Traffic tickets are one of the most common ways that people become involved with the criminal justice system. Although almost everyone receives a traffic ticket at some point during their lifetime. Repeated traffic violations could lead to severe and unwanted consequences. As a Chattanooga traffic lawyer may advise you, rapidly accruing traffic violations and other driving-related crimes could lead to the loss of your license, high fees, and other financial consequences.
Every county and judge throughout the state handles traffic violations slightly differently. As a result, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows how to most effective handle traffic cases on your behalf. With a strong legal advocate representing your interests, you may be more likely to achieve a dismissal or reductions of the offenses that you are facing.
Every conviction for a traffic violation results in the Tennessee Department of Safety assigning points to driving records. Accruing 12 or more points in a one-year period could result in the suspension of driver’s licenses. Since some traffic offenses carry the potential for a high number of assessed points, only two traffic offense convictions within a year could cause a license suspension.
The points assessed for a specific violation vary according to the severity of the offense. For instance, speeding 17 mph over the speed limit could result in the assessment of four points on a driving record. In contrast, driving with a suspended license could result in the assessment of eight points.
In addition to the potential for license suspension, the accrual of points typically leads to a sharp increase in car insurance premiums. When combined with the high fines that individuals could face for traffic tickets, the financial impact on individuals could be significant. A traffic lawyer in Chattanooga may help avoid or minimize the potential consequences that individuals may face in traffic court.
Traffic violations could take the form of civil offenses, misdemeanor criminal offenses, or felony criminal offenses, depending on the seriousness of the crime. As a result, the penalties for a traffic offense conviction could vary widely. Some common civil traffic offenses include tickets for:
As the crimes grow more severe, so do the resulting charges. For example, reckless driving is a misdemeanor criminal offense and fleeing and eluding an officer could be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Likewise, a child endangerment conviction could result in a range of penalties for misdemeanor or felony charges.
Every situation is different, but some traffic offense cases do have the potential for a positive resolution. For example, if individuals have had no traffic violations for the past two years, they may be eligible to attend driver safety school. Successful completion of this program results in the traffic case being dismissed with no impact on driving records.
For more severe traffic offenses, a traffic attorney in Chattanooga may be able to argue for reduced charges or penalties in appropriate cases. First-time offenders may qualify for pretrial diversion programs in some jurisdictions. The outcome of these proceedings often is dependent on prior history of traffic violations, the seriousness of the charges, and the circumstances surrounding the charges.
Keeping your driving record clean is not always an easy task, especially if you have a recent history of traffic violations. Taking traffic cases seriously is essential to maintaining your driver’s license, your job, and your ability to support yourself and your family. A Chattanooga traffic lawyer could investigate your situation, present your options, and help you choose the defense strategy that is most likely to be successful in your case.
Working with legal counsel could ensure that your rights are protected at every stage of your traffic offense proceedings. Obtaining a favorable resolution to your case could be critical to maintaining your financial stability and current way of living. Without legal representation, you may end up with unanticipated consequences that could harm you for many months and years to come. Reach out today.