MO & KS Traffic Ticket FAQ
Hi, I am attorney Melisa Ludeman and I am experienced at handling traffic tickets all over the Kansas City metropolitan area. Here is a FAQ designed to help you decide if you need to hire an attorney for your traffic ticket.
Why hire a lawyer for your traffic ticket? What can a lawyer do? What are points (Missouri)? What are moving violations (Kansas)?
Why hire a lawyer for your traffic ticket?
The reasons are many. First and foremost, you should understand that when you simply pay a traffic ticket, you are pleading guilty to the offense. When you plead guilty, you will accumulate points on your Missouri driver license or moving violations on your Kansas license. Too many points or moving violations and your driving privileges may be threatened
Second, your auto insurance rates can increase for traffic violations that appear on your driving record. Too many tickets and your insurance carrier may drop your coverage altogether. Finally, if you drive for a living or work in certain jobs, you are required to have a clean driving record in order to remain employed.
What can a lawyer do?
You have two options when hiring a lawyer to handle your traffic ticket. The first is to contest your ticket by pleading not guilty. If this occurs, the traffic court will have a small trial where the officer who pulled you over and you will testify. Most times, the court will set a trial date for your case if you plead not guilty to ensure that the officer is there to testify. Don't count on the officer not showing up. Furthermore, even with a lawyer, trials are risky because you take the risk that the judge may not be sympathetic to your defense.
The second option is to have your attorney negotiate a plea agreement for your ticket. You may have heard many terms for this option. It is also known as beating a ticket, fighting a ticket, or fixing a ticket. In any case, with this option your attorney negotiates a plea agreement with the prosecutor to amend your ticket to a lesser offense. Always consult your attorney to ensure that the option is available to you.
What are points (Missouri)?
Each moving violation in the State of Missouri results in a certain number of points on your driving record. For example, speeding tickets in cities (municipalities) result in two points on your license, while speeding tickets from the State result in three points on your license.
If you receive eight points within eighteen months, your driver's license will be suspended by the Department of Revenue. Twelve points in twelve months, eighteen points in twenty-four months, or twenty-four points in thirty-six months, and your license will also be suspended.
What are moving violations (Kansas)?
Kansas does not use a point system in regulating traffic violations and your driver record. Instead, if you receive more than three "moving violations" in Kansas within a twelve month period, your license will automatically be suspended for one year.