William Long Whitesell, L.L.C.

You may need a traffic attorney if …

Traffic violations happen every minute of every day. Most don't result in a ticket. Police can't be everywhere. Some drivers do get tagged, though, and if you happen to be one who hears the whoop-whoop of a siren and sees the flashing lights of a squad vehicle in your mirror, it's a good idea to take the matter seriously.

While violations alleged are usually minor in nature, the consequences if you plead guilty or are found guilty can be significant. That is why when you receive a ticket, your wisest first move would be to consult with an experienced attorney.

The cons of citations

The array of possible violations of law runs the gamut. On the low end might be the charge of driving without wearing your seatbelt. This is minor offense results in a fine of not more than $15.00. However, if you happen to have a child in your car that is not properly restrained, you could see a point added to your record. And if you face more serious violations, the points increase.

Offenses that could earn you 1 point include:

  • Improper use of a designated lane (4th or subsequent offense)
  • Driving while texting or otherwise using a cellphone

2-point offenses include:

  • Failing to use proper child safety restraints (2nd or subsequent offense)
  • Improperly securing a truck load resulting in an accident
  • Having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle
  • Driving 15 to 18 mph over the posted speed limit

3-point offenses include:

  • Driving 19 to 23 mph over the limit
  • Running a stop sign or otherwise failing to obey a traffic control device
  • Not obeying a police officer
  • All other moving violations

4-point offenses include:

  • Driving 24 to 33 mph over the limit
  • Improper passing on a curve or hill
  • Reckless driving

Interestingly, there are no 5-point offenses, but six points can be accrued for aggressive driving, unlawful passing of a school bus or going 34 mph or more over the speed limit.Points can be in addition to any possible fines resulting from a conviction. And if you rack up 15 points in a 2-year period, you could see your license suspended.

Losing a license can be devastating for professional drivers, but these days really no one can afford such a loss. Many attorneys offer free initial consultation of traffic cases. Where that's the case, there's nothing to lose by making a call.

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