Avoiding Traffic Tickets

While it is true that the best way to avoid getting a traffic ticket is just to follow each state's regulations, it is easy to make a mistake. Traffic violations are so numerous and so frequent, it is likely that every driver will find him or herself with a traffic ticket at some point during his or her life. Therefore, it is important to know and understand the appeals process, and the methods that traffic violations can be expunged from permanent records. Additionally, driving offenses on an individual's driving record can result in insurance premiums that are significantly more expensive, and in some instances, a refusal of a insurance carrier to insure drivers deemed wanton or reckless in their driving habits.

Eligibility for Expunging Traffic Tickets

To expunge driving record of any offenses basically erases the information for certain viewers. The insurance companies should not be able to see if a driver committed a crime, if the violation is expunged. The authorities, the courts, and certain government agencies, however, can still see this information. This is necessary for sentencing in any future trials. Not everyone is eligible for expunging his or her driving record. To prove eligible, the court must consider a number factors including:

  • The amount of time that has passed since his or her arrest, some offenders are required to wait a given period of time before he or she can request to have the record expunged.
  • The severity of his or her violation, obviously, serious crimes such as vehicular manslaughter or driving under the influence are not able to be "forgiven" by the state courts
  • The occurrence of other violations in the driver's history, if a driver has a clean record, he or she is more likely to get a pardon
  • The severity of past violations, if a driver has had his or her record expunged in the past, the courts may be less willing to do so again in the future.

Each state will have different rules, regarding expunged records. Some do not offer this option at all. It is essential to know and understand these before going to court to make the request

The Traffic Violation Expunging Process

Again, the procedure for expunging a traffic offense from a criminal record can be complicated. Each state will have individual laws regarding the specific process. Some may require more steps than others may, and each may have its own rules for eligibility and availability. The following, however, is the general timeline and procedure for requesting expunging of drivers' records, including:

  • Application, a driver must first express his or her intent to apply for expungement with a petition, at this point, the expungement can be turned down and the driver will be forced to live with the mark on his or her permanent record
  • Submission, the driver must submit the request to a higher authority, usually the traffic court of his or her community or state
  • Fees, a sum of money, also determined by the state, is to be paid for the processing of the request
  • Document preparation, the driver may have to "serve" the papers to a court official, or he or she may have to create a presentation to give in traffic court during his or her hearing
  • Court hearing, typically just a judge will hear the request and determine whether or not it should be granted

Contact a traffic violations lawyer to find out more information about appealing a traffic ticket.

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