Leaving Scene of an Accident (“Hit & Run”) Ticket

An experienced traffic law attorney can get a “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run” ticket reduced from a 6-point or 12-point ticket to a non-moving, no-point violation that won’t affect your driving record. The outcome depends on your driving history and the details of your case.

What’s the Maximum Penalty for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” in Missouri?

The maximum potential penalty is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine if you plead guilty or are convicted of a misdemeanor charge of “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” (“Hit & Run”) in Missouri.

According to Missouri law RSMO 577.060, if you are charged with a felony “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run,” the maximum penalty is 4 years in prison and a $5,000 fine, if the accident resulted in:

  • Physical injury to another person, or
  • Property damage over $1,000, or
  • Defendant has a prior conviction for “Leaving the Scene”

How Many Points on Your Driving Record for a “Hit & Run” Ticket?

If your ticket for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run” was issued by a Missouri state trooper and you pleaded guilty or were convicted in state circuit court:

  • 12 points will be added to your driving record,
  • Your license will be revoked for 1 year, and
  • You will not be eligible for a hardship license (Limited Driving Privilege)

If you pleaded guilty or were convicted of “Leaving the Scene” or “Hit & Run” in municipal  court:

  • 6 points will be added to your driving record, and
  • You will be eligible to apply for a hardship license (Limited Driving Privilege)

License Suspension After “Leaving the Scene” Conviction

The State of Missouri can suspend the drivers licenses of both the driver and the owner of the vehicle if you plead guilty or are convicted of “Leaving the Scene” or “Hit & Run” and the vehicle you were driving was not insured at the time of the accident.

License Suspension if You Don’t Pay for Damages to Other Vehicle

Your license will be suspended if you leave the scene of an accident that you caused and you fail to pay for the damages to the other vehicle.

What to Do if You Are Involved in an Accident in Missouri

If you hit another vehicle, Missouri law requires that you do the following:

    • Call the police immediately to report the accident.
    • Call an ambulance if anyone is injured.
    • Move your car to the side of the road if it’s in a place that might cause other drivers to crash into it.
    • If the accident happens at night, try to warn oncoming traffic by using flares, your car’s hazard lights, or a flashlight.
    • Exchange information with the other driver, including your name, address, vehicle identification, and car insurance information.
    • Don’t leave the scene of the accident until a police officer gives you permission to leave.

For more information about what to do when involved in an accident, consult the Missouri Dept. of Revenue website.


Call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation and get a price quote for legal representation for your “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run” ticket. Or email Andrea at [email protected]

 

Red Light Cameras Argued in MO Supreme Court Today

Today the Missouri Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on cases involving the use of red light cameras and speed cameras in St. Louis city, Moline Acres, and St. Peters.

Click on this link to go to the Missouri Supreme Court website to read summaries of the cases being heard today in the Missouri Supreme Court.

One case involves the use of speed cameras in the city of Moline Acres (a St. Louis County suburb); the other two cases involve red light cameras in the city of St. Louis and the city of St. Peters.

Listen to Oral Arguments in the Missouri Supreme Court Red Light Camera Hearing

You can listen live to the attorneys’ oral arguments in these three cases by going to the Missouri Supreme Court website or by clicking on this link: //www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=1977. You can only use this link today to listen live to the oral arguments.

When Will the Missouri Supreme Court Issue its Ruling in the Red Light Camera Cases?

The Missouri Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today by attorneys representing the parties in these red light/speed camera cases, but the Court is not expected to issue its rulings on these cases until the end of the year.

Should I Pay My Red Light Camera Fine?

I can not advise you regarding whether or not you should pay your red light camera ticket fine. The information that I provide in this blog post is general information and should not be considered legal advice because there is no attorney-client relationship created by your reading this blog post.

However, I can tell you that, if you pay your St. Louis city red light camera ticket fine now, it will be considered a voluntary payment. The city of St. Louis must put that money in escrow and can not use it until after the Missouri Supreme Court determines whether or not the St. Louis city red light camera ordinance is legal.

Will the Court Issue an Arrest Warrant if I Don’t Pay my Red Light Camera Fine?

For the past several years, the St. Louis City Municipal Court has had the power to issue warrants if drivers refuse to pay red light camera ticket fines, but the Court has not issued warrants in those cases. This appears to be a temporary policy that the Court has enacted and, therefore, the Court could decide to change its policy at any time and start issuing warrants for drivers who refuse to pay their red light camera fines.

What if the Missouri Supreme Court Rules that the Red Light Cameras are Legal?

If the Missouri Supreme Court rules that the red light cameras used by the city of St. Louis are legal, the city of St. Louis could pursue drivers who refused to pay red light camera fines and demand payment for the unpaid amount.

Will I Get a Refund if St. Louis City Red Light Cameras Are Ruled Illegal?

If the Missouri Supreme Court rules that the red light cameras used in the city of St. Louis are illegal, it is possible that the City would be forced to issue full or partial refunds to all drivers who have paid red light camera fines in the past. However, there have been other cities in the United States that were forced to quit using red light cameras but were not required to issue refunds.

The Missouri Supreme Court will decide whether the City’s red light camera law is legal and whether or not the City must issue refunds to those who have already paid red light camera fines.

 


If you have a Missouri speeding ticket that you want to get reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at [email protected] or [email protected] for a price quote and estimate of your fine and court costs.

 

Which Traffic Tickets Cause Highest Car Insurance Rates

A speeding ticket for 16 miles over the speed limit can cause your car insurance rate to increase by 28%, according to a recent nationwide analysis conducted by InsuranceQuotes.com to determine which traffic tickets cause the highest insurance rates.

Not surprisingly, tickets for DUI and Reckless Driving cause car insurance rates to increase much more than other types of traffic violations. However, simple speeding tickets can also cause a dramatic increase in your insurance rates.

The study showed that the following traffic convictions cause the highest increase in car insurance rates:

  • DUI: 93% increase
  • Reckless driving: 82% increase
  • Careless driving:  27% increase
  • Speeding 1-15 mph over the limit: 21% increase
    • 16-30 mph over the limit: 28% increase
    • 31+ mph over the limit: 30% increase
  • Failure to stop: 19% increase
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians: 19% increase
  • Driving in a carpool lane: 18% increase

In addition to an increase in your car insurance rates, pleading guilty to a traffic violation causes points to be added to your driving record, which could cause your license to be suspended or revoked.

You can hire a traffic law attorney to get most traffic violations dismissed or reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, even if an accident was involved. You will pay a higher fine than you would have paid if you had pleaded guilty, but in many cases, you won’t have to appear in court.


To get your speeding ticket or other traffic violation reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected] to get a price quote for legal representation and an estimate of your fine & court costs.

Get Speeding Tickets “Fixed” to Avoid License Suspension

If you accumulate too many points on your driving record within a certain amount of time, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended or revoked. A traffic law attorney can get your speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation so that no points will be added to your driving record.

How Many Points Can You Accumulate Before Your License is Suspended?

When you plead guilty and pay the fine for a speeding ticket or other traffic violation, points are added to your driving record. If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your 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, 18 points within 24 months, or 24 points within 36 months.

Out-of-State Tickets Cause Points to be Added to Your Driving Record

Please be aware that tickets you receive in other states will be reported to your home state, causing points to be added to your driving record for those out-of-state tickets.  (See my blog post about why out-of-state speeding ticket convictions appear on your Missouri driving record.)

How to Prevent Your License From Being Suspended

You can prevent your license from being suspended by hiring a traffic law attorney to get your speeding ticket amended to a non-moving violation. You will still have to pay a fine and court costs (and the fine will be higher after the ticket is reduced to a non-moving violation), but no points will be added to your driving record, and your car insurance rates won’t be affected.

What to do if Your License is Already Suspended

If your driver’s license is suspended because you have unpaid speeding tickets, or because you failed to appear in court, you can hire an attorney to get your tickets reduced to non-moving, no-point violations. After you pay the fine and court costs for the tickets, the court will lift the suspension and you can get your driver’s license reinstated.


Call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a price quote to get your speeding ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point violation, or email Andrea at [email protected]


Electronic Proof of Insurance Coming Soon for Missouri Drivers

Starting August 28, 2013, Missouri drivers can show proof of insurance to police officers using their smart phone or other mobile device.

If you prefer, you will still be allowed to show proof of car insurance the old-fashioned way, by providing the police officer with a paper copy of your insurance card.

Contact your insurance agent and ask them to email proof of insurance to you. Then save it to your mobile device in preparation for the next time you’re pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation.

In Missouri, a conviction for “No Proof of Insurance” will cause 4 points to be added to your driving record. If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension.

Click here to read a recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about electronic proof of insurance in Missouri.


If you have received a ticket for “No Proof of Insurance” and would like to get your ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point violation, contact St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected]

How to Get a Copy of Your Illinois Driving Record

If you have an Illinois driver’s license and you receive a speeding ticket in Missouri and want to get the ticket “fixed,” you will have to provide a copy of your driving record so the prosecuting attorney can review it before deciding whether to reduce your ticket to a non-moving, no-point infraction.

You can go in person to any Illinois Secretary of State license office to purchase a copy of your Illinois driving record. Or you can click on this link for the form to order a copy of your Illinois driving record. (It may take up to 10 days for the Illinois Secretary of State to mail a copy to you.)

Most traffic law attorneys can obtain a copy of your Illinois driving record for you for an additional fee within 1-2 business days.

If you received a Missouri speeding ticket and would like to keep the points off your driving record, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at [email protected] to receive a price quote for legal representation.

 

Identity Theft and Traffic Tickets

If someone steals your identity and receives speeding tickets using your name, you can be arrested and your driver’s license suspended if the traffic ticket fines are not paid.

Identity theft involving traffic tickets is surprisingly common, and often the perpetrator is a relative or friend who had access to your personal information at some point.

What is Identity Theft?

When someone impersonates you by using your personal information, it’s called “identity theft.” The person who uses your identity could be a stranger who stole your purse, or it might be a relative or co-worker who has access to your home or office where you keep personal information.

Identity Thieves Give Police Your Personal Information When Asked for Identification

For example, let’s say you have a sister who bears some physical resemblance to you and knows your driver’s license number and social security number. If she is pulled over for speeding, she could easily give your personal information to the police officer and claim that she recently lost her driver’s license.

She could also tell the police officer that she is borrowing a friend’s car, which would explain why the information associated with your driver’s license number doesn’t match the make and model of the car that your sister is driving.

Any traffic tickets the police officer issues will be in your name and you will never know about them until it’s too late.

You Can be Arrested and Your License Suspended for Traffic Tickets You Never Knew About

The person who stole your identity will probably not pay the fine for a traffic ticket she received using your personal information. If she does pay the fine, points will be added to your driving record, which can cause your license to be suspended or revoked if too many points accumulate on your driving record within a certain period of time.

If the person who stole your identity doesn’t pay the fine, a warrant for your arrest will be issued and the court might also place a hold on your license, which will suspend your driving privileges until the fine is paid.

If a police officer pulls you over for a traffic violation or if he scans your license plates and sees that you have an active arrest warrant, you could end up in jail because of a warrant for a traffic violation you didn’t commit and never knew existed. Click here for more information about how to get a warrant lifted. 

What to Do if You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

If someone using your personal information is arrested or receives traffic tickets in your name, then your personal information will be falsely reported in arrest records and court files. Correcting the problem can be difficult. Following are some suggestions for what to do if you are the victim of identity theft:

    • Go to the police department and file a police report for identity theft. You will be fingerprinted and you may have to sign an affidavit. If the person who stole your identity is ever arrested, then the police can compare the fingerprints.
    • Appear in court on your court date, or hire an attorney to represent you, for any charges that have been issued in your name. If you have an alibi for the date and time that the offense occurred, your attorney may be able to convince the judge to dismiss the charges against you. You don’t have to prove who stole your identity–you just need to show that the person the police arrested or ticketed was not you.
    • File a Petition for Correction of Arrest/Court Records – Identity Theft with the court in the county where the false arrest or court records are located.
    • Contact the Driver’s License Bureau of the Missouri Department of Revenue and ask them to “flag” your driver’s license. This will prevent someone who has stolen your identity from obtaining a duplicate copy of your driver’s license. You must file a police report before the Department of Revenue will flag your license.
    • Obtain a copy of your credit report to see if any new accounts appear that are not yours. You can ask the credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your credit report.
    • Notify your credit card providers (Visa, Mastercard, etc. ) of the identity theft and ask them to put a fraud alert on your account.
    • 99% of identity theft happens through the mail. Call the U.S. Postal Inspectors at (800) 876-2455 if you believe you are the victim of identity theft involving use of the U.S. mail.
    • Call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at (800) 908-4490 and file an IRS Identity Theft Affidavit. Many people have had their tax refunds stolen by identity thieves who filed tax returns using their personal information.

You May Have to Pay the Identity Thief’s Traffic Ticket Fines  

Unfortunately, the judge won’t just take your word for it if you go to court and claim the traffic tickets were issued to someone who stole your identity. To prevent a warrant being issued and points added to your driving record, you may have no choice but to pay the fines for tickets that the identity thief received while using your name.

You can hire an attorney to get the tickets amended to non-moving, no-point infractions so they won’t affect your driving record or car insurance rates, but you will still have to pay fines and court costs.

Contact St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected] for advice about your Missouri speeding ticket or warrant.

How To Get A Copy of Your Missouri Driving Record

You can go to any Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office and purchase a copy of your Missouri driving record for $7.88. Click on this link to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) for information about how to get a copy of your Missouri driving record.

Or you can mail a request to the Missouri DOR to obtain a copy of your Missouri driving record by mail for $5.88. The DOR will fax it to you for an additional $.50. Mail your request, with your name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, and payment of the fee to:

Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division
301 West High Street – Room 360
Jefferson City, MO 65101

You can also call the Missouri Driver License Bureau at (573) 751-4475 to ask how to purchase a copy of your driving record.

Make sure you request a copy of your Missouri driving record “for court purposes” so it will not contain any personal information, such as your social security number.

Why Do You Need a Copy of Your Missouri Driving Record?

If you receive a speeding ticket and you hire a traffic law attorney to get your speeding ticket “fixed,” your attorney may need to provide a copy of your driving record to the court. Most courts have access to Missouri driving records, but some require the attorney to provide a copy.

The Prosecutor Will Review Your Driving Record Before Deciding  to Reduce Your Ticket

The reason your lawyer has to provide a copy of your driving record to the court is so the prosecuting attorney can review your driving record before deciding whether to reduce your ticket to a non-moving, no-point infraction.

After reviewing your driving record, the prosecutor will most likely agree to reduce your ticket to a non-moving, no-point infraction. However, it is possible that the prosecutor might refuse to reduce your ticket because of prior convictions listed on your driving record. Or the prosecutor might require you to attend driving school before agreeing to reduce your ticket.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Copy of Your Missouri Driving Record?

As noted previously, you can go to any Missouri DMV office and purchase a copy of your Missouri driving record for $7.88 or you can obtain a copy by mail for $5.88.

Most traffic law attorneys can obtain a copy of your Missouri driving record online immediately for a fee of $10 to $20. Driving records from other states will cost more and may take 1-2 business days to obtain.

How To Get a Copy of Your Driving Record if You Don’t Live in Missouri?

If you get a traffic ticket in Missouri but your driver’s license was issued out-of-state, most Missouri courts will require a copy of your driving record before considering whether to reduce your ticket to a non-moving, no-point infraction.

You can contact the state agency that regulates driver’s licenses in your state, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Department of Revenue, or Secretary of State, to purchase a copy of your driving record. Or you can hire a Missouri traffic law attorney to obtain a copy of your out-of-state driving record for an additional fee. Fees vary by state, and it usually takes 1-2 business days for your driving record to be emailed to your attorney.

How to Get a Copy of Your Illinois Driving Record

You can go in person to any Illinois Secretary of State license office to purchase a copy of your Illinois driving record. Or you can click on this link for the form to order a copy of your Illinois driving record. (It may take up to 10 days for the Illinois Secretary of State to mail a copy to you.)

Most traffic law attorneys can obtain a copy of your Illinois driving record for you for an additional fee within 1-2 business days.

How To Find Out How Many Points Are On Your Driving Record?

You can call the Missouri Driver License Bureau in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4475 to find out how many points you have on your driving record.

If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension. If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year.

Points Will be Added to Your Driving Record for Out-of-State Tickets

Tickets you receive in other states will be reported to your home state. If you don’t get those tickets fixed, points will be assessed on your Missouri driving record for those out-of-state tickets just the same as if you received them in Missouri.


If you have received a speeding ticket in Missouri and would like to speak with a traffic law attorney about getting your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction to keep the points off of your driving record, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at [email protected] to receive a price quote.

Beware Double Fine Zone Speeding Tickets in St. Louis

Just like other traffic tickets, “Double Fine Zone” speeding tickets in St. Louis can be reduced to non-moving, no-point infractions if you hire a traffic law attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney, but be prepared for a hefty fine.

How Much is the Fine in a Double Fine Zone?

Normally, the fine in a Double Fine Zone is just what it says–double the fine that it would have been in a regular speed zone. Many drivers choose to hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to get their speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving violation so their car insurance rates won’t increase and no points will be added to their driving record. If the Court agrees to reduce your ticket to a non-moving violation, you will have to pay a slightly higher fine plus court costs.

Be aware that some courts assess even higher fines than normal for reducing a Double Fine Zone ticket to a non-moving violation. For example, if you receive a speeding ticket for driving 14 miles over the speed limit (44 in a 30 mph zone) in a Double Fine Zone in the St. Louis suburb of Ballwin, Missouri, your fine will be $145.50. If you hire an attorney to get the ticket “fixed” (reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation), your fine after the ticket is reduced to “Illegal Parking” will be $425.50 plus $24.50 in court costs. In case you’re bad at math, this translates to almost three times the original fine.

According to the Ballwin Municipal Court Clerk’s office, the Double Fine Zones were established in their municipality for safety purposes in high-traffic residential areas of Ballwin.

“ARC Zones” or “Travel Safe Zones” Also Mean Double Fines

Other Double Fine Zones also exist in St. Louis, although they may be called a “Travel Safe Zone,” “ARC Zone” or “Accident Reduction Corridor.” In North St. Louis County, the municipalities of Berkeley, Cool Valley, Edmundson, Normandy, Northwoods, Pine Lawn, St. Ann, and Woodson Terrace established an ARC Zone, which is now called a Travel Safe Zone. Police officers in these cities regularly issue $200 tickets for speeding 11 miles over the limit in the Travel Safe/ARC Zone.

You Will Pay a Higher Fine After Your ARC Zone Ticket is Reduced to a Non-Moving Violation 

If you receive a speeding ticket for 73 in a 60 mph ARC Zone in St. Ann, Missouri, the fine is $200. After hiring an attorney to get the ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point violation such as “Illegal Parking,” your fine and court costs will total $275. This is in addition to the amount you pay your lawyer for their legal services.

For more information, click on this link to read my blog post about St. Louis ARC Zone speeding ticket fines.

Or see this page of my website for information about points on your driving record and Missouri speeding ticket fines.

If you have received a speeding ticket in a Double Fine Zone or ARC Zone in St. Louis and would like a price quote to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected]

St. Ann Speed Camera Tickets Are No-Point Infractions

Speed camera tickets issued in St. Ann, Missouri are non-moving, no-point infractions, similar to the infamous St. Louis red-light camera tickets.

St. Ann speed cameras are mounted on vehicles parked on the side of the road, which record drivers who exceed the speed limit in the “school/park zone” on Ashby Road in St. Ann. Tickets are mailed to drivers, rather than being personally issued to the driver by a police officer in the course of a traditional traffic stop.

Speed Camera Tickets Are Legal In Certain Zones

Speed cameras are legal in areas of St. Louis such as school zones, construction zones, “Travel Safe” zones, and other high-traffic areas where it is considered too dangerous for a police officer to pull over a driver and personally issue a traffic ticket.

Some Courts Issue Warrants if You Don’t Pay a Speed Camera Fine

St. Ann Municipal Court – If you don’t pay the fine for a St. Ann speed camera ticket (or red-light camera ticket), the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest.

Bel Ridge Municipal Court – If you appear in court and plead guilty to a speed camera violation but you fail to pay the fine, Bel Ridge will issue a warrant for your arrest.

Cool Valley Municipal Court – If you fail to pay a Cool Valley speed camera ticket, the court will send you two notices, then a summons to appear in court, before finally issuing a warrant.

Pine Lawn Municipal Court has speed cameras but currently does not issue warrants if drivers fail to pay the fines.

Hillsdale Municipal Court issues speed camera tickets but those tickets are not processed through the court’s computer system, so they don’t issue warrants or Failure to Appear charges if a drivers doesn’t pay the fine.

St. Ann Speed Camera Ticket Fines Can Be Paid Online

The fine for a St. Ann speed camera ticket is $126.50, payable online. It may be a bit confusing to drivers who receive one of these speed camera tickets because the ticket states that it is a summons to appear in court, but you can pay the fine online and you don’t have to go to court.

Click here to visit St. Ann Municipal Court’s website. Or, you can call the St. Ann Municipal Court Clerk at (314) 428-6811 if you have any questions about your speed camera ticket.

Too Many Points Will Cause Your Driver’s License To Be Suspended Or Revoked

If you receive a traffic ticket for a moving violation, points will be added to your driving record. Your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked if you accumulate too many points on your driving record within a certain period of time:  12 points within 12 months will cause your license to be revoked for 1 year; 8 points within 18 months will cause your license to be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension.

For more information, go to this page about driver’s license points and how long points stay on your driving record.

Hire an Attorney To Fight Your Speeding Ticket If It’s a Moving Violation 

For “regular” speeding tickets that are moving violations causing points to be added to your driving record, you can hire a traffic law attorney to get the ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point infraction.

If the ticket is already a no-point, non-moving violation, such as a speed camera ticket or a red-light camera ticket, then my usual recommendation is to pay the fine, thus avoiding the added expense of a trial.

(This blog post was updated on February 14, 2013.)