When trying to decide whether to hire an attorney for a traffic violation, such as a speeding ticket, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I handle getting additional points on my license without facing a suspension?
- How much will my insurance rate increase?
Although you may still be on the hook for fines associated with a traffic ticket, an experienced attorney may be able to have the ticket dismissed or reduced, saving you points on your license and increases to your insurance premium. If your moving violation is more serious, such as excessive speeding, reckless driving or a Wisconsin DUI, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney goes without question.
Wisconsin Traffic Violation Point System
If you are convicted of a moving violation, you receive demerit points. When you accumulate 12 or more points within a 12 month period, your license will be suspended. Depending on the number of points and the type of license you hold, you may lose your license anywhere from 2 months to a year. For example, a reckless driving conviction can result in 6 points while inattentive or distracted driving can result in 4 points. After 2 more points, a driver will be looking at a license suspension, making it difficult to get to and from work or perform needed personal errands. If you’ve had other moving violations, it is probably in your best interest to seek the help of an attorney to pursue a reduction in charges or an outright dismissal to avoid stacking on additional points.
If you license is suspended, under some circumstances you may be eligible for an occupational driver’s license, however there are restrictions and mandatory waiting periods. Commercial drivers cannot be issued occupational licenses authorizing operation of commercial motor vehicles under the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act. Drivers may be able to reduce points in order to avoid license suspension in the first place by attending an approved traffic safety course, but only one reduction is allowed in a three year period and the points shaved are minimal.
Increases in Insurance Premiums Following a Traffic Violation
Getting a speeding ticket can cost a driver much more in insurance penalties than the initial fine. Many traffic violations lead to double digit increases in car insurance premiums, which can last years after the traffic violation. A single ticket for speeding costs and average of $150, but adds roughly $350 to an annual insurance premium for a period of three years. The more serious the traffic violation, the more the rates go up with a first offense drunk driving citation costing approximately $1,000 more a year in insurance premiums. When adding up the fine, insurance hikes and more points on a license, sometimes it is worthwhile to work with an experienced attorney to seek a dismissal or reduction in charges.
Contact An Experienced Traffic Violation Lawyer in Waukesha Wisconsin
Should you hire a lawyer for a traffic violation, like a speeding ticket? It depends on your driving history and your circumstances – there are many factors to consider before you just pay the traffic ticket. Contact Waukesha county traffic violation attorney Andrew C. Ladd for immediate assistance at 262-542-3900.