Traffic Ticket Lawyers in Chesterfield, MO, Providing Legal Representation for Clients Looking To Avoid Points on Their Record
Missouri is one of many states where drivers may end up receiving points on their driving record every time they commit a traffic violation. That means if you get a ticket in the Show-Me state, it will affect your driving record for a few years, not to mention you may end up paying for the ticket itself and any applicable fees. But can you fight a traffic ticket and avoid getting points added to your record? Our traffic ticket attorneys provide an overview of the process of fighting tickets in Missouri and explain why hiring an attorney may be a smart move.
How Does the Missouri Driver’s Point System Work?
The points system in Missouri is designed to encourage safe driving. Having few or no points on your driving record is a positive thing – it means you have not violated any traffic laws. However, mistakes do happen, such as crossing a red light, driving through a stop sign, or making a prohibited turn. Each violation results in a certain number of points added to your record.
If a driver accumulates 4 points in a 12-month period, the Missouri Department of Revenue will send that driver a warning letter. If the driver accumulates eight or more points in 18 months, the Department of Revenue may suspend their driving privileges. The length of the suspension varies between 30 days to one year, depending on the number of points the driver has accumulated.
What Are My Options if I Get a Traffic Ticket in Missouri?
If you have been given a ticket for a traffic violation in Missouri, you will typically have three options: you may plead guilty and pay for the ticket, you may request a contested hearing to fight the ticket, or you may pay the ticket and avoid having points added to your record by taking a Driver Improvement Program (DIP) class where available.
If you pay for the ticket, you are essentially agreeing to all charges and admitting that you have committed the traffic violation as described on the ticket. That will result in points being added to your record. Points are reduced for every year you drive without getting new points. Some drivers with too many points may be able to avoid license suspension by taking a DIP class in addition to paying all fines and fees. However, if you do not agree with the ticket and wish to fight it or negotiate a lesser fine, you may request a contested hearing and recruit the help of an attorney.
Can I Get a Traffic Ticket Removed From My Records?
In many cases, you may request to remove an old traffic ticket conviction from your record three years after the date when you received the ticket. However, drivers who have had their license suspended due to excessive accumulation of points may be required to wait at least five years before the ticket can be purged from their record.
While three and five years may not sound like a long time, the lack of a clean driving record may affect you in many aspects of your life. For example, it may be harder to secure employment in a position that requires operating motor vehicles. This is especially true for anyone with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). A single traffic ticket can disqualify a CDL holder and result in license suspension. So, while most drivers are inclined just to pay their traffic ticket and move on, it is best to consider carefully whether this is the right option for you and how your driving record may affect you for the next few years.
How Can an Attorney Help Me Dispute a Traffic Ticket in Court?
If you have received a traffic ticket, it is best to contact an attorney before taking any action. However, you must do so quickly, as you only have 30 days to respond to a traffic ticket. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney on your behalf and help you secure a better outcome. In some cases, an attorney can reduce the amount you may need to pay, de-escalate your charges and help you avoid excessive points on your record. If you have missed your court date and have learned that a warrant has been issued, a traffic ticket attorney can help you have your warrant recalled so you can avoid going to jail for something as trivial as a traffic violation.
At Mid-America Law Practice, LLC, our legal team has helped countless clients in Chesterfield, MO, and surrounding areas to fight their traffic tickets and reach a positive outcome. Our attorneys can help you handle all required paperwork and may even appear in court on your behalf whenever possible. If you are required to appear in person, our experienced traffic ticket lawyers can accompany you and prepare you for your hearing. Our goal is to help you reach a favorable solution to protect your driving record. Contact us at (314) 347-3567 to discuss your case.