Trouble on the Road: Traffic Violations and Your Driving Record
From the time you receive your driver's license and throughout the rest of your driving career, it's nearly inevitable you'll receive a traffic violation at some point. Whether you're innocent or guilty, a traffic violation is a stressful experience. Pulled over on the side of the road, being questioned by an officer, wondering if you're going to pay fines or receive points on your license — it's a difficult situation.
Common traffic violations include:
- Failure to yield
- Failure to stop
- No proof of insurance
- Illegal turn
- Following too closely
- Negligent driving
- Running a red light
- Failure to wear a seatbelt
- Driving with a suspended license
A traffic violation defense attorney in Washington can help you fight the offense with which you were charged. This is vital, because certain traffic violations are simply infractions, but some come along with criminal charges. The punishments and fines between the two are vast, but you should hire legal representation no matter what. Your lawyer can explain the difference.
Paying the Ticket
Some people just go ahead and pay the ticket, deciding it's less hassle than the time and money involved in contesting it. However, this may not be the best decision. Here's why.
- Paying the fine for your traffic violation is an automatic admission of guilt
- A guilty plea remains on your record, and may result in insurance rate hikes
- Too many violations on your driving record leads to potential loss of license or probation
Contesting the Ticket
- Contesting a ticket for a moving violation can result in dismissal, meaning it won't negatively affect your driving record or insurance rates
- If your legal team cannot get the violation outright dismissed, they may be able to plea down to a lesser offense or reduction of points
- The legal costs of contesting a ticket far outweigh the costs of raised insurance rates as well as clearing your name
As you can see, it is in your best interests to keep your driving record clean. If you receive a ticket for a traffic violation in Tacoma, contact a traffic violation defense attorney immediately for strong representation.