After “Ferguson”, it appears there is now quite a bit of talk about how Missouri works with traffic tickets. There are many different aspects to the discussion. Most important has been the determination that people who are represented by attorneys do much better than those who do not have a lawyer to help them. It is therefore, worth it, to hire a lawyer.
As reported in the St. Louis Post on March 15, 2015, Missouri has a points system “for flagging dangerous drivers. ” A speeding conviction may be 2 or 3 points. Careless and imprudent driving may be 4. Driving a car with a suspended or revoked license may be 12.
The consequences of too many points – or any points – come quickly. On average, according to the Post, a 3 point speeding ticket will increase your insurance by 22 percent, and a second ticket will raise your rates by 53 percent.
Your license can be suspended if you are charged 8 or more points in 18 months. It can be revoked for 12 points in 12 months, 18 points in 24 months, or 24 points in 36 months.
When you retain a lawyer, the lawyer will appear for you so that you don’t need to waste any more time on the ticket. The lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor. You will need to pay a little more, but if you have a good driving record over all, then the prosecutor will ask that you plead guilty to a violation that does not carry points — such as illegal parking. You will enter your guilty plea and pay the fine. No violation will appear on your record.
The next time you get a ticket, please remember that we can help. Just go to www.MissouriTicketLaw.com and we will fix your ticket ONLINE!
Many people ask me how to handle tickets that involve photos taken of a car speeding or a car running a red light. I used to tell people to go ahead and pay them because the municipalities were making it easy to do that — they really just wanted the revenue. So, they would say that there won’t be any points and the fine will be $100.
More recently though, there have been challenges to these kinds of tickets. The City of St. Louis no longer enforces them, for example.
Three municipalities now have cases pending before the Missouri Supreme Court – the State’s highest court. In the City of St. Louis, the problem was that people claimed they weren’t driving the car. The pictures did not identify a driver. The cities of Moline Acres and St. Peters have been challenged because of the complexity of the notices of violation, and also because of an alleged conflict with State law. Missouri has laws about what violations carry points etc. When the local government sets fines or says no points will attach to a violation – the local is in conflict with State law.
We’ll see what the Supreme Court ultimately says. Frankly, I don’t think it looks good for the camera ticketers. What should you do in the meantime? Depends on your tolerance for risk. If you are a gambler, you can wait and see what the Supremes do. But that solution isn’t for everyone.
If you want to discuss your ticket specifically, please give me a call. 314-801-1323.
We’ve made updates to our online ticketing services – Missouri Ticket Law.
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David Rubin is an experienced attorney with 30 years handling tickets in St. Louis, Missouri, and Illinois.
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Here at the Law Offices of David A. Rubin, we handle a lot of tickets. Usually we can arrange to keep moving violations off your record so that you don’t get points, your record stays clean, and your insurance rates don’t go through the roof. Sometimes we get questions about those red light or speeding tickets where you just get a picture in the mail. Do you need a lawyer for those? Should you even pay them? The answer is “No” to the first question, and as of the last few months, “No” to the second as well. As to the first, my job as the lawyer is to keep the violation off your record. But part of the deal the municipality offers you is to keep it off your record anyway, usually for payment of $100 – which is pretty cheap. So there isn’t anything that I can do that you can’t do for yourself. As to the second question, I used to say that you should pay it. Its only $100 and why deal with bill collectors, credit ratings, etc. But I think that’s different now. There were always certain constitutional problems with these tickets. Just because the car went through the red light – how do they prove it was you who was driving? More recently though, these tickets have been successfully challenged in the courts because the idea that there are no points and that the tickets are handled differently is at odds with the laws already on the books that say how a red light or a speeding violation must be handled. My best opinion is that as of right now, I don’t think you’ll be seeing too many more of these tickets for now, and if you do, they will be afraid to enforce them. This advice is subject to change – so stay tuned!