Before you plead guilty and “just pay off” your traffic ticket you should know that traffic tickets can carry heavy consequences including driving points, insurance points, suspensions, and fines. An attorney who understands these consequences can help to handle your case in a way that is right for you.
Depending on your prior driving record you may be eligible to have your case dismissed, plea to a lesser charge, receive a Prayer for Judgment Continued, be placed in a deferral program, or try your case to verdict before a Judge or Jury.
Learn About Driving Points
Learn About Insurance Points
Learn About Suspensions
Learn About Driving Points Reductions
Learn About Prayer for Judgment Continued (“PJC”)
Call the Bostrom Law Firm at (919) 341-9LAW for a FREE consultation or CLICK HERE to hire an attorney now!
♦ Driving Points – If you are convicted of certain motor vehicle violations, you get points added against your driving record. Points range from 1 to5 depending on the violation. When you get 12 points within a three-year period, you could have your license suspended. Once it’s reinstated, accumulating eight points in the next three year period will result in another suspension.
|COMMON CONVICTIONS WITH POINTS||COMMON CONVICTIONS WITH NO POINTS|
|5 – Passing Stopped School Bus||Carrying concealed weapon|
|4 – Reckless Driving||Failure to display current inspection certificate|
|4 – Hit and Run, Property Damage Only||Illegal parking|
|3 – Running Stop Sign/Red Light||Improper Plates/ Improper Registration|
|3 – Speeding Over 55 MPH||Over loads|
|3 – No Driver’s License||Over width/height and/or length|
|3 – No Liability Insurance||Improper muffler|
|3 – Speeding in School Zone||Improper display of license plates/dealer’s tags|
♦ Insurance Points – Insurances points can increase your premiums anywhere from 25% to 400%. Once you are assessed insurance points, the premium increases remain in effect for three years.
|POINTS||RATE INCREASE||COMMON CONVICTIONS & AT-FAULT ACCIDENTS|
|1||30%||• All other moving violations • At-fault accident resulting in bodily injury* (to all persons) of $1,800 or less; OR resulting in property damage (including damage to insured’s own property) of $1,800 or less • Speeding 10 mph or less in excess of speed limit of less than 55 mph|
|2||45%||• Illegal passing • Following too closely • Driving on wrong side of the road • At-fault accident resulting in total property damage (including damage to Insured’s own property) in excess of $1,800 but less than $3,000 • Speeding more than 10 mph over the speed limit provided the total speed is in excess of 55 mph, but less than 76 mph • Speeding 10 mph or less in excess of speed zone of 55 mph or greater|
|3||60%||• At-fault accident resulting in death, or total bodily injury* (to all persons) in excess of $1,800; OR resulting in total property damage (including damage to insured’s own property) of $3,000 or more.|
|4||80%||• Reckless driving • Hit-and-run resulting in property damage only • Passing a stopped school bus • Speeding in excess of 75 mph when the speed limit is less than 70 mph • Speeding in excess of 80 mph when the speed limit is 70 mph or greater • Driving by a person less than age 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs|
|8||195%||• Driving during revocation or suspension of license or registration • Aggressive driving|
|10||260%||• Highway racing or knowingly lending a motor vehicle for highway racing • Speeding to elude arrest|
|12||340%||• Manslaughter or negligent homicide • Prearranged highway racing or knowingly lending a motor vehicle for prearranged highway racing • Hit-and-run resulting in bodily injury or death • Driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or more • Driving a commercial vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .04 or more • Driving while impaired • Transporting illegal intoxicating liquor for sale|
Certain Special Exemptions apply, that can be used to reduce what you pay for insurance. They include:
- Speeding 10 mph or less over the posted speeding limit if:
- You weren’t speeding in a school zone; and
- You have no other speeding ticket or moving violation for the Experience Period (excluding a single Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) in the entire household)
- A single PJC per household every three years, but a second PJC may cause insurance points to be assessed for both the first and second offenses.
- Some car accidents if:
- You have no property damage;
- The damage is $1,500 or less;
- You have no conviction for a moving violation with connection to the accident; and
- Your household has no convictions or at-fault accidents during the previous 3 years.
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♦ Suspension– Depending on whether you’ve been suspended for points before, the suspension could last from 60 days to 12 months. There are several first-time traffic violations that require the immediate loss of driving privileges, including:
- Prearranged racing with another vehicle
- Speeding over 75 mph
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit, if you are driving at a speed higher than 55 mph
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If you qualify to avoid points and/or suspensions you may have the following options:
♦ Driving Points Reduction – There are two scenarios to have points removed from your driving record:
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♦ Prayer for Judgement Continued – A “prayer for judgment continued” is a disposition after a plea of guilty where the judge suspends entering a judgment in the case. In traffic cases, a “PJC” essentially keeps any insurance or driver’s license points from accruing on your record for the underlying offense. Only one PJC can be granted per household every three years; a second PJC can be used within five years for driver’s license points purposes only. Judges will often require that the offender complete a defensive driving course or community service in order to earn a PJC.
If you would like to learn more about your options, contact Bostrom Law Firm any time at 919-341-9LAW. We look forward to hearing from you.
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