost me?
Obviously, your traffic ticket will cost whatever the fine says when issued, but there are a lot of other costs you probably aren’t taking into consideration. Generally, you face an increase in insurance premiums for at least three years after a ticket. In addition, you risk losing any good driver discounts that you are currently enjoying. You also will have to pay for court fees when you file your plea (even if you do so online). Finally, many of these tickets require you to take a defensive driving course in order to take off some of the points against your license. This will cost you another few hundred dollars at least.
Can I contest a traffic violation without a lawyer?
It’s always an option to go to court without legal help, but it may not be in your best interests. The court will not treat you any differently whether you have no legal experience or are a professional lawyer. If you plan to fight your citation, a Columbus traffic lawyer will improve your chances for a favorable decision, including possibly reduced or dismissed charges.
Is there a way to get the charges dismissed without going to court?
Generally, contesting a ticket requires someone to go to court, but it does not always have to be you. If you hire an attorney, we can usually appear on your behalf to negotiate the best outcome for your case, which means you don’t have to interrupt your busy life.
Can I change the date of my hearing?
Generally, yes. You just need to ask the court well in advance of the scheduled date.
This isn’t my first ticket. Is my license in danger of being suspended?
It depends on how many points you have against you already. If you get 12 points or more at any time, the BMV will revoke your license. If you believe you may be close, it’s important to talk over the possible repercussions with a lawyer.
What happens if I was caught driving after I lost my license?
Driving after your license has been revoked or suspended due to previous traffic violations is against the law. You face serious charges and even possible imprisonment. If you have been arrested for driving without a valid license, you should contact a Columbus criminal defense lawyer with Luftman, Heck and Associates right away to discuss the situation. Call (614) 500-3836 today to receive your free consultation.