Receiving a ticket while driving in and around Columbia is enough to ruin anyone’s day. Many people accept the fact that they were violating a rule of the road, pay a fine to the court, and move on with their lives.
However, for others, they may wish to contest the ticket in court. This can be because a finding of fault may result in a license suspension, could increase their insurance rates, or it may simply be the right thing to do.
A Columbia traffic lawyer could help parties to request formal hearings at Columbia’s municipal court or the Boone County Courthouse. Legal professionals could then work to promote defenses in court, cross-examine the officer who issued the ticket, and work to clear a person’s driving record.
Many drivers assume that when a police officer issues a ticket that they have little choice but to pay the associated fines. However, receiving a ticket is never proof of guilt. A ticket is merely an officer’s opinion that a driver was breaking a rule of the road. Paying the fine to the court is an admission of guilt. However, all drivers have the right to ask the court to come to its own conclusion on the matter.
The ticket will have a time and date where a party may appear in court to plead their innocence. If a driver does not want to plead guilty, they must appear at this time. The court will then act to schedule a trial where the police officer must provide testimony, and the driver will have the chance to tell their side of the story. A Columbia traffic attorney could help to request these sessions and appear in person to protect a driver’s rights.
The laws in Columbia are harsh for many traffic incidents. Unlike in most other states, driving only six miles per hour over the speed limit is a misdemeanor-level offense under Missouri Revised Statutes §304.010 where a conviction can result in a fine of up to $750 and up to 15 days in jail. The most serious speeding cases, where someone is alleged to have exceeded the limit by 25 miles per hour or more, are class B misdemeanors that extend the maximum fines and jail time. It is not surprising that many people facing accusations of speeding choose to fight the case at trial.
Of course, speeding is not the only moving violation where having a trial is an option. Red light violations, marked lane violations, failures to yield, and tailgating are all examples of situations where a conviction may not carry serious criminal consequences, but the financial problems that can arise may be significant.
A Columbia traffic attorney could work to protect a driver’s rights during this process. Traffic lawyers could help request a trial, prepare a defense, cross-examine a police officer during the trial, and help drivers to present evidence before the judge.
Traffic offenses have a reputation as being mere annoyances in your life. However, the fines associated with these tickets can be substantial. In addition, a finding of fault could result in an increase in your insurance rates. Finally, an accumulation of points on a driving record could result in a suspension of your license.
Regardless of your motivations for fighting the ticket, an attorney may be able to help you. Contact a Columbia traffic lawyer immediately to let them help you.