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Traffic Ticket + Insurance Premium Raise=Bad Deal

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 Therefore, you should ensure your MVR is correct and there are no out-of-date traffic tickets left there by DMV.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a favor, register at ca.gov, submit a request with an INF 1125.pdf, check your record, and if something is incorrect or out-of-date, request that it be corrected.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: attorney@markbigger.com and arrange for your FREE phone consultation.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.