Most of us regard traffic offenses and traffic tickets as an unfortunate reality. You were over the speed limit; you ran a red light; you had no idea your license was suspended. If you have been charged with a traffic offense, you may be tempted to simply pay the ticket and forget it. Think it over though.
If you do a lot of driving, it pays to keep your record clean. You may commute to work. You may drive for a living. You may be a parent with kids to chauffeur to games and lessons. You may be a traveler from out-of-town who enjoys the open road. You might have a kid with a fast car.
Paying the ticket is an admission of guilt and it comes with points on your record, stiff fees, and potentially higher insurance costs. You have the right to fight the charge and it may be a wise move to make.
MOST COMMON TRAFFIC OFFENSES AND POTENTIAL PENALTIES
Speeding – Speeding fines and points against your license vary depending on how many miles over the speed limit the driver was going and where the speeding violation occurred. Speeding violations can result in up to 6 points against one’s license, up to a fine in the amount of $200 or potentially the suspension of one’s drivers license.
Reckless Driving – Drivers charged with driving recklessly face fines ranging from $20 to $100 or more, must pay court costs, and will have up to 4 points added to their driving record.
Driving With a Suspended License – In Kentucky, this offense is a Class B misdemeanor, and can result in jail time of 90 days and a fine of $250, but no points added to the driver’s record. However, conviction will result in a 6 month administrative license suspension by the Kentucky Department of Transportation.
Driving With an Expired License – Being charged with failure to renew a license to drive can result in a fine of $250 and court costs, but no points assessed. Similarly, having an expired registration plate, an improper registration plate, an improperly displayed registration plate, or displaying an illegal or altered registration plate can result in a fine of $250 plus court costs.
Driving Without Insurance –The failure of an owner to maintain insurance, when it’s a first offense, can result in $500 to $1,000 in fines, plus court costs, a 6 month suspension of driving privileges, and up to 90 days in jail. For a second offense, an owner faces $1,000 to $2,500 in fines, plus court costs, one year of license suspension, and up to 180 days in jail.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident – A driver who leaves the scene of an accident without rendering aid or assistance (essentially committing a hit-and-run offense) has committed a Class A misdemeanor, and faces $20 to $2,000 in fines, payment of court costs, the possibility of one year in jail, and 6 points added to his or her driving record. Leaving the scene of an accident without rendering aid when a death or serious physical injury has occurred is a Class D felony.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU’RE CHARGED WITH A TRAFFIC OFFENSE
If you have been charged with any driving offense in, you need to consider the possibility of talking with a qualified traffic offense attorney. While some offenses are relatively minor, one or more offenses committed in a short period of time may result in the loss of your right to drive, depending on the offense and the number of points on your record.
In addition to possibly having your license suspended, you face having to ask for time off from work to appear in traffic court, to pay fines, and to otherwise address your situation. Since your livelihood may depend on maintaining a good attendance record in order to keep your job, asking for time off can create problems at the job. Having your license suspended can create even more problems for you, since you mostly likely depend on being able to drive to work and to take care of family responsibilities.
CALL MERIDITH CLYMER TODAY
If you have been charged with a traffic offense, call Meridith today at (270) 936-6608 to discuss the potential outcome.