Traffic Lawyer Guide to Minnesota Traffic Defense
Traffic Lawyer Thomas Gallagher on traffic defense.
Should you pay a ticket, or get a traffic lawyer to fight it?
After a traffic citation most people want to keep it off their driver’s license record. And that’s because we don’t want to lose our license or pay higher insurance rates. Though fighting it won’t always get that result; not fighting it never will.
So whether it’s worth it to you to hire a lawyer, is a question only you can answer.
But in the long run, it can be cheaper to hire a traffic lawyer.
What is a uniform traffic citation?
A citation is a summons to respond to court on a tab charge. And it alleges a petty misdemeanor violation or misdemeanor crime.
People often refer to this as a traffic ticket.
A “tab charge” is a criminal or petty misdemeanor charge that simply the names the charge and statute. But it does not have sworn facts alleging probable cause. So in other words, a tab charge is not a written Complaint.
Almost all traffic violations are tab charges, by citation. And a traffic lawyer can help you fight them all.
What violations and offenses are traffic-related?
Traffic or motor vehicle crimes and violations range from felonies like Criminal Vehicular Homicide down to petty misdemeanor equipment violations. But an experienced traffic lawyer can help you fight all of them. And we discuss some of these on these pages :
Other common traffic tickets:
School Bus violation
Traffic Lawyer: Moving Violations vs. Equipment Violations
Convictions for Moving Violations and for driving conduct, no insurance, or no license, generally go on the driving record.
And those convictions can lead to a license revocation, suspension or cancellation.
But in general, equipment violations will result in a fix-it ticket or a fine only.
So most people want a traffic lawyer only for charges that affect their driver’s license, record and insurance.
“Will I lose my license if I get a traffic conviction?”
A traffic lawyer can help protect your drivers license.
For some felony traffic crimes, the state revokes the driver’s license right way. These include Felony DWI and Criminal Vehicular operation.
But the state won’t revoke a license for most traffic misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors unless the person has priors. DWI is a big exception though.
Minnesota Rules for the Department of Public Safety label repeaters “habitual violators.” Rule 7409.2200. So the Rule tells us how many convictions, trigger how long a license revocation.
The state will revoke a habitual violator’s driver’s license. So if you have priors, you can prevent losing your license by preventing a conviction on a traffic charge. And remember, the “conviction” is the trigger for the driver’s license consequence.
So this is another reason to hire a traffic lawyer for your traffic defense case.
Why do people hire a traffic lawyer?
The most common reasons for hiring a traffic lawyer are:
- stop a conviction from going on the driver’s license record
- prevent future traffic tickets by keeping it off the DL record
- keep car insurance rates from going up
- protect credit and health insurance
- avoid employment-related issues
- prevent revocation of driver’s license, and
- prevent jail time for misdemeanor and other criminal traffic charges