Your five most common traffic ticket questions answered.
Get advice from an experienced Ohio traffic ticket lawyer.
Fighting a traffic ticket might feel like a losing battle. But with the help of a skilled traffic ticket lawyer, you may be able to avoid leaving a smudge on your driver’s license. At Yavitch & Palmer, we can advise you on your plea options, how long before points fall off of your license, fines you may face, appearing in court and insurance consequences.
1. Can I fight it?
You have three traffic ticket plea options: guilty, no contest and not guilty. You must enter your plea, regardless of what you choose, on or before the court date listed on your Ohio traffic citation. You have the option to represent yourself, but your best option is to hire the Ohio DMV strongly encourages hiring a traffic ticket lawyer who can help you secure reduced charges or even outright dismissal. Securing the right attorney can save you points and avoid increased car insurance rates.
You won’t have to have to pay any fines or penalties if the court rules in your favor, but you still might have to pay court fees and, if applicable, legal fees.
If the court issues a guilty verdict, you’ll be required to pay the fine as well as any court fees or legal fees. The appropriate number of points will be assigned to your driving record – which could increase your car insurance premiums or revoke your driving privileges.
2. How long until points fall off my license?
Violations that can earn you points on your license in Ohio range from homicide by vehicle to Operating a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner.
Points will stay on your Ohio license for three years. You may be eligible to take a remedial driving course approved by the Department of Public Safety, where you will receive a point credit.
However, if you accumulate 12 or more points in a two-year period, the BMV will suspend your driving privileges for six months. After that time, you’ll be required to take a remedial driving course before you can take the driving test again to earn your license.
Traffic ticket fines vary throughout Ohio. This means that the fine for running a stop sign in Columbus might not be equal to the same infraction in Logan. Other variables include the outcome of your case, and whether you’re required to pay applicable court and legal fees.
4. Do I have to be in court?
By choosing to fight your ticket yourself with a plea of not guilty, you must appear in court. This option means you’ll be contesting the ticket by trial, either by representing yourself or with the counsel of a traffic ticket lawyer. But if you have an attorney, you may be able to avoid appearing in court by having your attorney handle the case on your behalf. However, entering a plea of guilty or no contest waives your right to a trial by court and no further action is required after paying your fine.
5. What if I didn’t have insurance?
If you’re required to show proof of insurance, failure to do so will lead to penalties including:
- Loss of driving privileges. This requires payment of a reinstatement fee in order to regain your privilege to drive.
- Suspension of plates and registration.
- Mandatory requirement of SR-22 filing. This insurance can be costly. This type of insurance is filed by your insurance carrier and guarantees that you will remain insured for a specific period of time.
Find a Columbus traffic ticket lawyer
If you’re facing a traffic violation or even losing your license, get in touch with the attorneys at Yavitch & Palmer today. We’re available 24/7 to guide you through your defense.
Learn more about Stephen Palmer and his 19 years of Columbus criminal defense experience.