Receiving a traffic ticket for speeding? Charged with a traffic violation such as driving under the influence (DUI)? You may face negative consequences such as hefty fines, increased insurance premiums, and even the loss of your driver’s license. To avoid or minimize your exposure to these ramifications of traffic offenses, you may wish to contact a mountain communities traffic lawyer for advice.
Losing your license can create a hardship for you and your family and may even cause you to lose your job. The other costs of license suspension also can add to this financial burden, even after your license is reinstated. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you fight back against traffic offenses and keep your driving record clear. Let Justie and Jenn work hard to help you avoid the consequences of a conviction.
When individuals receive traffic tickets or charges for driving-related offenses, the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles, will assess points to their driving records. If individuals accrue too many points within a specific period, they risk suspension of their driver’s licenses. When individuals pay a ticket, admit guilt, accept a plea agreement, or fail to appear in court, they can expect the DMV to add points to their driving records.
Each type of conviction for a traffic offense is assigned a certain number of points. The more severe the crime, the more points that are assigned to the offense. A mountain communities traffic lawyer can explain how points accumulate to result in a license suspension, as follows:
When the Division of Motor Vehicles issues a license suspension based on points, a DMV hearing officer will determine the length of the suspension. The hearing officer may issue individuals a probationary license during the suspension but is not required to grant this type of license. This license restricts driving times and locations and is invalid outside the state. Individuals can keep the restricted license throughout their suspension if they do not commit any further traffic violations.
The least severe traffic tickets are traffic infractions, which are classified as Class A and Class B infractions. Class B infractions are uncommon and concern minor traffic violations. The DMV does not assess points to driving records for Class B infractions.
Class A infractions are for more severe violations, such as some low-level speeding offenses. However, many cases result in fines, not jail time. Often, individuals can pay their ticket in advance of their court dates and avoid appearing in court altogether.
With these types of cases, unless there are other collateral consequences or the individual involved lives out of state, it often does not make sense to hire an attorney. However, if you choose to do so, an attorney can often handle these cases without you needing to make the trip back thereby saving you lots of time and money.
On the other hand, tickets for traffic offenses are considered misdemeanor criminal offenses. Some examples of traffic offenses include driving without a valid driver’s license (NVOL) and driving without insurance (NPOI). These offenses also are divided into Class 1 and 2 crimes, which do carry the potential for jail time upon a conviction. If there is a potential for jail time, then there is a constitutional right to have an attorney represent you even if you cannot afford one.
A Class 1 misdemeanor conviction can result in up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000, plus court costs and surcharges. Class 2 misdemeanor offenses are less severe but still may result in a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine of up to $300. Since traffic offenses cause both a criminal misdemeanor conviction and the assessment of points by the DMV, consulting a traffic attorney in mountain communities may be wise.
While a simple traffic offense may not seem too serious at first, you soon will come to realize the other collateral consequences that can occur. If you cannot take the risk of losing your license, don’t want to see a hike in your insurance premiums, or your worried about an accident turning into a civil personal injury lawsuit, your best bet may be to contact a mountain communities traffic lawyer for advice.
With the help of Jenn and Justie at Nicol Gersch Petterson, you can explore your options and determine the best course of action in your case. You may be able to obtain a reduced charge or sentence, depending on the circumstances of your case. Call today to schedule a consultation.