TRAFFIC

          Traffic attorneys do three main things:  

  1. Amend traffic tickets to non-moving violations 

  2. Lift warrants

  3. Lift suspensions and help reinstate licenses 

AMENDING TICKETS

          The worst thing you can do when you get a traffic ticket, other than ignore it, is to simply pay it.  When you pay a traffic ticket you are pleading guilty to the charge, such as speeding, which will either be a municipal ordinance violation or a misdemeanor.  That charge that you pled guilty to will go on your driving record, forever.  Your driving record directly affects your insurance rates.  Insurance companies run your driving record when you apply, and may run it each time your insurance renews.  The cleaner your driving record, the better your insurance rates are going to be.  When you simply pay a ticket you also receive points on your license that come with the charge on your driving record.  Points may accumulate and cause license suspensions, see below.

          The most common thing people hire a traffic attorney for is AMENDING traffic tickets, otherwise known as fixing tickets.  What we do is work with the prosecuting attorney to amend moving-violation traffic tickets to non-moving violation tickets, the equivalent of parking tickets, which do not go on your driving record.  Ideally you want to amend every moving violation ticket you ever receive to a non-moving violation ticket, so that you avoid avoid the charge on your driving record and points on your license!

          YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY THE FINE ASSOCIATED WITH THE TICKET.  Amended tickets still come with a fine and court costs.  The fine for an amended ticket may be slightly higher than the normal fine listed on the ticket, because amended tickets require additional court staff to process them.  Amendments are only final when fines are paid in full, and may be withdrawn if the fines are not paid.

CHARGES ON YOUR DRIVING RECORD - IMPORTANCE OF A CLEAN DRIVING RECORD

DRIVING RECORDS ARE PERMANENT

          The most important thing to keep in mind is that your driving record is permanent.  Every moving violation traffic ticket charge you plead guilty to, or simply pay, goes on your driving record.  The date of the ticket, the charge on the ticket, and the points that were put on your license corresponding with the ticket will be visible on your driving record indefinitely, for anyone to see.  THE POINTS ON YOUR LICENSE ARE TEMPORARY, BUT THE CHARGES ON YOUR DRIVING RECORD ARE PERMANENT.  

DRIVING RECORD AND INSURANCE RATES

          The reason you want to maintain a spotless driving record is so that you will always qualify for the lowest possible insurance rates.  Insurance companies check your driving record each time you apply for or you renew your coverage, and some companies check more often than that.  If you have charges on your record this will impact your future insurance rates, regardless of whether the points are still on your license, and your insurance company may even adjust your rates if new tickets go on your driving record.

          There is currently a process of asking the Missouri Department of Revenue to remove certain old tickets from your record.  The following is direct from their website, dor.mo.gov:

  • How can I request an old ticket to be removed from my record?

    • You may submit a request (including your full name and Missouri driver license number or social security number) to have old tickets purged from your record using one of the following methods:

    • Send an e-mail request to dlbmail@dor.mo.gov.

    • Call (573) 526-2407 during normal business hours to request the purge.

    • Send a written request to our central office:

                                Missouri Department of Revenue

POINTS ON YOUR LICENSE

          All moving violation traffic ticket charges have a set number of points associated with them. Different charges may have different numbers of points associated with them.  Tickets for the same charge but issued by different police departments may have different points associated with them.  When you simply pay a moving violation traffic ticket, you are pleading guilty to the charge on the ticket.  The charge will go on your driving record, and the points associated with that charge go on your license.  You do not want the points!

          THE IDEA OF POINTS ON YOUR LICENSE IS THAT IF YOU ACCUMULATE TOO MANY POINTS, TOO QUICKLY YOUR LICENSE WILL BE SUSPENDED.  Here are some of the rules:

  • Point accumulation and license suspensions:

    • Accumulating 8 points on your license in 18 months results in an automatic 30 day suspension, the first time.  Second time it's 60 days, third time it happens it's 90 days.

    • Accumulating 12 points in 12 months results in an automatic one year suspension.

    • Accumulating 18 points in 24 months results in an automatic one year suspension.

    • Accumulating 24 points in 36 months results in an automatic one year suspension.

  • How points are removed from your license:

    • If you go one year without accumulating any new points​, one-third of the total points on your license are removed.

    • If you go a second year in a row without accumulating any new points, one-half of the total points remaining on your license are removed.

    • And finally, if you go a third consecutive year without accumulating any new points, the points still remaining on your license are then fully removed.

      • While a person's license is suspended or revoked, or while driving on a hardship driving privilege, points are not removed or reduced, and the time periods listed above for removing their points are tolled and will not start until the date of reinstatement. ​

LIFTING WARRANTS

          Exactly what it sounds like.  Unpaid traffic tickets result in warrants.  If you have a warrant you risk being arrested when you encounter police.  Part of what we do is lift any traffic warrants you have.  Lifting a traffic warrant gives you a new court date that you have to pay your traffic fines by, or have started a payment plan by, that's it.  If fine payments are not made after warrants are lifted, the warrants will be reissued.
          Courts will generally grant an attorney's first request to lift a warrant with no questions asked, and most courts allow this request to be mailed or faxed, but there is no guarantee a court will lift a warrant more than once without requiring a court appearance.

LIFTING SUSPENSIONS AND REINSTATING LICENSES

          Your license may be suspended for several reasons.  It may be suspended due to points, due to unpaid or unresolved traffic tickets, or even due to a traffic accident that is alleged to be your fault.  What you have to do to be reinstated depends on why you are suspended.  We work with you to lift suspensions and get reinstated.  Each time you are pulled over while driving on a suspended license you risk a receiving a 12 point driving while suspended ticket, which cannot be fixed until you are reinstated.

          If you are suspended due to points, your only option is to apply for a temporary driving privilege until the suspension is over.  

 

          If you are suspended due to unpaid or unresolved traffic tickets you will need to pay them or resolve them, meaning have us amend them for you and pay the fine.  If you have already pleaded guilty to a ticket but did not pay the fine, we may still be able to withdraw your guilty plea and ask that the ticket be amended.  Most courts will not lift traffic suspensions until all fines have been paid in full, suspensions will not be lifted at the start of payment plans. 

          Unpaid tickets may also result in holds that prevent you from renewing your license or being reinstated after a suspension.  This type of hold may be listed as a lieu of bail hold on your driving record.  Same as with a suspension, courts will require you to fully pay fines before lieu of bail holds are lifted.

 

          If you are suspended due to a traffic accident it is because the Missouri Department of Revenue believes the accident was your fault, and that you owe money to the other party involved.  Assuming the accident was not related to a DWI, there are two ways to lift accident suspensions: 1) start a payment plan with the other party and start paying back what the Missouri Department of Revenue believes you owe, or 2) file a bankruptcy to discharge, meaning get rid of, the accident related debt you owe - if you don't owe it you can't be suspended for it!  When it comes to uninsured accidents, by nature, bankruptcy is often more realistic than paying what could be thousands of dollars in medical bills and damages.

TICKETS FROM OTHER STATES

          Unfortunately we cannot help you with traffic tickets, warrants, or suspensions in other states!  We are only licensed to practice law in Missouri!

          Call (314) 896-1999 to set up a free appointment to discuss your traffic matters!

LAW OFFICES OF KIMBER H. BARO - EXPERIENCED ST. LOUIS BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS - CHAPTER 7 & 13

LOCATED IN FLORISSANT - SERVICING ALL OF ST. LOUIS, ST. CHARLES & JEFFERSON COUNTY

BARO LAW FIRM

1605 N HWY 67

FLORISSANT, MO 63031

TEL: (314) 896-1999

FAX: (314) 942-7195

GENERAL EMAIL: abaro@barolawfirm.com

 

Website and content ©2018 by Baro Law Firm

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