Nearly all of us will eventually see those flashing red and blue lights in our rearview mirrors. While many people consider a traffic ticket an expensive nuisance, the fact is that if you are convicted of certain serious violations, the fines can be exorbitant, and if you amass enough points, your driver’s license could be suspended. It is always in your best interest to fully understand the consequences of a traffic ticket before you simply pay the fine.
The Traffic Stop
If you get pulled over by a traffic cop, there are certain things you should do and certain things you should not do:
- Be polite to the officer; sign the ticket; and get back on the road. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt, so there is no reason to fight this step.
- If you think the officer is wrong about the issue in question, you can let him or her know your thoughts, but do so politely and do not press the matter. It is fine to get your point of view on the officer’s video footage (body or dashboard camera), but arguing is not a good idea.
- Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney with extensive experience defending traffic citations.
It is important to recognize that officers who write traffic citations – just like the rest of us – are far from infallible. Officers make mistakes, and the consequences of accepting whatever ticket comes your way could come with extremely serious consequences for you.
Know the Consequences You Face
If you have received a traffic ticket, the timeframe for responding is brief, but paying the fine is an admission of guilt that will add points to your driver’s license. If you have received other tickets in the past few years, you could be facing suspension of your driving license. Before you pay that ticket, it is important to know the full breadth of all the legal and collateral consequences of a conviction.
Texas’s Point System
Texas’s license point system is harsh, but it is also fairly straightforward, which makes it easier to follow:
- You earn 2 points for every moving violation you are convicted of.
- You earn 3 points for every moving violation you are convicted of that results in a car accident.
- If you are convicted of 4 moving violations in one year, your license will be suspended.
- If you are convicted of 7 moving violations in 2 years, your license will be suspended.
While more serious moving violations do not earn additional points in Texas, they do have much higher fines associated with them – and your insurance premiums are also very likely to rise precipitously.