A large part of driving safely is knowing how to lawfully and carefully execute turns at intersections. This may seem obvious, but the fact is that most collisions occur while someone is making a left turn, making appropriate navigation of turns at intersections perhaps the largest part of keeping the roads and fellow drivers safe. Failing to turn properly may result in a ticket. Because intersection safety is so important, this is a regularly enforced traffic violation in Columbus.
A violation for a failure to turn appropriately at an intersection could have serious consequences for your life and your driving record. If you’ve been ticketed for this offense, you may need the help of an experience Columbus traffic defense lawyer.
Ohio Law Regarding Improper Turn Tickets in Columbus
Rules for turning at intersections are governed by the Ohio traffic Code Statute 4511.36. This section includes detailed instructions for making right turns, and for making left turns on both one way and two way traffic roadways.
Penalties after a Columbus Improper Turn Ticket
Most tickets for failure to properly execute a turn at an intersection are minor misdemeanors that are punishable by up to $150 in fines. However, if you plead or are found guilty of a failure to properly execute a turn at an intersection 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
A failure to yield 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 properly execute a turn at an intersection 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 properly execute a turn at an intersection 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 properly execute a turn at an intersection violation may be offered as evidence of proof of your guilt, increasing the chances of a judgment against you.
How a Columbus Improper Turn Ticket 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:
- Poor Visibility – If signs or lights directing you to turn were not visible at the time of your alleged offense due to no fault of your own, this may be a defense against a failure to turn appropriately violation. Your lawyer will help collect evidence of the visibility at the scene and testimony of any witnesses to help build this defense.
- Another Driver was at Fault – If another driver was driving recklessly and forced you to turn improperly or risk harm to yourself or another, this could be a defense against failure to turn appropriately at an intersection. Your Columbus improper turn ticket lawyer will interview any possible witnesses to find out what they saw or heard.
- You Actually Did Execute a Proper Turn – Police officers are capable of making mistakes, and it’s possible that you actually turned lawfully and thus did not deserve a ticket. Your lawyer will interview any witnesses and your ticketing officer about what they heard and saw, and how and why they concluded you made an improper turn in order to help build your defense.
- 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 violations 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 at (614) 500-3836 or email at [email protected].