Traffic Violations

Most people think of traffic tickets as a minor inconvenience.  However, traffic violations are taken very seriously by the State of Missouri and a conviction can have many unfavorable consequences.

Many believe that the best way to dispose of a traffic ticket is to simply pay the fine. What they do not realize is that by paying the fine you are pleading guilty and being convicted of the charge, which results in points being assessed against your driving record. An accumulation of points can result in the suspension of your driving privilege. However, perhaps the least desirous result of a traffic conviction and points is the impact it will likely have on your auto insurance. Insurance companies are always looking for way to raise rates and if they see points on your driving record during their quarterly audit you are very likely to see a rate increase. If you have received a traffic ticket, no matter how trivial it may seem, you should discuss it with an experienced traffic ticket lawyer before you decide to pay any fines.

In addition, all traffic offenses are not the same. For instance, being caught driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense that often carries jail time.  It is therefore essential that you consult with an experienced lawyer who has your best interest and outcome in mind.  We handle all traffic matters, including:

  • Careless & Imprudent
  • Driving While Suspended or Revoked
  • Driving Without a License
  • Expired license
  • Expired registration
  • Fail to Drive on the Right Half of Roadway
  • Failure to signal
  • Following Too Closely
  • Intermediate License Violations
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident
  • No Insurance
  • Reckless Driving
  • Running Stop Sign/Stop Light
  • Speeding
  • Speeding in a School Zone
  • Speeding in a Construction Zone

We have a long history of assisting clients with a wide range of traffic violations.  We provide aggressive representation for each client and will undertake a full assessment of your case.  We will make sure you understand your options by ensuring that you have all the information needed to make an informed decision about your situation. Call us at (636) 638-2150 and have a former Jefferson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney on your side to deal with your traffic matter.

TICKET QUOTES DISCLAIMER

Many times, our clients, usually due to a lack of understanding of what they are actually charged with, submit information which may not clearly reflect the seriousness of a traffic matter. As a result, on rare occasions, we may need to modify the attorney fee after we meet with the court and/or prosecutor, and are advised of the actual facts surrounding your case. Although we have designed the online quote option as a matter of client convenience, we nevertheless reserve the right to modify the attorney fee if after investigation the facts show that the case is much more complex than originally expected.  Please note that the attorney fee quoted does not include a trial but only for work in negotiating a plea agreement.

Traffic Violation FAQ’S

Yes, you have the option to simply pay the ticket which will quickly dispose of the matter. However, by paying the fine you are also pleading guilty to the charge which results in a conviction. The main downfall of simply paying a ticket is that the charge will appear on your driving record, as well as whatever number of points are assessed for the violation. Perhaps the worst consequence of having points on your driving record is that your insurance company will likely raise your car insurance rates a significant amount. In addition, an accumulation of too many points will result in your license being suspended.

In most cases an attorney will be able to keep your ticket and the points associated with the ticket, off your record. If this happens your insurance rates will remain the same. If you are unable to appear in court either because of work or any other reason we will be able to appear for you. In most cases, we can take care of a ticket without you ever having to appear in court.

While an attorney cannot guarantee any definite outcome with your case, here are some possibilities:

The violation may be amended to a non-moving violation, such as illegal parking, which prevents any points from appearing on your driving record.

The original violation may be amended to another charge that reduces the number of points that appear on your driving record.

The court may grant you a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS). In this case, you are placed on probation (normally unsupervised) and if you receive no further violations during the probationary period, you will not be convicted of the offense and no fines or points will be assessed.

Your case could be dismissed outright for any number of reasons.

These are some of the most common ways that traffic tickets may be taken care of, however there are many other options available as well.

Missouri Traffic Violations and Points Assessed

Major Violations Resulting in Suspension or Revocation:
Aggravated Endangering a Highway Worker 12
Aggravated Endangering an Emergency Responder 12
Obtain License by Misrepresentation 12
Drive Under the Influence of Drugs 8 (1st Offense) 12 (Subsequent Offenses)
Drive While Suspended/Revoked 12
Driving While Intoxicated 8 (1st Offense) 12 (Subsequent Offenses)
DWI – Assault – Felony 12
DWI – Fatality – Felony 12
Excess Blood Alcohol Content 8 (1st Offense) 12 (Subsequent Offenses)
Felony Involving Motor Vehicle 12
Leaving Scene of Accident 12
Murder 2nd Vehicular/Intoxicated 12
Negligent Homicide – Commercial Vehicle 12
Negligent Operation of Commercial Vehicle – Fatal 12
Vehicular Homicide 12
Vehicular Manslaughter 12

Common Violations Resulting in Points:

Careless & Imprudent 2
Careless & Imprudent w/ Accident 4
Endangering an Emergency Responder 4
Endangering a Highway Worker 4
Excessive Speeding 3
Fail to Produce Insurance ID 4
No Driver License 2 (1st); 4 (2nd); 6 (3rd)
No Motorcycle Qualification 2
Permit Unlicensed Driver to Drive 4
Speeding (More than 5 MPH over) 3
Stop Sign 2

These Miscellaneous Violations are Assessed 2 Points:

Activate Red Light for Non-Emergency
Aggressive Driving
Altered/Counterfeit Insurance ID Cards
Alter Driver License
Assault-3rd Degree Involving Motor Vehicle
Attempted DWI
Attempted Leaving Scene of Accident
Coast with Gears Disengaged
Collide with Vehicle or Property
Cruising
Disobey Emergency Vehicle Ordinance
Disobey Funeral Procession Ordinance
Disobey Traffic Device Railroad
Disobey Traffic Control Device
Disobey Traffic Officer
Drive w/Child on Lap
Driving Under Min Speed Limit
Driving While Impaired
Drive CMV w/o Obtaining a CDL
Drive Motorcycle Between Vehicles
Drive Motor Vehicle w/o Owners Consent
Drive Too Fast for Condition
Drive While Disqualified
Drive While Out of Service
Driver’s View Obstructed
Driving Across Fire Hose
Driving on Shoulder
Driving Through Barricade
Driving Wrong Side of Road
Eluding Police Officer
Endangering Welfare of Child
Engage in Speed Competition
Erratic Speed
Excess Vehicle Noise – Squeal Tires
Excessive Passenger Violation
Fail to Remain in Moving Vehicle
Fail to Report an Accident
Fail to Stop at RR Crossing
Fail to Stop for School Bus
Fail to Yield Right of Way
Fail to Yield – Collide with Pedestrian
Failed to Reduce Speed
Failure to Dim Lights
Failure to Keep Right
Failure to Sound Horn
Failure to Stay on Pavement
Fishtailing
Following too Close
Gave False Info to Officer
Hit & Run
Hot-Rodding
Improper Signal
Improper Start from Parked Position
Impeding Traffic Movement
Improper Backing
Improper Lane
Improper Passing
Improper Turn
Increased Speed When Passed
Leave Main Portion of Roadway
Minor in Possession
Miscellaneous Conviction
Motor Fuel Theft Obstructing Traffic
Not Permit Vehicle to Pass
Operate ATV Under Influence Alcohol/Drugs
Operate ATV with Passenger
Operate CMV w/Hand-Held Phone
Operate Commercial Vehicle While Texting
Operate Off-Road Vehicle on Roadway
Operate w/o Proper Endorsement
Operate w/o School Bus Permit
Open Car Door into Traffic
Operated ATV-Under Age of 16
Operating Motor Vehicle without Headlights
Operating Where Prohibited
Present Another’s License as Own
Prohibited U Turn
Not Permit Vehicle to Pass
Strike a Legally Stopped Car
Tamper with Ignition Interlock Device
Tampering with Motor Vehicle
Texting While Driving
Traffic Turn/Signal Violation
Unauthorized Lane Use
Violation of Ignition Interlock
Violation of Instruction Permit
Viol of Restricted License
Violate Open Container Law
Warning of Radar
Weaving
Wrong Direction on Divided Street
Wrong Direction on One Way Street

FCC is an acronym for Fine Collection Center. This is a central agency in Missouri which processes tickets primarily written by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, although there are exceptions. If you received an FCC ticket you probably also received a fine schedule with it detailing the cost of the ticket you received, as well as instructions on how to pay the fine by mail. Although this may seem like a convenient way to take care of your ticket, remember, by mailing in the fine amount you are pleading guilty to the charge and points will be assessed on your driving record. An attorney can have FCC tickets sent back to the county prosecutor’s office where a deal can be worked out and in many cases, avoid points on your driver’s license.

Every ticket that we handle is different and therefore fees vary depending on the circumstances. Some factors that we consider in determining fees are (1) the seriousness of the violation you are charged with, (2) the number of tickets you received, (3) your past driving record, (4) the difficulty of working with the jurisdiction in which you are charged, as well as other factors.

In addition to attorney fees, fines on traffic tickets vary widely by jurisdiction. The amount of the fine assessed will be dependent upon the seriousness of the violation, prior violations in the same jurisdiction, your prior driving history, and other factors. Also, in addition to a fine, all courts assess court costs, which also vary widely by jurisdiction. Many courts will allow you to make monthly payments toward the amount of fines and costs you owe. However, other courts may require payment in full of all fines and costs up front in order to get whatever deal is offered.

We handle tickets in most Missouri and Illinois courts. However, if you have received a ticket in some other state it would probably be in your best interest to contact a local attorney. Most states are signatories to the Driver’s License Compact. This means that if you receive a traffic ticket in another state, that state will send the information to Missouri. Your home state will then apply a corresponding penalty as if you received the violation there. Many times, failure to pay an out of state ticket will result in suspension of your Missouri driving privilege.

To be eligible for a full license, an intermediate driver’s license holder must have had no traffic convictions for which points are assessed, during the preceding 12-month period. If you do receive a ticket, please contact us for help in avoiding points that will prevent you from obtaining your full license when you turn 18. For more information please visit our page on Missouri’s Graduated Driver’s License Law.

Missouri’s Graduated Driver License law requires that all first-time drivers between 15 and 18 years old complete a period of driving with a licensed driver (instruction permit), and restricted driving (intermediate license), before getting a full driver license.

If the permit holder is under age 16, the licensed driver occupying the seat beside the permit holder for the purpose of giving instruction while driving must be a qualified person, grandparent, qualified driving instructor, a qualified driver at least 25 years of age who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years and has received written permission from the parent or legal guardian, or in case of disability (of the parent, grandparent or guardian), their designee.

At age 16, the driver may apply for an intermediate license. The intermediate license allows the driver to drive alone except during a late night curfew (1 a.m. to 5 a.m.). The driver and passengers must use seat belts, be free of alcohol and drugs, and obey the traffic laws.

At age 18, or within the 30 days immediately preceding his/her 18th birthday, the intermediate license holder may apply for a full driver license.

Definitions

Immediate family shall include parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, and adopted or foster children residing in the driver’s household. Parent shall include a foster parent, stepparent or adoptive parent. Grandparent shall include a foster grandparent, step-grandparent or adoptive grandparent.

Qualified driving instructor is defined as an instructor who has a valid driver education endorsement on a teaching certificate issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or a driver training instructor employed by a private driver education program.

Qualified person is a parent, legal guardian, or a certified trainer with a federal residential job training program with a valid driver license.

STEP ONE: Instruction Permit
Eligible Age: 15 Cost: $3.50 Valid for: 0-12 Months

To Obtain:

  • You must pass the vision, and written tests.
  • A qualified person must accompany you to the license office to sign a permission statement.

Permit Notes:

  • Under age 16, you may drive only when accompanied in the front seat by a licensed driver who is:
    • a qualified person;
    • a grandparent;
    • a qualified driving instructor;
    • a qualified driver at least 25 years of age who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years and has received written permission from the parent or legal guardian; or a qualified driver designated by the disabled parent or guardian of the permit holder.
  • At age 16 or older, you may drive when accompanied in the front seat by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has a valid driver license.
  • Seat belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers.
  • Your test paper alone is not legal for driving. Be sure to carry your permit with you.
  • You may renew your instruction permit.

To Graduate to an Intermediate License:

  • You must have an instruction permit for a minimum of 182 days (beginning the day after issuance).
  • You may not have any alcohol-related convictions in the last 12 months and no traffic convictions within the last 6 months.
  • You must have received 40 hours of driving instruction, including a minimum of 10 hours of nighttime driving instruction between sunset and sunrise, with a qualified person, grandparent, or qualified driving instructor.

STEP TWO: INTERMEDIATE LICENSE

To Obtain:

  • You must hold the instruction permit for at least 182 days (beginning the day after issuance).
  • You may not have any alcohol-related offenses in the last 12 months and no traffic convictions in the last 6 months.
  • A qualified person or grandparent must accompany you to the license office to verify you have received 40 hours of driving instruction, including a minimum of 10 hours of nighttime driving instruction between sunset and sunrise.
  • You must pass the vision, and written tests if previous results are more than one year old.
  • You must pass the driving test.

License Notes:

  • Your test paper alone is not legal for driving. Be sure to carry your intermediate license with you.
  • Seat belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers.

Driving Restrictions:

During the first 6 months, you may not operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger who is under 19 years old and who is not a member of your immediate family.

After the first 6 months, you may not operate a motor vehicle with more than three passengers who are under 19 years old and who are not members of your immediate family.

You may not drive alone between 1 a.m. – 5 a.m. except to and from a school activity, job, or for an emergency, unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years old or older.

To Graduate to an Under-21 Full Driver License:

  • Your driving privilege cannot be suspended, revoked, or denied at the time of application.
  • You may not have any alcohol related offenses or traffic convictions within the last 12 months.

STEP THREE: UNDER 21 FULL DRIVER LICENSE
Eligible Age: 18 Cost: $10 Valid for: 0-3 Years

To Obtain:

  • You must satisfy the requirements for an Intermediate License, including having no alcohol-related offenses or traffic convictions in the last 12 months.
  • You must have a valid intermediate license. Your driving privilege cannot be suspended, revoked, or denied when you apply for a full license.

You must pass the vision and road sign recognition tests. (You are not required to pass the written and driving tests if already completed.)

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Not usually. Most tickets can be handled over the phone. If the charges are more serious, such as driving while suspended, or a DWI, please call us to schedule a consultation. Otherwise, feel free to call us for a fee quote to handle your traffic ticket.