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If You Can’t Afford Your Traffic Ticket, You Can’t Afford NOT to Fight It

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Most people that get a traffic ticket look it up online, and think, “No way, that’s more than a week’s pay! I can’t afford that.” What they are likely looking at is how much the possible fine will be. What they don’t see, is how much more they will pay for auto insurance by just paying the fine.

Consider this: the average Californian pays $1,920 per year for auto insurance or about $160 per month. The average fine for a minor infraction is $238. A minor infraction is a 1-25 mph over speeding ticket, a red light ticket, a stop sign, unsafe lane change, and many others. A major infraction is a 100+ mph speeding ticket, while a misdemeanor ticket is for reckless driving, hit and run with damage only, and a felony ticket is a hit and run with injuries or death. There are others, but this is just an example.

Typically, a 100+ mph speeding ticket conviction will cost $900 to $2,600, but the increase in insurance could be around $2,000 to $5,800 per year or about $160-480 more per month. Imagine  paying double or triple what you are paying now for auto insurance for seven years? That’s about $14,000 to $40,600 for the seven years a 100+ mph speeding ticket will stay on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR). 

Traffic Violators School (TVS) & Your Traffic Ticket

Well, you’ve probably heard or read somewhere that if you elect to go to TVS, your traffic ticket will be forgiven. That’s no longer true. In 2011, the State of California did away with this practice so that repeat offenders would have their misdeeds  on the record. Now, you must plead guilty before the court will allow you to take TVS to hide your conviction from your insurance company. Plus, you must pay the fine, pay the county for the privilege of attending (usually around $65), and pay the course tuition at a DMV-approved school, either online or in class. 

In fact, there are many rules, exemptions, and exceptions for using TVS: 

  • You must have a valid CA driver’s license (DL). 
  • You must not have been driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) when you got the ticket. 
  • Your traffic ticket must be for a minor infraction.
  • Your traffic ticket must not have a mandatory court appearance, which includes speeding 100+ mph, misdemeanors, felonies, and DUI charges.
  • You can only use it to mask a conviction every 18 months.
  • Tickets for speeding 25 mph over the speed limit must be approved by a traffic court judge to attend. It would be best if you considered hiring an attorney to speak with the judge.

You can get a list of DMV-approved courses here. You must notify the court that you will attend and pay the county clerk. Plus, you must complete the course before the court-ordered deadline, or it may not count. Also, do not attend TVS to mask a non-moving violation or correctable ticket, such as loud exhaust or no license in possession. Just take your correction to the police department that issued you the citation and they will note the correction on the traffic ticket. 

Why it Makes Perfect Sense to Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney

You should always consult a traffic ticket attorney before you decide to accept TVS and pay the fine. If you have two tickets pending, it might not make any sense to attend school; your insurance will go up anyway when the second ticket hits. 

In most cases, when an attorney represents you, the traffic court judge will consider a well-written request for dismissal or reduced charge submitted by an attorney. Most traffic courts are overbooked with traffic tickets. They will quite often consider a reduced no-point violation, and let you pay a smaller fine to save the court’s time.

Traffic Ticket Attorneys Who Handle Barstow, CA, Tickets  

Call Bigger & Harman, APC, (661) 349-9300, when you have a traffic ticket. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We can help you resolve your traffic ticket, particularly when TVS is not an option. However, talk to us before you decide, we could save you a lot of money. Whereas many drivers with tickets think it is easier to pay the fine, it is usually more expensive in the long run. Auto insurance premiums will go up an average of $500 per year after a traffic ticket when you are not eligible to attend TVS. Therefore, over the three years, it will stay on your record, it will cost you $1,500 more plus the fine.    

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.  

References:

The California Courts page, Traffic School