Do You Need a Lawyer for a Traffic Violation?

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If you’ve been ticketed for a traffic violation, you probably haven’t given it much thought – other than being miffed about the fine. The fact is, however, that traffic violations can be far more costly than you first recognize. A ticket for a traffic violation adds points to your driver’s license – which can ultimately lead to suspension – and can significantly increase your insurance premiums. If you’re concerned about a traffic violation that you’ve been ticketed for, consult with an experienced Fargo criminal defense attorney today.

Is Fighting a Traffic Ticket Worth It?

You’re facing a traffic ticket, and you’re wondering if it’s worth fighting. After all, if you just pay the fine, you can put the matter behind you.  However, once you pay the ticket, you have made an admission to the matter, and the mandatory point for whatever offense you have admitted to will be added to your driving record. Further, when your car insurance company does an audit, which many do regularly and automatically, it will likely increase your premiums. The fact is that fighting your ticket with legal representation might be worth the cost, depending on the facts of the case.

The North Dakota Points System

The driver’s license Points Schedule in North Dakota allows hefty point allocations for many driving infractions. With the accumulation of 12 points, your driving privileges or driving license will be suspended for 7 days (for every point over 11). In other words, if you have 17 points on your driving record, you won’t be able to drive for 42 days (6 x 7).

While minor speeding offenses garner no points, driving 21 to 25 miles over the speed limit in a speed zone of less than 70 mph will earn you 5 points. Traveling at 36 to 45 miles over the speed limit in such a zone will get you 12 points. The more serious your violation, the more points you’ll accrue:

  • Passing where it is prohibited or failing to yield the right of way will each earn you 2 points.
  • Driving without a license is a 4-point offense.
  • Failure to provide immediate notification after being in an accident and careless driving both garner 6 points.
  • Reckless driving is worth 8 points.

The list goes on and on, but suffice to say that the State of North Dakota is generous with its points.

How do I challenge the ticket? Do I still pay it?

In North Dakota, the typical procedure is to pay the ticket (which the court considers to be bond or bail for the ticket) and sign the ticket in the box noted to request a hearing. This MUST be done within 14 days or you might waive your opportunity to contest the validity of the ticket.  It is crucial to request the hearing to preserve your rights to contest.  Call an attorney if you have questions about this process.