Most people think of a traffic ticket as an annoyance. Just pay the fine and be done with it. That may not always be the wise thing to do. Ignoring traffic violations can, in some cases, lead to an arrest. Paying a fine, no matter how minor, is pleading guilty to the charges.
Even minor traffic violations can lead to long-term consequences if you don’t handle them correctly.
One of the most common traffic tickets in the US is when someone drives over the speed limit. Different states have different laws regarding speeding. For instance, the state of Texas has is known for higher speed limits, but the state of Virginia imposes jail time for even minor speeding.
In Maine, anything under 29 mph is a civil violation, not criminal, which means you won’t face jail time. But you may still face:
- Increased insurance rates
- License suspension
- Loss of employment if your job depends on you driving
- Additional points on your driving record
If you’re arrested for driving more than 29mph (especially over 100 mph), you’ll face an immediate 30-day license suspension if convicted, as well as possible jail time, in addition to any other penalties issued by the court.
Ignoring The Ticket
Your license can be indefinitely suspended if you:
- Fail to appear for a court date
- Fail to pay an imposed fine
- Fail to pay court-ordered child support
- A medical condition (physical or mental) that impedes your ability to drive
You will first have to remedy the situation that caused your suspension, and then go to court to have it restored. Multiple offenses can also lead to an arrest.
And if you get a traffic ticket while traveling out-of-state, it may very well follow you back to Maine. Address them as you would an in-state ticket.
How A Maine Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help
When you go to court for a traffic violation, there is no prosecutor. The police officer who issued the ticket actually represents the state of Maine as the “prosecutor,” as well as the key witness.
There’s just one problem: police officers aren’t lawyers. They haven’t studied law, haven’t passed a bar examination, and don’t necessarily understand the rules of evidence and procedure enough to represent them in a court of law. They’re simply following a script, and may use evidence that isn’t admissible or follow other improper procedures.
Having a Maine Traffic Ticket Lawyer ensures that your rights are protected and that the rules are correctly followed. When your lawyer builds your case and properly objects to anything improperly done in court, the judge can make a correct ruling based on the facts and evidence. A lawyer can also:
- Go to court on your behalf by answering the ticket and requesting a court date
- Gather information about the police officer in question, including:
- Ticket records
- Radar calibration, maintenance, testing and certification
- Other information and evidence needed to build your defense
- Hold mediation with the police officer to resolve the situation
- Call for a hearing to challenge the charges
Police officers aren’t lawyers, but judges are. They know the process and the people involved with it, and can use their knowledge to your advantage. With proper legal defense, you can defend yourself against tickets and charges that may or may not be legitimate.
Don’t Let A Maine Traffic Ticket Stop You From Driving
Traffic tickets are more than annoying—they have the potential to stop you from driving completely.
Attorney Peter W. Evans has 25 years’ experience defending Mainers with traffic tickets, and can help you with yours.
Don’t risk higher insurance rates, points on your driving record, or other consequences of even a minor traffic ticket. Call (207) 747-5114 today or contact us online to make an appointment to discuss your case.