Lake County Indiana Traffic Ticket / Traffic Offense Lawyer
Traffic Tickets and Offenses: Why You Should Not Just Pay the Fine
Serving Northwest Indiana
Everyone speeds from time to time. Whether it’s because you are running late to an important meeting, or you are just unaware of the posted speed limit or the rate at which you are moving, getting a traffic ticket is almost inevitable.
For many people, a traffic ticket is a minor inconvenience. Most of them end up paying the fine rather than appearing in court, thinking that it would be a waste of time, energy, and money to contest the matter. However, this is the wrong approach to take with a traffic ticket, because the impact on your wallet can exceed the amount of the fine.
The Points System
If you have a ticket on your driving record, it can impact you in a few ways. Indiana uses a points system: every time you are convicted of a traffic offense—and, if you read the fine print on the back of your ticket, you will see that paying the fine is equivalent to a conviction—points are added to your license.
The number of points added to your license for a given infraction will vary depending on a few factors. For one thing, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles takes into determination the facts surrounding your ticket. If you were speeding, for example, the court will consider how much you exceeded the speed limit by, as well as other factors such as whether it was in a school or construction zone. There are a number of things that can increase the severity of the infraction, but the long and short of it is that you should not think that all tickets will be treated equally when it comes to adding points to your record.
The maximum number of points that can be added to your driver’s license for a single offense is 8. Keep in mind that, when points are added to your license, they remain on it for a period of 2 years. This means that if you accrue more points during that period, you could be facing some very dire consequences.
Reasons to Fight a Traffic Ticket
The fact that the points remain on your license, and the impact that the cumulative point score can have, are reasons to consider fighting a traffic ticket. Depending on how many points you accrue, the outcome can include:
Paying higher rates for auto insurance; Having your driver’s license suspended for a period of time (or even revoked altogether); A requirement that you take a defensive driving course at your own expense.
In addition, Indiana has a habitual traffic violator status for people who are convicted of a certain number of major traffic offenses within a 10-year period. If you are classified as a habitual traffic violator, you could end up losing your driver’s license for a period of 10 years.
Considering the implications of accruing too many points, you can see why it is a good idea to consider fighting your traffic ticket or offense rather than just mailing in the fine. Sending in the fine may seem the easier way right now, but you are gambling with your future when you do it.
Can You Beat a Traffic Ticket?
Many people are hesitant to fight a ticket because they think they will not win. However, this is not the case! There are a good number of reasons why you might end up winning your case. In addition, when the prosecutor finds out that you have retained an attorney and intend to fight the matter, there is a very good chance that he or she will be willing to discuss a settlement.
Of course, the exact terms of the settlement will vary, but it would often involve pleading guilty to a lesser offense and paying a fee or completing some sort of corrective training. This can result in fewer points on your license (or no points at all). At the end of the day, the ability to negotiate with the prosecutor and obtain a favorable settlement can, in and of itself, be worth hiring an experienced traffic ticket attorney. Remember, you may not even need to settle: once your attorney reviews the case, it is very possible that you may be able to walk away without any sort of conviction at all.
We Can Help with Your Traffic Ticket or Traffic Offense!
Contact An Traffic Ticket / Offense Lawyer For Help
Do you need the help of a traffic ticket / offense? Contact The Law Offices of Paul M. Namie, LLC for help. We offer free consultations and case reviews to evaluate your case. We have years of professional legal experience serving clients within traffic ticket and traffic offense law and other legal matters. Please schedule an appointment by a contacting our law firm - we serve clients throughout Northwest Indiana.