Ventura Traffic Ticket Attorneys
We Can Help You Fight Traffic Tickets!
No one likes getting a traffic ticket. When you get pulled over and slapped with a ticket, your first impulse may be to merely pay the fine by the specified deadline and forget about it. You should consider exercising caution in this approach, however. By paying the requested fine, you are admitting guilt to the crime the traffic officer has charged you with. While a single, minor traffic infraction is not likely to immediately or dramatically alter the course of your life, you will still accumulate points on your driving record. Accrue enough points, and your future ability to drive may be placed in jeopardy.
Fighting a traffic ticket is about more than avoiding paying a fine. Our Ventura traffic ticket lawyers at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP have helped numerous California drivers avoid serious consequences through successful traffic infraction defense strategies in court. Our team can help you understand why it is imperative to fight every traffic ticket to protect yourself from unintended consequences in the future.
Types of Traffic Infractions
Many are familiar with the most basic of traffic infractions – running a red light, driving over the posted speed limit – but there are numerous statutes that California law enforcement might employ to hit you with a ticket. One of the most frustrating scenarios can occur when you receive a ticket for doing something you did not even realize was against the law.
Common traffic infractions enforced in California include:
- Speeding. This includes both driving over the posted speed limit driving at a speed above what present conditions safely allow. This means that you could receive a ticket for driving too fast in foggy or stormy conditions, even if you were technically driving at or under the posted speed limit. Speeding tickets are also elastic, and you can face stiffer penalties for driving well over the speed limit (often 15mph over more).
- Driving without a license. You are required to have a valid driver’s license on your person when operating a vehicle in California. You must physically possess the license and surrender it to law enforcement when pulled over. Expired licenses or a picture of a license will not suffice, so make sure you have the physical card on you when getting into a car. A license also does not enable you to drive all types of vehicles: Many commercial vehicles, including trucks and busses, require special classifications.
- Driving without insurance.California drivers are also required to maintain sufficient levels of insurance. You will often be required to show proof of this insurance in a traffic stop. Tickets relating to driving without insurance can be doubly stressful, as they often come in addition to a ticket stemming from whatever incident prompted the traffic stop in the first place.
- Unpaid traffic tickets.When you are issued a citation, the fine will include a printed deadline. If you fail to take any action involving the ticket, you can be hit with additional citations. Note that you in most instances do not need to pay the ticket by the originally printed deadline if you are presently challenging the matter in court.
- Driving while intoxicated. Driving while under the influence of narcotics or alcohol, or a DUI, is a serious offense that can result in immediate, severe consequences. It often results in an outright arrest and the suspension of your driver’s license. If you are charged with a DUI, immediately retain legal representation.
- Failing to stop at a stop sign. “Rolling through” or only coming to a partial stop at a stop sign can result in being pulled over and a traffic ticket.
- Failing to obey traffic lights. Running a red light or failing to honor other traffic light signals can result in tickets with expensive fines.
- Unsafe lane changes. To pull off a lawful lane change, it must be safe to do so, you must use the appropriate turn signal, and you must be on a roadway that permits the change. Failure to follow any of these three requirements can result in a traffic stop and ticket.
- Leaving the scene of an accident. When a collision or other auto accident occurs, you should immediately seek medical attention for anyone injured. You should then contact law enforcement to evaluate the situation and establish an official record of what happened. Inappropriately departing the scene of the accident before law enforcement arrives can result in fines and serious charges. This includes “hit and runs,” in which someone causes an accident and flees before help can arrive.
These are only some of the most frequently encountered situations where traffic tickets are issued. Some California counties and localities have even more specific and stringent traffic laws, the violation of which can lead to tickets. We can assess the charges alleged in a traffic ticket and determine from what relevant California statutes it leverages.
Why You Should Always Fight Traffic Tickets
If you receive a traffic ticket for a minor infraction with a relatively small fine, it is understandable that you might just want to pay up and settle the matter. However, you should remember thatreceiving a traffic ticket constitutes being charged with a crime. Paying the associated fine signifies that you are pleading guilty without ever defending yourself.
Even more importantly, traffic violations add points to your driver’s license. If you accrue enough points, you will be classified as a “negligent driver” and your driver’s license can be suspended or even revoked. Restoring your license will generally require legal support and a protracted DMV hearing. It is almost always easier to handle individual traffic tickets, no matter how minor, versus a suspended license.
Traffic infractions are assigned points values by the California DMV. When you are found guilty of a traffic violation, which occurs when you pay a corresponding ticket, those points are assigned to your license. Failing to obey traffic lights, running a stop sign, and unsafe lane changes will generally run you 1 point each. More serious infractions, including DUIs, reckless driving, and hit and runs, tend to add 2 points each.
Your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked if you accrue:
- 4 or more points within a 12-month period
- 6 or more points in a 24-month period
- 8 or more points in a 36-month period
This means that even a combination of small infractions can lead to serious consequences. Losing a your ability to drive can cause you to lose your job if your employer requires you to be a licensed driver. Consequently, you should rely on the services of our Ventura traffic ticket attorneys to fight any and all tickets.
Contesting a traffic ticket prevents the associated points from immediately appearing on your record. Should you successfully overturn the ticket or if the case is dismissed, you will accrue zero points, protecting your future ability to drive. If you are a first-time offender, you may also be able to take “traffic school” counseling to effectively dismiss the points by hiding the infraction from your driving record.
The potential suspension of your license is not the only reason you should avoid points on your driving record. Traffic infractions and the points they confer will almost always raise your insurance premiums. You will likely see a permanent raise in prices of your insurance rates for each infraction. Should you accumulate enough points, insurance carriers might decline to continue covering you and deny coverage inquiries in the future.
How We Can Fight Traffic Tickets
The process of contesting traffic tickets is often deliberately labyrinthine. The state hopes you will pay the fine and move on. Those who do choose to exercise their rights and fight will typically face resistance in the form of bureaucracy. In many traffic ticket cases, the courts are designed to be as confusing and time-consuming as possible, incentivizing you to give up.
Our team knows how to move through traffic court and has a full understanding of legal strategies that can successfully win cases. We can evaluate the facts of your case and explore all legal avenues that can yield a positive outcome.
Contrary to popular belief, many infractions do not require you to appear multiple times in court. You are in most situations permitted to submit a written “not guilty” plea, within which you can request a Trial by Written Declaration. This helps avoid situations where you are forced to give up multiple days to inefficient court appearances. Most of the work can instead be reviewed by your legal team and handled entirely by mail. If a Trial by Written Declaration produces an unfavorable result, we can help you request a second, in-person trial that gives you another shot at overturning a ticket.
In many situations, the simple act of contesting a ticket will result in the case’s dismissal, meaning you will not have to pay the associated fine or incur points on your record. This is because the prosecution – typically the officer that issued the ticket – is required to submit their account of the events within a certain amount of time after your initial dispute is filed. Many courts and departments will opt not to bother participating and instead let the deadline lapse, especially if they learn the defense has retained quality legal representation.
Let Us Help You Beat Your Traffic Ticket
You may think your traffic ticket is a hopeless endeavor. Perhaps you were hit with a red-light camera or a radar gun, giving the prosecution seemingly irrefutable evidence that you violated some area of traffic law. The truth is you can overturn many tickets with the right legal strategy, even in situations where the issuing officer has hard evidence. Our Ventura traffic ticket lawyers at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP have a long history of helping California drivers protect their driving privileges and record. We will leave no stone unturned in helping you contest an unfair ticket and will work to reduce any negative consequences of the process.
I have nothing but praise.
We are very pleased and impressed!
DEFINITELY the best lawyer!
I will recommend you and your firm to anyone.
No Jail Time