How To Keep A Traffic Ticket From Ruining Your Record


Almost all drivers break the law regularly. They might speed just a little over the limit, not quite come to a stop at a stop sign, or not use their turn signals 100% of the time. While most people view traffic offenses as minor, a traffic ticket can actually have long-lasting consequences. Here's how to keep one from ruining your record.

Make Sure It's Not a Criminal Charge

Many people who are given tickets end up just mailing in their fine to get the ticket behind them. This might be fine for minor violations, but if you receive a criminal traffic citation, you could be giving yourself a criminal record.

The first thing you need to do is figure out whether your traffic ticket is a criminal or civil violation. Civil means just a fine and possible points. Criminal means a misdemeanor or felony conviction if you plead guilty by signing the ticket.

Some criminal traffic offenses are obvious like driving while intoxicated. Others aren't so obvious. Some states considered it criminal reckless driving to commit multiple minor offenses at the same time while others say that speeding by X over the speed limit is criminal. They might also have a certain speed, 80 for example, above which any speed is criminal on any road.

If your traffic charge is criminal, you need to get a criminal defense lawyer and fight it just like you would any other criminal charge.

Find Out Your Job's Requirements

Some jobs require a clean driving record, having less than a certain number of points, or no convictions on specific traffic charges. If your job involves driving or you might want a job in the future that involves driving, you need to find this out.

Depending on what you were charged with, you might be able to ask the judge to let you plead guilty to something else that won't disqualify you. Of course, you also have the right to present a defense and seek the dismissal of the ticket.

Pay Attention to Deadlines

A traffic ticket is not something you can be late on. Failing to pay on time or to show up in court could lead to a warrant for your arrest or your license being suspended. If your license is suspended and you keep driving, you could be charged with additional crimes.

To learn more about how to defend against a traffic ticket, contact a local criminal defense attorney like Ewbank & Kramer today.


2 March 2016

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