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May 09 2019

Should You Fight That Traffic Ticket? Yes!

By Attorney Matthew Willis / In Litigation

 

According to Esurance, Connecticut is one of the top ten states where you're most likely to get a driving citation. Many drivers simply pay their traffic ticket without question, thinking it's just a one time fine, usually just a few hundred dollars, and not worth fighting. But the fine isn't the only reason to consider fighting a ticket. Read on for six important reasons why it can pay to get professional legal help to fight that ticket.

1. Points Added to Your Driver’s License
Connecticut has a point system to measure how good (or bad) a driver is and a point limit at which they will suspend and/or revoke your driver’s license. Receive 10 points in 24 months and your license will be suspended.

All traffic violations are reported to the DMV, which assesses and manages license points. Points remain in effect for 24 months after the date of assessment. If you get 6 points on your driving record, expect a warning letter from the DMV. Get 10 points or more, and your driver's license will be suspended for 30 days. Below is a partial list of infractions which will be assessed points by the DMV:

  • Operating at an unreasonable rate of speed
  • Speeding
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane
  • Wrong direction at rotary or one-way street
  • Improper turn
  • Illegal stopping
  • Failure to signal intention to turn
  • Improper backing or starting
  • Failure to give proper signal
  • Illegal passing
  • Wrong way on a one-way street
  • Failure to obey traffic control signal light
  • Failure to obey stop sign
  • Failure to obey yield sign
  • Driving while impaired
  • Passing on the right
  • Passing in a no passing zone 
  • Failure to drive at a reasonable distance apart from other vehicles
  • Failure to grant the right of way at an intersection
  • Failure to grant the right of way to a pedestrian
  • Passing a stopped school bus

2. Higher Insurance Premiums
Convictions, even if they carry no points, make a motorist a greater risk to insure and, therefore, subject to higher insurance premiums.

3. Driver License Suspension
Either due to a specific type of violation or an accumulation of points, convictions can lead to suspension of your driver’s license.

NOTE:  Teen drivers can have their license suspended or lose the privilege to apply for a license for a conviction of speeding, reckless driving, street racing, driving while using a cell phone or texting, or any violation of the teen driving restrictions set by the state. This includes being in possession of any alcoholic beverage as a minor.

4. Driver License Revocation
Convictions for certain types of violations can lead to full revocation of your driver’s license. Driver license revocation may mean you will need to reapply for a license from scratch, and/or you may be ineligible to re-apply.

5. Unemployment
If you drive under an employer’s insurance policy, accumulation of points makes you a greater insurance risk and could result in your termination. Any problems at all with a commercial driver’s license can quickly and easily lead to unemployment.

6. Permanent Criminal Record and/or Imprisonment 
While most traffic tickets are considered civil infractions, more serious offenses may actually be considered misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are criminal offenses and may affect your employment, immigration, or other status. Some are punishable by jail time.

These are just a few things you need to consider if you are issued a traffic citation.

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