Fight Your Speeding Ticket or Plead Guilty?Posted on
When deciding whether to fight your speeding ticket or plead guilty, consider how many points you have accumulated on your driving record and whether you can afford an increase in your car insurance rates.
What Are Your Options When You Get A Speeding Ticket in Missouri?
When you get a speeding ticket in Missouri, you can choose from the following options:
- Plead guilty by paying the fine
- Plead not guilty and go to trial
- Hire an attorney to fight your speeding ticket
Pleading guilty to the original speeding ticket will cause points to be added to your driving record and your car insurance rates may increase as a result of having a speeding conviction on your driving record. You also might have to go to court if your ticket requires a mandatory court appearance.
Taking your case to trial is much more expensive than hiring a traffic law attorney to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction. You also risk losing and ending up with a conviction.
Hiring a traffic law attorney to fight your speeding ticket is the option many people choose because:
- Most traffic ticket lawyers charge a reasonable flat-fee price to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving violation
- You won’t have to appear in court
- There will be no points added to your driving record
- Your car insurance company will never know you received the speeding ticket, so they will have no cause to increase your insurance rates
How To Fight Your Speeding Ticket In Court And Avoid Points On Your Driving Record
An experienced traffic law attorney can fight your speeding ticket in court and keep points off your driving record. Your attorney will negotiate a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor to get your speeding ticket or other traffic violation reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation that won’t cause points to be added to your driving record or an increase in your car insurance rates.
Usually a standard speeding ticket can be reduced to “Illegal Parking” or a similar non-moving, no-point infraction. You will have to pay a fine and court costs in exchange for the court agreeing to reduce your ticket, and the fine will be higher than the original fine. Your attorney can give you an estimate of the amount of the fine and court costs.
Once the court receives your payment, they will reduce your speeding ticket to a non-moving, no-point violation and there will be no negative effect on your driving record or car insurance rates.
How Many Points Can You Accumulate Before Your License Gets Suspended?
If you accumulate 8 points on your driving record within 18 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days (if it’s your first suspension).
Your license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months.
Pleading guilty to a speeding ticket issued by a municipal police officer will cause 2 points to be added to your driving record.
Pleading guilty to a speeding ticket issued by a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer will cause 3 points to be added to your driving record.
Other types of traffic violations also cause points to be added to your driving record, such as:
- Careless & Imprudent Driving = 2 to 4 points
- DWI = 8 to 12 points
- Driving While Suspended = 12 points
- Leaving The Scene of an Accident = 6 to 12 points
- Driving Without Insurance = 4 points
- Stop Sign Violation = 2 points
You Can Attend Traffic School To Remove Points From Your Driving Record
Some people remove points from their driving record by taking the Missouri Driver Improvement Program (DIP) class. The DIP class is an 8-hour in-person traffic school program.
The DIP class may be an option if you received a speeding ticket in a county where the court does not allow speeding tickets to be reduced to non-moving violations.
If you want to take the DIP class, here are some tips:
- You are not eligible to take the DIP class if you have taken it within the past 3 years
- You are not eligible to take the DIP class if you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or if you were driving a commercial motor vehicle when you got the ticket
- You must obtain the judge’s permission to take the DIP class, or else the DOR will not accept proof of completion
- If your ticket is for an excessively high speed, the judge may refuse to allow you to take the DIP class
- Most courts require the defendant (or their attorney) to appear in person to ask the judge for permission to take the DIP class
- You must complete the DIP class within 60 days after pleading guilty and paying the fine for your ticket
- If you complete the Missouri DIP class, points will be removed from your driving record but the speeding conviction will remain on your driving record, which may cause your insurance rates to increase
You May Be Able To Change Your Mind After Paying The Fine For A Speeding Ticket
Many people pay the fine for a speeding ticket and then change their mind after seeing how many points have accumulated on their driving record, or how high their car insurance is going to increase. Or they may need to withdraw their plea on a speeding ticket to lift the suspension of their driver’s license.
An experienced traffic law attorney can withdraw your plea and get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation.
Withdrawing your guilty plea is easier to do if:
- You did not have an attorney representing you when you pleaded guilty,
- A relatively short amount of times has passed since you pleaded guilty, and
- Your ticket is for an offense that the Prosecutor is willing to reduce to a no-point violation
Consult an experienced traffic ticket lawyer to get a price quote for how much it will cost to withdraw your plea and get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation.
To get your Missouri speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, contact traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected] for a flat-fee price quote and an estimate of your fine and court costs.
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