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Colorado Springs Traffic Tickets Lawyer

Traffic Tickets In Colorado

Colorado Springs Traffic Tickets LawyerColorado, has a comprehensive system of laws and regulations related to driving.

Violating these laws, whether speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence, can result in traffic tickets, fines, and potentially more severe consequences.

If you have been cited for a traffic violation in Colorado, it’s crucial to understand the laws, penalties, and how a seasoned attorney like Patricia Perello can help you navigate the legal system.

Understanding Traffic Tickets In Colorado

Colorado has a points system for traffic violations. Each violation is worth a specific number of points, and if a driver accumulates too many within a certain period, their license can be suspended. The points for various traffic ticket violations vary depending on the severity of the offense. For instance, careless driving results in 4 points, while leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run) can result in 12 points.

Speeding is also treated seriously in Colorado. Speeding 10 to 19 miles per hour over the speed limit is considered a Class A Traffic Infraction, and a conviction will result in a scheduled fine. The maximum penalty for a Class 1 traffic offense conviction is a $1,000 fine, one year in jail, or both.

When you receive a traffic ticket, you have two options: plead guilty and pay the Colorado traffic fine or not guilty and fight the ticket in court. However, better courses of action may exist than paying your speeding ticket in Colorado. It could lead to severe penalties, including a minimum of 10 days in jail, a $300 fine, or both.

Types Of Traffic Tickets

Traffic tickets are issued to drivers who violate traffic laws. While the specifics can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, there are generally recognized categories of traffic tickets. Here are some of the most common types:

1. Moving Violations: A driver commits offenses while the vehicle is in motion. Examples include:

  • Speeding: Exceeding the posted speed limit.
  • Running a red light or stop sign: Failure to stop entirely at a traffic signal or stop sign.
  • Reckless driving: Operating a vehicle in a manner that displays disregard for the safety of others.
  • DUI/DWI: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Driving without a valid license: Operating a vehicle without a current and valid driver’s license.
  • Illegal lane changes: Changing lanes without signaling or in an unsafe manner.
  • Tailgating: Following another vehicle too closely.

2. Non-Moving Violations: These violations typically occur when the vehicle is not in motion. They include:

  • Parking Violations involve parking in restricted zones, during prohibited hours, or in handicapped spaces without the proper permit.
  • Equipment Violations can include broken tail lights, cracked windshields, or malfunctioning turn signals.
  • Expired Tags or Registration: Operating a vehicle with outdated registration or license plate stickers.
  • Unauthorized use of handicapped or specialty plates/placards: Using a plate or placard without proper authorization.

3. Administrative Violations: These are offenses related to the administrative aspects of driving and owning a vehicle.

  • Driving without insurance: Operating a vehicle without the mandatory minimum insurance coverage.
  • Invalid or expired driver’s license: Driving when your license has expired or revoked.
  • Not wearing a seat belt: Failing to wear a seatbelt or ensure passengers are wearing theirs, especially minors.

4. Commercial Vehicle Violations: These pertain to drivers operating commercial vehicles and can include:

  • Exceeding weight limits: Carrying a load that surpasses the vehicle’s designated weight limit.
  • Logbook violations: Not maintaining or falsifying the records that commercial drivers must keep.
  • Faulty equipment: Commercial vehicles are held to higher safety standards, and malfunctioning equipment can lead to significant penalties.

5. Special Circumstance Violations: Some offenses are specific to certain regions or circumstances.

  • Carpool lane violations: Driving in designated carpool lanes without meeting the minimum passenger requirements.
  • School zone violations: Speeding or committing other traffic offenses in designated school zones.
  • Construction zone violations: Speeding or other offenses in designated construction or work zones.

Colorado’s Traffic Tickets Point System

Colorado employs a point system to monitor and manage the driving habits of its residents. Points are added to their driving record when a driver commits a traffic violation. Accumulating too many points within a specific timeframe can lead to various penalties, including suspending driving privileges. Here’s a breakdown of Colorado’s traffic tickets point system:

1. Point Values for Common Violations:

  • Speeding:
  1. 1 to 4 mph over the speed limit: 1 point
  2. 5 to 9 mph over the speed limit: 1 point
  3. 10 to 19 mph over the speed limit: 4 points
  4. 20 to 39 mph over the speed limit: 6 points
  5. 40 mph or more over the speed limit: 12 points
  • Reckless Driving: 8 points
  • Careless Driving: 4 points
  • Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI): 8 points
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): 12 points
  • Failed to Yield Right of Way: 3 points
  • Failed to Stop for a School Bus: 6 points
  • No Proof of Insurance: 4 points
  • Running a Red Light or Stop Sign: 4 points
  • Failed to Obey Traffic Control Device: 2 points
  • Improper Passing: 4 points
  • Improper Turn: 3 points
  • Driving without a License or with a Restricted License: 3 points
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run):
  1. Damage only: 4 points
  2. Injuries involved: 12 points
  • Following too Closely (Tailgating): 4 points
  • Seatbelt Violations (minor under 16): 2 points (for the driver)
  • No Proof of Insurance: Carries a penalty of 4 points.

2. Point Accumulation Leading to Suspensions:

The number of points that leads to a license suspension varies based on age:

  • Adult drivers (21 years and older): A suspension can result from 12 or more points in any 12 consecutive months or 18 or more points in any 24 consecutive months.
  • Minor drivers (18 to 20 years old): License suspension can occur with 9 points in any 12 consecutive months, 12 points in any 24 consecutive months, or 14 or more points accumulated between 18 and 21.
  • Drivers under 18 years old:– Drivers under 18 years old: A suspension will result from 6 or more points in any 12 consecutive months or seven or more points accumulated before turning 18.

The Legal Process For Fighting Traffic Tickets

Fighting a traffic ticket involves a series of steps that allow a driver to contest the violation they’ve been cited for. While procedures can vary by jurisdiction and the specifics of the violation, the following offers a general outline of the process:

1. Understand Your Ticket:

  • Read the Citation: Ensure you comprehend the violation, location, date, time, and officer’s badge number.
  • Determine the Type: A parking, equipment, moving, or non-moving violation.

2. Decide to Contest:

  • Weigh the pros and cons of contesting. Consider factors like potential points on your license, insurance rate hikes, and the time and costs associated with fighting the ticket.

3. Responding to the ticket:

  • Act Quickly: You usually have a specified time frame (e.g., 15-30 days) to respond to a traffic citation.
  • Enter Your Plea: Indicate on the ticket or associated paperwork whether you plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty.

4. Pre-Trial Procedures:

  • Discovery: This involves gathering evidence from the opposing side. You might request calibration records for a radar gun, dashcam footage, or the officer’s notes from the incident.
  • Pre-Trial Conference: Some jurisdictions offer a pre-trial conference where you can meet with a prosecutor to discuss the case. They might offer a reduced fine or alternative penalty to settle without a full trial.

5. Traffic Court Trial:

  • Representation: Decide whether you’ll represent yourself or hire an attorney. For more severe violations or if you’re unsure about the process, it’s advisable to consult with or hire a traffic attorney.
  • Present Your Case: Share evidence, call witnesses, and argue why the ticket should be dismissed or reduced.
  • Cross-examination: You can question the officer who issued the ticket or any other witnesses the prosecution calls.
  • Judge’s Verdict: After hearing both sides, the judge will decide. You might be responsible for the ticket’s fine, court costs, and potentially other penalties if found guilty. If found not guilty, the ticket will be dismissed.

6. Appeal:

If you disagree with the verdict, you can appeal the decision to a higher court. This process can be more complex and typically requires a compelling legal argument about why the initial ruling was flawed.

7. Post-Trial Considerations:

  • Paying Fines: If you’re found guilty, ensure you pay any associated fines or fees promptly to avoid additional penalties.
  • Traffic School: Depending on the jurisdiction and the offense, you might have the option (or be required) to attend traffic school to avoid points on your license or to reduce your fine.

8. Monitor Your Driving Record:

Even after the case concludes, regularly check your driving record to ensure it accurately reflects the outcome. If the ticket was dismissed or you attended traffic school to remove it, make sure it doesn’t appear on your record erroneously.

9. Impact on Insurance:

If you’re found guilty or pay the ticket (admitting guilt), notify your insurance company if required and be prepared for potential rate changes.

License Reinstatement DMV Hearings In Colorado Springs

If you receive a Driver’s License Suspension notice in Colorado Springs, you may be eligible for a DMV Hearing to contest the suspension or revocation. The hearing allows the driver to explain why their license should not be suspended/revoked and provide any mitigating evidence. It is essential to act quickly as you only have seven (7) days from the date of notice to request a DMV Hearing. If you fail, your license will be suspended/revoked automatically. At the hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Hearings Division will review the evidence presented and decide whether to reinstate your driver’s license. The ALJ will consider any evidence submitted by the driver, including:

  • Reasons for contesting the ticket;
  • Testimony and witnesses;
  • Official documents (accident report, medical records);
  • Any available information about the alleged violation.

If you are successful in your hearing and the ALJ determines that you should be reinstated, your license will be returned to you. However, if the ALJ decides that your license should remain suspended/revoked, knowing there are options for appealing the decision is essential. Depending on the circumstances and evidence presented, you may have grounds for filing an appeal with either a District Court or the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Benefits Of Hiring A Traffic Ticket Lawyer

When faced with a traffic ticket, many consider paying the fine and moving on. However, in some instances, there are significant advantages to hiring a lawyer to represent you. Here are some of the benefits:

1. Knowledge of the Law:

    • Traffic ticket lawyers have in-depth knowledge of traffic laws and the nuances that might need to be apparent to the general public. They can identify potential weaknesses in the case against you.

2. Potential Reduction or Dismissal:

    • Based on their understanding of the system and potential errors in the ticket issuance, lawyers may be able to get the ticket reduced or even dismissed entirely.

3. Saving Money:

  • A lawyer may help you avoid higher insurance premiums from a traffic conviction. Over time, these savings can exceed the lawyer’s fee.
  • Sometimes, even if the ticket isn’t dismissed, a lawyer might negotiate a lower fine.

4. Avoid Points on Your License:

  • Accumulating points can lead to increased insurance rates and, in some instances, suspension of your license. An attorney can help reduce or eliminate points associated with a ticket.

5. Representation in Court:

  • If you’re contesting a ticket, having a lawyer means you might not have to appear in court yourself. This can save you time and stress.

6. Understanding of Local Courts:

  • Traffic lawyers are familiar with local court procedures and personnel, which can be beneficial when navigating the legal process.

7. Objective Advice and Strategy:

  • A lawyer can provide objective advice about the merits of your case, the potential consequences, and the best strategy to pursue.

8. Negotiation Skills:

  • Traffic ticket lawyers are experienced in negotiating with judges and prosecutors. They could secure alternative penalties, such as attending a traffic school instead of a harsher penalty.

9. Protection of Your Driving Record:

  • Keeping your driving record clean is beneficial for both insurance purposes and your personal reputation. A lawyer can help protect your record from negative entries.

10. Legal Strategy:

  • An attorney can guide on when to fight a ticket versus when to negotiate, based on the specifics of your situation.

11. Understanding Complex Situations:

  • The legal landscape can be more complex for more severe traffic violations, like DUIs or hit-and-runs. In such cases, hiring a lawyer becomes even more crucial.

Tips For Avoiding Traffic Tickets

Staying within the confines of traffic laws is the best way to ensure safety on the road and avoid traffic citations. Here are some essential tips to help you steer clear of traffic tickets:

1. Stay Informed:

  • Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws. This is particularly important when driving in a new city or state.

2. Mind the Speed Limit:

  • Always observe the posted speed limits. In areas without posted limits, know the default speed regulations.
  • Adjust your speed according to weather and traffic conditions.

3. Signal Your Intentions:

  • Always use turn signals when changing lanes or turning.
  • Ensure that all your vehicle’s signals are in working order.

4. Obey Traffic Lights and Signs:

  • Stop completely at stop signs.
  • Avoid rushing through yellow lights.

5. Avoid Distracted Driving:

  • Only text or use your phone while driving if you have a hands-free system.
  • Set your GPS and adjust controls (like A/C or radio) before you start driving or while at a complete stop.

6. Follow Lane Discipline:

  • Stick to your lane and follow lane markings.
  • Observe special lane rules, such as carpool lanes or lanes only for turning.

7. Regular Vehicle Maintenance:

  • Ensure brake lights, headlights, and turn signals are functioning properly.
  • Regularly check that your vehicle meets emission and safety standards.

8. Wear Your Seatbelt:

  • Ensure everyone in the vehicle, including back-seat passengers, is wearing their seatbelt.

9. Avoid Aggressive Driving:

  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Don’t engage with aggressive drivers; instead, maintain your calm and keep a safe distance.

10. Be Mindful in School Zones and Construction Areas:

  • Always slow down in these zones.
  • Obey any temporary signs or signals.

11. Park Properly:

  • Always check for and obey parking signs.
  • Ensure you’re not blocking driveways or emergency exits.

12. Stay Updated with Paperwork:

  • Keep your vehicle’s registration, insurance, and any required permits up-to-date.
  • Display any necessary stickers or tags as required by local laws.

13. Stay Sober:

  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any medication that impairs your driving ability.

14. Attend Defensive Driving Courses:

  • Consider attending a defensive driving course. It can educate you on best practices and lower your insurance premiums.

Penalties & Consequences Of Traffic Tickets

Depending on their severity, traffic tickets can lead to a range of penalties and consequences. It’s essential to understand these implications as they can affect not just your immediate situation but also has long-term ramifications:

1. Fines:

  • The most immediate consequence of most traffic tickets is a monetary fine. The amount can vary significantly based on the jurisdiction and the severity of the violation.

2. Driving Record Points:

  • Many jurisdictions operate on a points system. Specific points can be added to your driving record depending on the violation. Accumulating too many points can lead to additional consequences, such as license suspension.

3. Increase in Insurance Premiums:

  • Traffic violations can result in increased car insurance rates. Serious infractions or multiple tickets can cause a significant spike in your premiums.

4. License Suspension or Revocation:

  • You may face suspension or revocation of your driver’s license for severe violations or the accumulation of multiple offenses in a short time.

5. Mandatory Traffic School:

  • Some jurisdictions may require or offer a traffic school to remedy a violation. Attending and completing these courses might reduce or eliminate points from your record.

6. Community Service:

  • In some cases, a judge might order community service hours, especially if fines are unaffordable or as an alternative to other penalties.

7. Jail Time:

  • Severe traffic violations, such as DUIs, reckless driving, or hit and runs, can lead to jail time, mainly if they result in injury or property damage.

8. Probation:

  • Instead of, or in addition to, jail time, some severe offenses might result in probation. Probation can come with rules and restrictions, and violating them can lead to more severe penalties.

9. Court Appearances:

  • Some traffic tickets require mandatory court appearances, especially for severe violations.

10. Vehicle Impoundment or Forfeiture:

  • For certain violations or repeated offenses, your vehicle may be impounded, or in extreme cases, you might lose ownership of the vehicle.

11. Restitution:

  • If your violation damaged another person’s property or caused injury, you might be ordered to pay restitution to cover the costs of repairs or medical bills.

12. Employment Implications:

  • If you drive for a living, traffic tickets can endanger your job. Commercial drivers, for instance, can lose their commercial driver’s license (CDL) for certain violations, even if they were committed while driving their vehicle.

13. Permanent Record:

  • Traffic violations can stay on your driving record for years, depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the offense. This record can influence future penalties, insurance rates, and potential employment opportunities.

14. Increased Penalties for Subsequent Violations:

  • If you’ve previously been ticketed or penalized for traffic violations, any new offenses might result in steeper fines, longer suspensions, or other heightened consequences.

How Patricia Perello Can Help

Navigating traffic tickets and offenses in Colorado courts can be complex. This is where Patricia Perello, a respected lawyer based in Colorado Springs, comes into play. With her extensive experience in traffic law, she can provide valuable legal advice and representation.

Patricia Perello understands the intricacies of Colorado’s traffic laws and the points system. She can help you understand the charges against you, the potential consequences, and your options for defense. If you fight the ticket, she can represent you in court, presenting a solid defense to reduce or dismiss the charges.

She can assist with lost tickets, Port of Entry citations, and payment verification. Furthermore, she can guide you through the process if your license is at risk of suspension due to point accumulation.

With Patricia Perello on your side, you can feel confident that your case is being handled professionally and effectively. She is dedicated to protecting your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome for your situation.

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