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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
While traffic tickets may seem inconsequential, they can add up quickly and even pose a threat to your right to remain on the road. Tickets can result in increased insurance rates, the accrual of points against your license, and an eventual loss of your driving privileges. In turn, this could threaten your job, your school attendance, and your overall financial situation.
Allow a Richardson traffic lawyer to help you fight against traffic tickets and offenses. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to work with you to prevent some or all of these potential repercussions.
Alternatives to Criminal Consequences
When individuals receive multiple traffic tickets, they may have options other than admitting guilt and accepting the consequences. For instance, they may be able to contest the ticket or complete defensive driving school as an alternative to more severe punishments.
For qualified individuals, defensive driving school participation can allow them to keep their driving records clean and avoid expensive insurance rate hikes. To be eligible for driving school, individuals must meet the following criteria:
- No prior participation in driving school within the past 12 months
- Valid Texas driver’s license
- Ticket was not received while driving a commercial vehicle
- Ticket was not for speeding more than 25 mph over the posted speed limit
- Ticket was not for a violation in a construction zone
Participating in driving school may be an attractive option in some circumstances, as qualifying drivers may be able to resolve their tickets without accruing points on their licenses. A traffic lawyer in Richardson could clarify further whether this option may be available in a particular case.
Contesting Traffic Tickets
If an individual is not eligible for driving school, they still may be able to contest the ticket in traffic court. Local judges handle traffic tickets, and procedures may vary from one court to the next. However, appearing in court with a Richardson traffic attorney may give individuals a better chance of beating their tickets and avoiding the many expensive consequences.
Texas DPS Point System
Under Texas Transportation Code §708.052, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) adds points to the driving records of those who commit moving violations based on the nature of the offense. Generally, most minor traffic offenses result in two points, but those that cause accidents result in the assessment of three points.
Once drivers accrue six points on their license, they must pay annual surcharges each year that the points stay on their driving records. Additionally, the DPS assesses annual surcharges for more serious traffic violations, which remain in effect for three years.
For example, a first-time DWI conviction can result in a $1,000 surcharge per year for three years. These surcharges increase for second-time and subsequent DWI convictions, as well as for DWI convictions involving a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.16 percent or higher.
In total, a driver could face as much as $2,000 per year in surcharges. Although installment plans are available, they may result in additional fees. Failing to pay surcharges is likely to result in license suspension.
Call a Richardson Traffic Attorney for Legal Representation
You may assume that you have no choice other than to pay your traffic tickets and accept the financial consequences. Fortunately, there are means of contesting citations in some situations. If so, a Richardson traffic lawyer may be able to help you determine the best course of action.
Having legal representation at your traffic hearing may help you avoid or minimize some of the potential financial repercussions of traffic tickets. Call today to schedule a consultation.