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How a traffic ticket can lead to losing your driver's license

Everyone gets traffic tickets, so they are not a big deal, right? You just pay the fine and move on with life. That may be a common assumption, but it is not necessarily the best approach. How many tickets you get and how you respond to them make a big difference in the outcome.

It is neither wise to procrastinate taking care of a ticket nor to admit guilt and pay it off. The most beneficial route to take may be to fight the ticket.

How the point system works in Ohio

Every time you get a ticket for a traffic violation, points go on your driver's license. How many points depends on the offense. For example, street racing is worth six points, whereas speeding is only worth two (unless you were going 30 over the limit, in which case it is four points).

Those numbers may seem small, but they quickly add up. You only need to accumulate 12 points within two years to lose your license. Once you reach six points, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles sends you a warning letter. Paying the fines will not prevent the addition of points. On the contrary, it shows that you admit you are guilty and accept the consequences.

What it takes to get your license back

A license suspension is more than an inconvenience. It can affect your ability to retain employment and raise your insurance rates. To regain your license, you must meet certain conditions. After losing your driving privileges for six months, you must take a remedial course. Upon completion, you must also retake the driving exam, show proof of auto insurance and pay a fee.

Unless you want to go through all that trouble, fight the charges. There are many defenses against traffic tickets, such as the police officer not making a correct judgment of the violation (ex: safe vs. unsafe turn) or you not being able to see a sign due to an obstruction.

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