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Traffic Tickets & Moving Violations

No. In addition to speeding tickets, your attorney can also get other types of tickets dismissed, amended to “Illegal Parking,” or reduced to “Littering,” such as:

  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident
  • Driving While Suspended
  • No Proof of Insurance
  • Careless & Imprudent Driving

A speeding ticket is a moving violation that will cause points to be added to your driving record. Here are some other common violations and the number of points assessed for each:

  • Speeding (issued by City or County police) = 2 points
  • Speeding (issued by Missouri State Police) = 3 points
  • Excessive Speeding = 2-3 points
  • No Proof of Insurance = 4 points
  • Careless & Imprudent Driving = 2-4 points
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident = 6-12 points
  • DWI = 8-12 points
  • Driving While Suspended = 12 points

If you plead guilty to a speeding ticket or other moving violation, points will be added to your driving record, which can cause your license to be suspended and your car insurance rates to increase. 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. 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.

An experienced traffic law attorney can get your “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. If you plead guilty or are convicted of “Leaving the Scene of an Accident,” the maximum potential penalty is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Your license will be suspended if you leave the scene of an accident that you caused and you fail to pay for the other vehicle’s damages.
To get your Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) ticket dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, you will need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the charge in court. Your attorney may be able to convince the Prosecutor to reduce your MIP ticket to “Littering” and only require you to pay a fine and court costs, or possibly dismiss your MIP ticket after you complete an alcohol education class and/or do a few hours of community service and pay court costs.
If you pleaded guilty to a ticket that caused your license to be suspended or revoked, a traffic ticket lawyer can withdraw your guilty plea (or “set aside the conviction”) and get your old ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation. Removing the old ticket will reduce the number of points on your driving record, which may lift the suspension of your driver’s license.

A traffic ticket lawyer can do the following to prevent points from being added or to remove existing points from your driving record:

An attorney can get your speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation that won’t cause points to be added to your driving record.

An attorney may be able to withdraw your guilty plea for an old speeding ticket and get it reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, which will remove the points and conviction from your driving record.

You can take the Missouri Driver Improvement Program (DIP) class to remove points from your driving record. However, taking the DIP class won’t prevent the ticket from showing up on your driving record and possibly causing your car insurance rates to increase.

Shoplifting

The outcome of your case depends on which court your case is being prosecuted in, your age, the type of item you stole, your criminal history, and other specific details of your case. Your attorney can get your Shoplifting ticket either dismissed, reduced to a lesser offense such as “Littering,” or reduced after a period of probation. In many cases, the defendant does not have to appear in court at all.
Stealing items valued under $500 is a class A misdemeanor in Missouri with a maximum potential penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Stealing Under $150 is a class D misdemeanor for first-time offenders, punishable by a fine of $500 but no jail time.
If you plead guilty to Shoplifting, it will show up as a conviction on your permanent criminal record, which can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, obtaining a bank loan, and being accepted into college.
The judge can sentence you to jail for 1 year and require you to pay a fine of $1,000 if you are convicted of Shoplifting. The outcome of your case depends on which court your case is being prosecuted in, your criminal history, and other details of your case. If you have no prior convictions for stealing and you have an experienced attorney representing you, there is very little chance you will go to jail.
“Stealing under $150″ has been reduced from a class A misdemeanor to a class D misdemeanor for first-time offenders. The maximum punishment for “Stealing Under $150” is a fine of $500 but no jail time.
If you get caught shoplifting, the store will send you a “civil demand letter” stating that you owe the store $250 to reimburse them for their expenses. Experienced attorneys advise their clients to refuse to pay the $250 civil demand. You don’t owe the store anything unless they successfully sue you in civil court and win a money judgment against you. Stores can sue shoplifters but most don’t, unless the value of the stolen item is very high. Whether or not you pay the civil demand has no effect on your criminal Shoplifting case.
Fine amounts vary depending on the court in which your case is being prosecuted. If you decide to plead guilty and pay the fine, you will have a conviction for Shoplifting on your criminal record, which can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, obtaining a loan, or being accepted into college. If you hire an attorney to get your Shoplifting ticket dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, you may pay a higher fine but there will be no conviction on your criminal record.

In Missouri, there is no separate statutory offense called "shoplifting." Instead, shoplifting is treated as a form of theft or stealing under Missouri's laws.

The key differences between shoplifting and general theft charges in Missouri are:
The location - Shoplifting specifically refers to the theft of merchandise from a retail establishment, whereas general theft can occur anywhere.

The type of property - Shoplifting typically involves merchandise for sale, while general theft can involve any type of property.

However, the charges and penalties are determined by the value of the stolen property, not whether it was shoplifting or general theft.
Missouri law under § 570.030 defines stealing/theft as:
"A person commits the offense of stealing if he or she appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive the person thereof, either without consent or by means of deceit or coercion."

This broad definition encompasses shoplifting, as taking merchandise from a store without paying would constitute appropriating the store's property without consent to deprive them of it.
So in essence, shoplifting is just a subcategory of the general theft statute in Missouri. The charges and penalties are the same whether it was shoplifting from a store or any other type of theft, based solely on the value stolen.

The key distinction is that shoplifting from a retail business may involve additional civil penalties like being banned from the premises, while general theft would not necessarily involve those consequences from a private business.

Minor in Posession of Alcohol

An experienced attorney can convince the Prosecutor to reduce your Minor in Possession of Alcohol ticket to a lesser offense, such as “Littering,” and only require you to pay a fine and court costs. Or the Prosecutor might agree to dismiss your MIP ticket after you complete an alcohol education class and/or do a few hours of community service and pay court costs.
If you are a first-time offender convicted of Minor in Possession of Alcohol, your driver’s license can be suspended for 90 days. You can lose your driver’s license for 1 year if you have a prior MIP conviction on your record.
The maximum punishment for first-time Minor in Possession of Alcohol (Underage Drinking) in Missouri is a fine of $300 and no jail time. If you have prior MIP convictions on your criminal record, the maximum penalty is 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
Pleading guilty to MIP will cause you to have an alcohol-related conviction on your criminal record (and on your driving record, if you were caught with alcohol in a motor vehicle). Having an MIP conviction on your record can prevent you from getting a job and may negatively affect your chances of being accepted into the college of your choice.
An MIP conviction stays on your criminal record forever, unless you hire an attorney to expunge it. In addition, it remains on your driving record for 5 years after your license reinstatement date, and then you must send a written request to the Missouri Department of Revenue asking them to remove the MIP conviction from your driving record.
MIP convictions are not automatically removed from your criminal record once you reach age 21. A petition for expungement must be filed with the court, and the judge must approve it, before your MIP conviction can be expunged (removed) from your criminal record.
After a period of not less than 1 year after you reach age 21, you can hire an attorney to file a petition to expunge (remove) a first-time MIP conviction from your criminal record, but only if your record has been clean since the conviction. Hiring an attorney to get your MIP ticket dismissed or reduced is a better and cheaper option than hiring an attorney to expunge the conviction later.

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Traffic Law and Misdemeanor Cases in Missouri

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