Just about everyone has received a traffic ticket at some point in their lives, and most people just resign themselves to paying the associated fine and moving on from the incident. However, this is often not the best course of action for Bloomington residents, especially if they have a history of prior traffic offenses or suspect they were ticketed inappropriately.
While contesting a traffic ticket does involve a date in court, it can end up saving you both money and time in the long term, especially if you retain a Bloomington traffic lawyer to help you with your case. With guidance and support from a seasoned defense attorney, you could much more effectively contest your ticket and potentially avoid consequences like fines, increased insurance premiums, license suspensions, and more.
Types of Traffic Violations in Bloomington
Generally speaking, state law separates traffic violations into moving and non-moving violations, although these terms are somewhat deceptive. Both types of violations can occur while a vehicle is in motion—however, moving violations entail a violation of traffic law directly related to vehicle operation, such as speeding or failing to yield properly, whereas non-moving violations involve driver-specific behaviors like failing to wear a seat belt or driving while distracted.
The primary difference between these offenses is that moving violations are reported to the Department of Licensing, while non-moving violations are not. In practice, this reporting requirement means that moving violations may result in higher insurance premiums and even license suspension for a driver who is convicted of one—and importantly, paying off a traffic ticket without going to court still qualifies as a “conviction” in this regard.
While most traffic offenses are only classified as petty misdemeanors and cannot be punished by jail time, multiple convictions could still have a dramatic negative effect on a driver’s financial picture and personal freedom. Even if someone has never been pulled over in the local region before, they may want to consider working with a traffic attorney in order to minimize their risk of severe future consequences.
Mitigating Potential Consequences for a Traffic Ticket
A single speeding ticket may not seem worth worrying about, but being convicted of numerous violations in succession certainly can be. If someone is convicted of three misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor traffic violations within 12 months, they will automatically have their driver’s license revoked for a 30-day period, and four or five convictions in the same period may respectively result in 90-day and one-year revocations.
Petty misdemeanor offenses have a similar cumulative effect—four convictions in 12 months or five convictions in 24 months will result in a 30-day license suspension, and eight or more convictions within two years can lead to a one-year suspension. This is on top of whatever fines and hikes in insurance costs come with all these traffic convictions, each of which alone could be financially devastating.
Given the multifaceted effects that multiple traffic convictions could have, hiring a traffic attorney can often be a cost-saving measure in the long run rather than an expense. Ensuring insurance premiums stay affordable while also avoiding fines and license suspensions could make fighting a traffic ticket in court a more than worthwhile endeavor.
Seek Help from a Bloomington Traffic Attorney
While simply paying the associated fine is certainly the simplest way to address a ticket traffic, it is rarely the best route to take, especially if you have been convicted of any traffic violations before. If you have enough of them on your record, even petty misdemeanors can have massive implications for your financial and personal future.
A conversation with a Bloomington traffic lawyer could clarify whether you should challenge your ticket in court and seek an alternative resolution that does not negatively impact your driving record. Call today to set up a meeting and start discussing your options.