Although most first-time moving violation traffic ticket conviction will
raise your insurance premium, some tickets are much worse than others.
The raise in insurance premiums after a first-time ticket is mostly due
to the loss of your “good drivers’ discount,” which
will affect your insurance premium for three years after a conviction
or at-fault accident.
CA Vehicle Code (CVC)
23103, “A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton
disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless
driving.” Reckless driving is a misdemeanor for which a conviction
can lead to a jail term of five to ninety days, a $145 to $1000 fine or
both, and two points on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR).
There are methods to lower your insurance premiums, such as “bundling”
your homeowners and auto with the same company, taking a higher deductible,
or shopping around, but your best bet to avoid a conviction for a traffic
ticket and protect your MVR is to drive defensively within the law. However,
if you do get a ticket, don’t just pay the fine and increased insurance
premiums, hire a local traffic defender and check your MVR periodically.
Correcting Mistakes on Your MVR
Anyone can request your MVR from DMV, such as a prospective employer, this
is public information. What’s more, employers now have the
Employer Pull Notice (EPN)
Program, where with their employer code they can have anyone’s MVR sent
to them. Therefore, you should ensure your MVR is correct and there are
no out-of-date traffic tickets left there by DMV.
Let’s say you had a cell phone violation four years ago, that should
have dropped off your MVR after 36-39 months. When you apply for a Class
A driving job hauling logs or a job driving with a local oil company in
Bakersfield, the employer will see the cell phone violation. They may
not even look at the date of conviction before throwing your application
in the trash.
Although insurance companies can only use convictions and at-fault accidents
from the previous three years to determine your auto insurance premium,
they can look back five or six years for misdemeanors and DUIs to determine
if they will accept the risk of taking you as a client.
Do yourself a favor, register at
ca.gov, submit a request with an
INF 1125.pdf, check your record, and if something is incorrect or out-of-date, request
that it be corrected. A DMV Hearing may be requested to review your MVR.
Simply write or call the DMV
Safety Branch closest or most convenient to you. Even when you have a conviction on
your MVR that’s correct but you would like it removed, you can talk
to an attorney about getting it expunged if it is more than one year old.
Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyers Can Save You Big Money on Auto Insurance
In Riverside, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Mono or another Central Valley California
county, call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300, to help you with a reckless
driving or other misdemeanor or major traffic violation. Or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange for your FREE phone consultation.
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.