Traffic Violation

Ohio is notorious for its high number of traffic tickets, largely because speeding tickets and other citations are an easy source of revenue. Years ago, when the consequences were relatively small, it may have made sense to simply pay the fine and move on. But today, this course of action can have a disastrous effect on your auto insurance rates and your ability to drive; moreover, in some serious situations, traffic tickets can even result in a criminal record. A traffic ticket attorney in Columbus can defend your case and minimize, or even eliminate, the damage a traffic violation causes.

Penalty Points for Traffic Tickets

Any conviction for a moving violation, like speeding, illegal passing, or running a stop sign, results in points on your drivers’ license. These points stay on your record for a minimum of two years, so they add up quickly. Points range from two to six depending on the seriousness of the infraction. Here are some examples:

  • Speeding more than 5 mph over the limit in an under 55-mph zone: two points
  • Speeding more than 10 mph over the limit in a 55-mph or faster zone: two points
  • Exceeding any speed limit by 30 mph or more: four points
  • Driving with a suspended license: six points
  • Vehicular homicide: six points

The Registrar of Motor Vehicles will notify you when you accumulate six points against your Ohio driver’s license. If you exceed 12 points within two years, the state automatically suspends your drivers’ license for a maximum six months. Hiring an experienced traffic ticket lawyer in Columbus to fight your ticket can save you the stress of driving while knowing another violation may put you over the limit.

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Other Penalties for Traffic Tickets in Columbus

Driving with a suspended license is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio, punishable by six months in jail, a fine up to $1,000, or both. You will not be able to get your license back until you take a remedial driving course approved by the state. For some infractions, you must file proof of financial responsibility with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to show that you have valid auto insurance. Your insurer will automatically notify the BMV if your insurance lapses for any reason during the next three years.

On that same topic, the higher insurance rates that accompany some tickets sometimes exceed the cost of the fine, especially because your rates stay high for at least three years. Many speeding tickets, even if you were only going a little over the limit, will raise rates by 25 percent or more. The good news is that not all speeding tickets are “moving violations,” and an attorney can often get the charges reduced to a non-point infraction.

Some people erroneously believe that paying a traffic ticket fine is like paying a light bill: just write the check and it’s over. But that is not the case. Whenever you pay a fine, such as for a speeding ticket in Ohio, you’re effectively pleading guilty to the traffic charges. In many cases, you must still appear in Delaware County Municipal Court or Franklin County Common Pleas Court even if you intend to simply pay the ticket. If you don’t appear, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.

Traffic Violation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio

It’s important that you take your traffic ticket to an experienced traffic or speeding ticket lawyer to learn your options and understand what’s required of you. The team of experienced attorneys at Halabi Law, LLC will meet with you in a free consultation to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. It may be possible to fight the ticket or at least negotiate it down to something carrying lighter penalties and fewer points. To see what options you have, call me today