Traffic tickets can happen to anyone. Even the best drivers will sometimes speed or skip using a turn signal. However, just because tickets are common does not mean we should routinely accept the consequences. Many people falsely believe that traffic tickets aren’t worth fighting and unnecessarily accept the full penalties resulting from pleading guilty in court. These penalties can include fines, points, expensive and time-consuming driving classes, public service, or loss of the privilege to drive altogether through a license suspension. Also, insurance may become more expensive or unavailable. An experienced Colorado Springs traffic attorney can defend against the charge or negotiate the ticket down to a lesser violation.
Schedule your free initial consultation by calling us at 719-264-9858 today.
Do I Really Need To Spend Money On An Attorney For A Traffic Ticket?
The honest answer is that it depends. For some types of charges, such as a DUI or DWAI, or even a reckless driving, the answer is easy–absolutely hire an attorney immediately. However, if you have a good driving record and get a ticket for running a stop sign or make an illegal turn at a red light, the answer may not be so easy. For someone with a clean driving history that picks up their first 4 point speeding for going 10-19 mph over the speed limit, the may either be able to mail the ticket in to get it reduced to 2 points, or may be able to negotiate the ticket down by themselves without the help of a traffic ticket lawyer. However, that same 4 point ticket may be a real problem for someone with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), or someone that has picked up other tickets within the past year or two and may be looking at getting close to a license revocation or suspension. In fact, too many serious charges on your record can cause you to lose your license and be labeled as an habitual traffic offender–something with serious repercussions to your ability to drive anytime soon.
Patterson Weaver Law, LLC provides free consultations, and our experienced lawyers would be happy to talk to you about your situation and to give you advice on whether or not it makes sense to hire an attorney for your case. The attorneys at Patterson Weaver Law, LLC will not tell you that you need a lawyer on your traffic ticket if you don’t.
How Serious Is My Ticket?
Traffic tickets in Colorado are either traffic infractions or misdemeanor traffic offenses.
Traffic infractions come in either “Class A” or “Class B” variations, and are not criminal charges, but civil in nature:
- Class B traffic infractions are the least serious traffic tickets and include minor violations such as failing to wear a seatbelt or having defective headlights or brake lights. Class B infractions do not result in points against your license but can result in fines between $15 and $100.
- Class A traffic infractions come with the risk of similar fines, but can also result in points against your license. Class A infractions include things such as speeding up to 25 mph over the limit, disobeying traffic signals, passing-lane violations, turning, and stopping violations, failing to pay tolls, and having an open marijuana or alcohol container.
If you received a speeding ticket or other traffic citation, Patterson Weaver Law, LLC offers a free consultation to determine if you should be represented by an attorney. So don’t hesitate to call us – you have nothing to lose by learning more about your situation.
Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses
Unlike traffic infractions, misdemeanor traffic offenses are criminal in nature and are divided into two classes:
- Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses include speeding 25 mph or more over the limit, careless & reckless driving, and engaging in speed exhibitions. The penalties for Class 2 traffic misdemeanors in Colorado are a minimum of 10 days in jail and/or a $150 fine, up to a maximum of 90 days in jail and/or a $300 fine.
- Class 1 traffic misdemeanors are more serious and include speeding 25 mph over the limit in a construction zone, careless driving causing injury or death, engaging in a speed contest, and failing to provide proof of insurance. The penalties for a Class 1 traffic misdemeanors range from a minimum of 10 days of jail time and/or a $300 fine, up to a maximum of one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
More Severe Consequences if There Is a Victim
Aside from the criminal nature and severity of punishments, misdemeanor traffic offenses differ from traffic infractions in another important way – they are subject to restitution for the victim. If you plead guilty to a misdemeanor traffic offense that involves a victim, you also agree to pay any restitution that is owed to the victim. An example is a Careless Driving charge for causing an accident with another vehicle, resulting in the hospitalization of the victim. In this example, the defendant who pleads guilty to Careless Driving is agreeing to pay the victim for damage to their vehicle, hospital bills, and any other direct expenses the victim incurred from the accident. Many times, insurance will pay for the costs. But when insurance cannot cover the damages, the defendant is accepting that they will pay for the victim’s losses, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, a Colorado Springs criminal traffic ticket lawyer can argue on your behalf to have the amount of restitution decreased or possibly even eliminated.
Points Against Your License
Traffic tickets can also result in points against your license.
In Colorado, a driver’s license will be suspended if that driver accumulates a certain number of points on their record:
- For adults over the age of 21, a driver’s license will be suspended after receiving 12 points within a one-year period, or 18 points within two years
- For adults aged 18 to 21, a driver’s license will be suspended after 9 points in a one-year period, 12 points in two years, or 14 total points until the age of 21
- Minors’ licenses will be suspended after only 6 points in a one-year period, or 7 total points until the age of adulthood
We have extensive experience helping clients in the area keep their licenses by reducing the points against them, either through straight negotiation or traffic school. Even in cases where the points cannot be decreased below the amount of suspension, the skilled attorneys at Patterson Weaver Law, LLC can argue on your behalf and may be able to arrange a probationary driver’s license. This would allow you to retain certain driving privileges such as driving to work, school, child-care, and other necessary locations.
Impact on Insurance Costs
Even if your license is not at risk of being suspended, receiving certain traffic tickets and points can have the unpleasant side effect of increasing your overall cost of insurance. Hiring an effective Colorado Springs traffic lawyer to handle your ticket significantly helps your chances of lowering your traffic charges and decreasing points, potentially saving you money on fines, insurance, and other related costs.
Impact on Future Traffic Tickets
A history of traffic tickets makes it more difficult to experience a positive outcome with any future traffic tickets. Taking proper care of your ticket today can lessen the impact of a future traffic offense. Maintaining the best driving record possible can save you time, money, and points in the future.
Life Happens. Let Us Help.
If you have been issued a speeding ticket or another traffic ticket in the Colorado Springs or El Paso County area, contact us at Patterson Weaver Law, LLC immediately for a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney. Our knowledgeable Colorado Springs traffic ticket attorneys can help you minimize the negative consequences of your ticket. Our team is prepared to work to help you get the charges lowered, or possibly even dropped altogether.
Do not let a driving mistake impact your life any more than it needs to. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.