For many people, a ticket is more of a hassle than a concern. For some, however, the implications of a citation can be much harsher. If traffic violations and driving-related criminal offenses pile up, you could face serious consequences, including license suspension, increased insurance rates, and annual surcharges for as long as three years.

If you received a traffic ticket, consider calling a Tarrant County traffic lawyer for advice. A criminal defense attorney may be able to assess your situation and work toward a resolution that causes the least amount of disruption and financial hardship possible.

DPS Points and Surcharges in Tarrant County

According to Texas Transportation Code §708.052, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) assesses points to the driving record of any individual who receives a ticket. For a minor moving violation, DPS assesses two points, but if the violation results in an accident, DPS assesses three points. These points apply regardless of whether the ticket or accident occurred in the state of Texas or another state.

Once drivers accrue six points, they face annual surcharges under the Texas Driver Responsibility Program. Points remain on licenses for three years after an incident, so accumulating six points can result in three years of surcharges that drivers must pay in addition to any other fees and fines. For every year that drivers go without a moving violation, however, DPS will remove one point from their records.

Certain driving-related criminal offenses also result in surcharges, such as driving while intoxicated, whether they occur in Texas or another state. Failure to pay surcharges promptly may result in a license suspension.

Contesting Traffic Tickets

While it may be easier to just pay a traffic ticket and disregard the matter, the repercussions of doing so could be costly. Increased insurance premiums, high fines, and points on driving records that lead to annual surcharges all can put a significant dent in a driver’s wallet. Fortunately, challenging a traffic ticket in court may be a viable option.

A traffic attorney in Tarrant County could take a closer look at traffic tickets and determine whether challenging the ticket in court is a valid possibility. For example, if the ticket is for driving only a few miles over the posted speed limit and there were no dangerous conditions at the time the ticket was issued, it may be possible to have that ticket dismissed. Likewise, if the officer who issued the ticket fails to show up in court, then the prosecution may have insufficient evidence to pursue the ticket.

Driving-Related Criminal Offenses

Some driving offenses are criminal, which means that a conviction could result in a jail sentence in addition to fines, higher insurance rates, and mandatory annual surcharges. For instance, a DWI conviction can result in the loss of driving privileges and many additional costs, such as the cost of installing an ignition interlock device, high-risk insurance, and surcharges of $1,000 per year for three years. When facing these types of charges, it may be helpful to consult with a traffic lawyer in Tarrant County.

A Tarrant County Traffic Attorney May Be Able to Help

In many situations, it may be worthwhile to contest your traffic ticket or driving-related criminal offense. With the help of a Tarrant County traffic lawyer, you may be more successful in avoiding some of the potentially harsh consequences of traffic tickets and related convictions.

Seeking legal advice when facing any traffic offense can be vital to minimizing your costs and avoiding points on your license. Legal representation may allow you to reduce the impact of a traffic violation on various aspects of your life. Call today to get started.