Believe it or not, any traffic ticket when you are not eligible for traffic violator’s school will cost between $237 and $2,500 for the fine, and the DMV assessed Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points would lead to your insurance company taking your “good driver’s discount” of 20% and adding a risk factor that will cost you around $650 per year in increased premium for at least three years.
The $2,500 fine mentioned above is how much a conviction for speeding 100+ mph could cost. However, the two NOTS points will remain on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR) for seven years, and your insurance company could double or triple your premium for that time period. The math is almost unbelievable but amounts to tens of thousands of dollars for the average Californian who pays $2,065 per year. Granted, some pay less—those with teens on their policy pay much, much more.
Therefore, even a minor infraction will get you an approximate $237 fine upfront and about $1950 increased insurance premiums.
Top Five Traffic Tickets & Their Common Defense
Without a doubt, the most logical defense for a CA traffic ticket is to consult a traffic attorney and dispute your ticket in traffic court. From a cell phone ticket to speeding to reckless driving, there is no better proven method than challenging the ticket with a knowledgeable and experienced traffic attorney.
Even divorce and family law attorneys and other niche lawyers hire a traffic attorney to dispute their traffic tickets. Traffic court is a beast like no other courtroom. The sheer numbers mean that you only get about five to ten minutes to present your case. If you get tongue-tied or stage fright, it could be over without you ever getting to speak with the judge and tell him what happened.
Plus, it is incumbent on the state to prove you did what they accused you of; all an attorney can do is raise a “reasonable doubt.” If the state cannot prove each element of the violation you were charged with, the judge must dismiss it. Likewise, the attorney could propose a reduced no-point charge to the judge in place of trial. Typically, these convictions are like a parking ticket with a fine but no NOTS points, so your insurance premium will stay the same, saving you around $1,950.
That’s not to say hiring a traffic attorney is an automatic dismissal. Not all tickets are winnable without an officer mistake, but some are. Don’t believe the hype some traffic ticket defenders put on their website like guaranteed dismissal. The only one who can guarantee a ticket dismissal is a traffic court judge, and they look at each ticket on its merit.
However, a traffic attorney knows when they see what you’ve been charged with and what court the ticket is in what type of chance you have. Traffic attorneys spend a great deal of time in traffic court, and they hear how hundreds of tickets are resolved each day. The thing is, you will never know what your chances of a dismissal or a reduced charge are unless you consult a CA traffic attorney.
Top Five Traffic Tickets
These are the top five traffic tickets that could cost your $2,000 or more:
1. Speeding Ticket — These are the most commonly issued tickets in CA and nationwide. Speeding 1-15 mph over the limit or safe driving given the conditions is around $237, 16-24 mph over is around $360, 25 mph over up to 99 mph is $490, and speeding 100+ mph is between $900 and $2,500. As mentioned above, the fine is usually only about 25% of the total you will pay if convicted.
Therefore, when you hear someone say that a traffic attorney costs more than the fine, that’s usually true, but only ¼ of the total they will pay. What’s more, speeding 25 mph over the speed limit is not eligible for traffic violator’s school (TVS) without a judge’s permission. An experienced traffic attorney will ask for it. That alone could save you thousands because your insurance will not increase if you are able to complete TVS.
2. Illegal Cell Phone Use Ticket — These used to be very easy. You pay the approximate $150 fine and then forget about it. With a second, you pay about $260 and forget it. However, since AB-47 went into effect last July, you now get one NOTS point for a second conviction or paid fine. Therefore, the intelligent driver challenges every ticket because you don’t know which will be easier to get dismissed. Your best defense is never to get a first.
3. A Camera-Enforced Red-Light Ticket – There are nearly 800 red light cameras around CA. When you get one in the mail, do not ignore it. It will not just go away. However, just paying the $490 fine and accepting TVS could be a massive mistake too. The state must prove it was you driving.
4. Following too Closely or Tailgating Ticket – Although the fine is only about $237, your insurance increase could be three times that each year for three years.
5. An Unsafe Lane Change Ticket – Likewise, this fine, if convicted, is about $237. However, it’s very subjective and therefore easier to reach a reasonable doubt. You could get charged with this when another driver cuts back in too soon after passing you. It often depends on an attorney convincing the judge the law enforcement officer’s (LEO) viewpoint was faulty.
If cited with one of these, or any traffic ticket, challenge it with a CA traffic attorney who regularly practices in Fresno County Traffic Court. You must consider all aspects of a paid fine or conviction. The fine is only a portion of the overall expense.
Call Bigger & Harman, APC, the Bakersfield, CA Traffic Defense Team to Dispute Your Traffic Ticket in Fresno County
Call Bigger & Harman, APC at (661) 349-9300 if you are cited for a traffic violation to challenge your traffic ticket in Fresno County, CA.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
AB-47, Distracted Driving, CVC Section 22350, Speed Laws, Section 23123.5, Driving Offenses, Section21453, Offenses Relating to Traffic Devices, Section 21703, Additional Driving Rules and Section 22107,Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals.