Many people believe that once a ticket is issued the best thing to do is pay it. But this is not always true. In fact, it’s rarely true.
There are many reasons why fighting a ticket might be better for you in the long run. Here are the top three.
1. Your insurance premiums will go up.
Is it true that your premiums will go up with one ticket? Probably not. But on the second or third ticket these premiums could go up, a lot. It is almost always worth it to fight a ticket to save yourself higher premiums in the long run and protect your future self.
2. You will have points put on your California driving record.
If you get 4 points on your record in one year your license will be suspended for 6 months. That’s a big Uber or Lyft bill. Simple things such as being in the wrong lane, following too closely, or inadvertently crossing into a bike lane all cost a point. “Reckless” driving will cost you two points, as will going over 100 mph.
3. Radar guns are not super accurate.
If you were clocked at 101 mph you may have actually been going 96 mph. Not only that, but if there were several vehicles on the road, all driving fast, the cops may have pulled over the wrong car. Mistaken identity is not all that uncommon.
Steps to take
While it may seem like a no-brainer that an attorney who makes his living fighting traffic tickets for clients will tell you to fight a ticket the truth is it is almost always in your best interest to do so. Believe it or not, there are really good defenses to many types of tickets. There’s a good chance you will win your case, especially with the help of an experienced traffic attorney.
Fight a ticket especially if you earn a living by driving. As a driver, tickets can have a very negative impact on your present and future employment. The cost of the lawyer is actually small beans compared to the loss of your job or career.
Police can use DUI checkpoints in California, and they do it in an effort to catch drunk drivers. The checkpoints are effective because they essentially force all drivers to stop, rather than making police officers look for signs of impairment before conducting a traffic stop. Any drivers who are then notably intoxicated at the checkpoint can be arrested, while other drivers are free to go.
However, it is important to remember that the police really look for more than just drunk drivers. They look for any type of impairment, and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) specifically wants to get the point across that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.”
In reality, you can get a DUI for any type of impaired driving. You may be impaired by illegal drugs. You may be impaired by prescription drugs or medications. Regardless, if it impacts your driving, you could face arrest. Do not assume that you’ll get through the checkpoint just because you have not had anything to drink that night.
At the same time, the officers will ask to see every driver’s license at the time of the stop. Even if you are in no way impaired, you have to show that license and related documentation. You could theoretically get in trouble with the law if you are driving without a license, driving on a suspended license, driving without proper insurance or breaking a host of other traffic laws.
If you encounter a DUI checkpoint, the ramification can be serious, regardless of how much alcohol you’ve consumed. Make sure you know all of your rights and defense options.
You cannot drive on a suspended license. Not having a valid driver’s license really impacts your life, making it harder to go to work and cutting into your freedom and social activities. If you lose your license, you need to know what steps to take to get it back.
Exactly what you’ll need to do depends on the specific reason that you lost the license to begin with. However, here are five common steps to help you understand the likely process:
- Wait until the suspension period has ended. Do not drive at all during this time. Getting caught doing so can lead to more charges and increase the length of the suspension.
- Pay any fines and the reissue fee. This is mandatory if you want to drive legally again.
- If you lost your license due to drunk driving, you may need to complete a DUI treatment program as ordered by the court.
- If you had a mental or physical disorder, you may need to get a Driver Medical Evaluation that clears you to drive again.
- If you lost your license and got a prison sentence for the incident — multiple drunk driving charges, for example — then you have to serve that sentence first.
As you can see, the specifics change significantly depending on your situation, but the key is to understand exactly what is required of you so that you can take the necessary steps. Don’t rush it. Never do anything that is going to potentially make the situation worse, no matter how important it is to get behind the wheel. Look into all of your legal options and move forward.