Almost everyone knows the sinking feeling that comes when red and blue lights appear in your rear-view mirror. Whether you’d been driving a hair too fast, glided through a stop sign, or truly had done nothing wrong, the experience of being pulled over makes almost every heart skip a beat. Amid the normal annoyance of being delayed from reaching your destination is always the worry: How much will this cost me?
Depending on the reason for the stop, traffic violations could cost you anywhere from $40 to almost $700 each. If the officer cites you for multiple violations in the same traffic stop, the cost could skyrocket. Then, too, failure to pay fines by the deadline could result in additional consequences, potentially including a warrant for your arrest.
Driver’s License Suspension
One of the greatest inconveniences of traffic violations can be their effect on your driver’s license. In Utah, each citation builds up points against your driver’s license, with larger point values given to more significant traffic offenses. Speeding, for example, will give you between 35-75 points (depending on how fast you were going), while running a stop sign will get you 50 points, and reckless driving will bring 80 points. Any driver age 21 and older who receives 200 points within a three-year period could be subject to a driver’s license suspension. A driver under the age of 21 is subject to a suspension after only 70 points.
Even after a minor speeding ticket, most of us will see our car insurance rates increase. In the long run, these insurance increases will likely cost a lot more than the ticket itself.
Disputing a Citation
Whether you’re provably guilty, probably guilty, or actually innocent of the traffic violation you’ve been cited for, it can be a good idea to challenge the citation. After you’ve pled not guilty at the court house, you have a chance to negotiate with the prosecutor or even go to hearing to convince the judge to find you not guilty of the traffic violations you’re accused of committing. Through this process, it can be helpful to have an attorney at your side.
The experienced attorneys at Howard Lewis & Petersen can explain your options, help you decide the best course for you, and can guide you through the process of disputing your alleged traffic violations. If you’re facing fines you cannot pay, the loss of your driving privileges, increase in your insurance rates, and/or want to challenge your citation, contact us today for a consultation.