Traffic tickets are a nuisance for drivers. Many times, their issuance seems unfounded, with police officers nitpicking violations to justify the ticket or getting the facts wrong. Other times, drivers may very well deserve them. Either way, though, the easy way out is to just pay the ticket to make it go away.
However, that may not be the best choice. Traffic tickets, even the for the most minor of infractions, have unforeseen consequences. Understanding what they are can help you to determine, with the assistance of a lawyer, how you should respond to the ticket.
Ohio point system
Traffic tickets in Ohio come with a point value. Major offenses, such as a fleeing the scene of an accident, are worth six points. OVI usually leads to an automatic license suspension already, but it is also worth six points. Reckless driving earns you four points, and lesser offenses, such as minor speeding or running a stop sign, are two points.
Once you reach six points, you will receive a warning letter. You have the option of taking a driving course that can subtract two points from your record, but you can only do this once every three years and no more than five times in your life. Once you reach 12 points in two years, you will lose your license for six months.
Gaining it back entails:
- Showing proof of insurance
- Paying a fee
- Completing a driving course
- Taking the driver's test again
You can appeal a license suspension as well.
The point is, if you don't take your traffic ticket seriously, you may find yourself without driving privileges. This can cause you to lose your employment (if you drive for a living) and make fulfilling other everyday duties challenging. If you choose to drive anyway, you will face harsher penalties if caught. Convictions for traffic violations also affect your insurance rates.
With so much at stake, it is often best to fight the traffic ticket to avoid the points and convictions on your record.