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Fairfield traffic ticket defense attorneyMost adults have received at least one or two traffic citations in their lifetime. They may have driven above the speed limit, run a red light, or failed to stop fully at a stop sign. While traffic violations are typically considered minor offenses, the consequences can be significant. Penalties for traffic infractions may include stiff fines, and, if you have accumulated too many demerit points, suspension of your driver’s license. If you have recently been issued a traffic ticket, you may wonder what your options are for challenging the ticket, or if it is in your best interests to contest the ticket by pleading not guilty.

Is My Ticket Worth Fighting?

Many people do not realize that they have the option to contest a traffic ticket. Others understand that this option is available but assume that the time and energy needed to challenge the traffic violation is simply not worth it. If you are questioning whether or not to plead not guilty to your traffic violation, consider the following:

  • Did you actually commit the offense that you have been accused of?
  • Do you have any evidence you can use to prove your innocence?
  • Will paying the fine cause you considerable financial stress?
  • Will the ticket lead to a significant increase in your car insurance payment?
  • Are you facing suspension of your driver’s license?

If you did not commit the traffic infraction, the ticket will create a significant financial burden, or you are facing license suspension or other significant consequences, it may be a good idea to contest the ticket.

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IL defense attorneyGiven the recent scarcity of traffic on Connecticut roads, it is perhaps understandable that Connecticut police have been issuing more speeding tickets in recent months, as less traffic usually means more chances to speed. That said, it is never a good idea to speed, even if you believe that no one is watching. The ensuing ticket may seem inconsequential, but its future ramifications can be very serious.

Speeding Leads to More Fatalities

Despite the significant decrease in traffic on Connecticut’s roads, statistics from the National Safety Council point to a major increase in road traffic fatalities for the state in 2020, with the state seeing a 42 percent jump in fatalities per miles driven between March 2019 and March 2020. Overall, the auto accident death rate is approximately 2 percent higher in 2020 than it was in 2018 or 2019, which reverses the downward trend in those years. Anecdotal evidence abounds to suggest that a major proportion of those being injured and dying on state roads are speeding or otherwise driving in a reckless manner.

Even if you are not driving recklessly, you can still exceed the speed limit and receive a ticket for the offense. Connecticut law has specific speed limits - 55 mph on most roads, and 65 mph on highways - but the relevant statute also bars driving “at such a rate of speed” so that they “endanger the life” of any occupant of the car. If a passenger can make a reasonable case that they believed their life was in danger while being a passenger in your vehicle, while you were driving, you may wind up being ticketed, if not arrested and charged.

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CT defense lawyerThere are several different reasons that your Connecticut driver’s license might be suspended, from accumulating too many points on your record to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Depending on the underlying reasons for the suspension, getting your license back can be a time-consuming endeavor, even though you may need your car to get to school or work. If you have an experienced attorney to help you negotiate the process, it can mean that you get your license back sooner.

Why Suspension?

Between adult and teen drivers, there are countless reasons that a court may either suspend your license or in the case of teen drivers, refuse to grant your application for a license. In addition to point accumulation or DUI, adults can lose their license for failing to answer a summons or pass a remedial drivers’ education course, for committing crimes like vehicular homicide, and for having too many accumulated traffic violations. Teens can have their license suspended for reckless driving or any kind of offense that implies recklessness; these offenses are violations of Connecticut’s teen driving statutes.

Regardless of the reason, you are not permitted to drive any kind of motor vehicle under any circumstances (with very rare exceptions) until your driving privileges have been restored and you have a valid license or learners’ permit in your possession. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, you can be charged with criminal penalties, facing up to 90 days in jail and fines of a minimum $150 for a first offense. If you are caught driving on a suspended license a second or third time, both the jail time and the fines will rise exponentially.

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CT defense lawyerNo one enjoys getting a traffic ticket. However, too many people simply neglect them when they get them, setting them aside until a moment when the consequences come back to haunt them. If you get traffic tickets in Fairfield County, you need to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible in order to either pay them or fight them - failure to do this can actually impact your driving record in a very serious way.

Many Different Violations and Penalties

There are multiple types of traffic violations in Connecticut, though some are more common than others. Moving violations are generally considered minor, especially if no property damage, death or injury occurs during the violation. However, the consequences can add up. Some of the more common examples include speeding, reckless driving, failure to stop at a sign or traffic signal, going the wrong way on a one-way street, and following too closely. Some traffic violations carry short jail sentences - for example, reckless driving usually mandates a sentence of up to 30 days for a first offense, and up to one year for a second or beyond.

Different violations carry different penalties, in addition to points being assessed on one’s driver’s license. Reckless driving may carry a jail sentence, for example, but those caught speeding have other options - they can either pay the ticket without contesting it, they may contest it and try to have it dismissed, or they can plead nolo contendere (“no contest”) in some situations. Nolo contendere pleas are when someone does not admit to the traffic violation, but they pay the appropriate fine - and for a first offense, no points are usually issued to the driver.

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CT defense lawyerDistracted driving is one of the leading causes of car crashes in the United States. It results in thousands of deaths every year, and hundreds of thousands of injuries, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Distracted driving takes many forms. Basically, any activity that takes the driver’s eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, or keeps him from concentrating, is a distraction.

For example, distracted driving might be a driver who takes his hands off the wheel to juggle a sandwich or other meal. It might be a driver who is trying to do her makeup because she is running late for work. It might be a driver who is trying to referee an argument between her kids in the backseat. But commonly, it is a driver who is talking on his phone, responding to a text message or otherwise using a handheld cell phone.

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Posted on in Traffic Violations

Connecticut traffic attorneyIn Connecticut, law enforcement officers issue tickets to drivers who have committed either an infraction or a violation. While infractions are not considered crimes and only require that drivers pay a fine, violations are more serious and may involve a court appearance. Traffic tickets appear on a person’s driving history and in some cases may also add points to a driver’s license, which in turn can cause his or her insurance premiums to increase. Retaining an experienced Fairfield traffic ticket attorney can help drivers avoid these consequences, so if you were pulled over and ticketed for violating a traffic law, do not hesitate to contact a member of our legal team today.

Infractions vs. Violations

Most traffic tickets are issued for infractions, which include citations for non-dangerous moving violations, such as a broken taillight. These offenses are relatively minor, do not result in the assessment of points on a person’s license, and usually only require the payment of a fine via the mail, although drivers can attempt to have their infraction dismissed by attending a hearing or submitting a letter of explanation to the court. Failing to pay a fine on time or to respond or appear in court, however, can result in more severe consequences. In these cases, the court will find that the driver committed the infraction and require him or her to pay the fine and an additional default penalty. If a driver fails to pay these penalties, his or her driving privileges could be suspended.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut traffic violation attorneyNo matter how minor a traffic violation may be, repercussions will follow upon determination of a guilty verdict. In addition to surcharges assessed through a fine or penalty, points are added to your driving record. These points not only will likely increase your auto insurance rates, but may have an adverse impact on future legal issues as well as prevent employment opportunities. If you handle the situation appropriately, it is possible to prevent a long-lasting impact due to a minor traffic violation.

Infraction vs. Violation

A traffic incident receives a classification of either infraction or violation. To adequately defend yourself, you must understand to what the terms refer. The difference is:

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Fairfield County criminal defense lawyerWhen it comes to your driving record, your wallet, and your safety, certain traffic violations can either mean minor inconveniences or major consequences for you as a driver. By avoiding the following driving behaviors, you can help keep the roads safer, keep your driving record clear, and hang on to that extra cash in your pocket.

Driving With a Suspended License or No License at All

If you are 18 years old or older and you receive two or more tickets for driving without a valid driver’s license, the next repercussion you will face is a mandatory driving privilege suspension that lasts for a period of 90 days. You are required to serve the full term of the suspension before you are eligible for license restoration. The same standards apply if you are found to be driving with a suspended license; you are not permitted to drive a motor vehicle until your privileges are restored and any applicable fees have been paid.

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Fairfield County criminal defense lawyerOften when we think of traffic violations, we think of hefty fines, arrests, and various crash statistics. While it is true that all these things typically accompany traffic violations, another area that is impacted by these incidents is the driver’s record. No matter how minor or major your violation might seem, the repercussions do not always end with a simple ticket and a fine.

Depending on the circumstances that surround your violation, you might face a serious hit to your driving record--consequences that can follow you long-term and affect everything from your car insurance rates to your privileges on the open road.

Point Assessments and Your Driving Record

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Stamford traffic violations attorneyNo one wants to get a speeding ticket. The fines, the hassle of often dealing with license points, and the time it takes in the actual moment of incident to deal with law enforcement officials are costly in more ways than one. Driving even five miles over the posted speed limit in any area can result in being pulled over and handed a ticket—but if you are driving far faster than the speed limit, or in a manner that law enforcement determines is dangerous for yourself and other motorists on the road, you may be slapped with a reckless driving charge.

Reckless driving in Connecticut is considered a serious driving offense. Other serious driving offenses include improperly changing lanes, texting while driving, or following too closely. If you receive two serious offenses within three years, your license will be suspended for 60 days. If you receive three serious offenses within the same time period, your license is subject for suspension for 120 days.

Subjective Criteria 

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut traffic laws, Connecticut criminal lawyer,The consequences of a speeding ticket extend beyond the fines and possible court appearance. Another potential penalty is a driver’s license suspension.

According to the Connecticut Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, if you plead guilty to four unsafe moving violations within two years, then your license will be suspended. It is important to note, however, that receiving a fine and pleading guilty to a violation are not the same.

In Connecticut, drivers can “plead guilty” by mailing in the citation with a payment for the fine. The DMV can suspend your license if you do this four times. It is therefore important to consult a lawyer before sending in your ticket with a guilty plea.

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distracted driving, teen crashes, Connecticut traffic violations lawyerIf you are a teen driver or the parent of a teen driver, you have likely heard many warnings about the dangers of distracted driving, including texting and using a cell phone. A recent study shows that distracted driving is responsible for more teen car crashes than previously thought.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently studied videos taken from vehicle event recorders of almost 1,700 crashes involving teen drivers. These videos showed that distracted driving was a factor in 58 percent of accidents. This is almost four times higher than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s previous estimate that 14 percent of accidents involving teen drivers were caused by distracted driving.

The following is a breakdown of the most frequent types of distractions and the percentage of accidents to which they were linked in the study:

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Common traffic violations, traffic offenses, Connecticut traffic violations attorneyAlthough every driver is responsible for following traffic laws, it is easy to make a careless mistake and wind up with a ticket. Being inattentive for even a second can cause a person to speed or miss a stop sign.

In most cases, facing a traffic violation is not the end of the world. However, they can come with steep fines, and in some cases, a driver may even lose his or her license. In the most serious cases, offenders may also face jail time. This is why it is so important for drivers to take proactive steps to avoid the most common traffic violations.

Here is a breakdown of the three of most common traffic violations in Connecticut:

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traffic violations, traffic stop, Connecticut Criminal Defense AttorneyTraffic violations can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. Additionally, they are more common than most people may realize. In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, traffic stops represent the most common type of interaction between civilians and law enforcement.

Conviction of or pleading guilty to a traffic violation, may result in a financial penalty, license suspension, or even jail time depending on the nature of the offense. Fortunately, a criminal attorney with experience litigating traffic violation cases may be able to get the charges significantly reduced or altogether dropped.

What to Do When Police Pull You Over

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distracted drivingAccording to a recent Harris Poll, adult drivers are engaging in risky behavior, including texting and talking on cell phones, even though they know it is dangerous. Distracted driving can result in traffic violations that not only subject you to stiff fines, depending on the number of offenses you have, but can also lead to crashes resulting in vehicle damage, injury, and even death.

Texting and Driving

The poll questioned over 2,000 adults between May 27 and 29, 2014. While over 90 percent agreed that sending and reading texts while driving is dangerous, 45 percent admit to reading text messages, and 37 percent say they have sent text messages while driving. Thirty-six percent of drivers with smart phones or tablets report using the devices to look information up while driving.

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