How Many Points Is This Traffic Ticket?

How Many Points Is This Traffic Ticket?

If you’ve recently received a traffic ticket, before you just pay it, you should make sure you understand all of the consequences of doing that.  Many people don’ t realize that by paying a ticket they’re actually pleading guilty, and that will put a conviction on their driving record. A conviction can have all kinds of consequences.


How many points does a particular ticket have?  Click HERE to see the official July 2012 Missouri Department of Revenue point system table. You need to be careful if you’re going to use this table, though, because it can get complicated. For example, the same offense can have different points depending on what Police Department issued the ticket and what Court you are in (Associate Circuit versus, for example, Municipal Court).  Another example is that  the number of points  (and minimum fine, etc.) can vary depending on whether it’s a first conviction for that offense, second conviction, etc.

This table only shows the number of new points you would get by paying the ticket.  In order to understand all the consequences of pleading guilty to the new charge, you need to be sure of how many points you currently have on your driving record, as well as how old they are.  (You can get that information on your record directly from the Missouri Department of Revenue by calling their main Driver’s Information number: 573-526-2407.)

Additionally, if you’re currently on probation under an SIS or other agreement, simply paying a traffic ticket will very likely result in your violating your probation terms.   If that happens, it typically means that the prior court could now re-sentence you on the old charge to anything that was a legal sentence at that time.

Additionally, just paying a traffic ticket  will almost always result in an increase in your car insurance premiums.   Each company is different, so it’s difficult to generalize,  but I know of no insurance company that doesn’t either (i)  ask you about  traffic ticket convictions when you apply or renew or (ii)  actually  obtain a  certified copy of your driving record  directly from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

You also need to be aware that  jail is mandatory for certain traffic tickets.  One example is repeat convictions for driving while suspended or revoked under Missouri Statute Section 302.321.

Having An Attorney Represent You Frequently Ends Up Saving You Money

It’s important for you to know that having an experienced attorney go to court for you can frequently save you much more than the attorney charges you. While it might seem cheaper to just pay the ticket without getting a lawyer, by just paying the ticket you’re actually pleading guilty, which results in your being convicted of the offense charged. Convictions frequently cause your car insurance rates to go up significantly. Many traffic offenses also result in points being placed on your driving record, which can lead to your drivers license being suspended or revoked. For example, your license will be suspended if you get 8 or more points in 18 months.   A knowledgeable attorney can often save you hundreds of dollars by helping you avoid excessive fines, unnecessary convictions, drivers license suspensions, increased insurance costs and time lost from work.

As a former Municipal Court Judge myself, I am very experienced in handling these kinds of cases. I’ve been practicing law for over 25 years, and I’m very experienced in negotiating with prosecutors. In most cases, you don’t even need to be there, so you won’t miss work. I go to court for you and try to resolve the case in the best way possible.

Because we handle a significant number of traffic cases, our fees are less expensive than most other attorneys. Our fees for traffic tickets are as low as $90.00, and multiple tickets from a single traffic stop can get discounted below that as well.

Please call us today at 417-823-7500 to get a free quote and find out what our fees would be for your particular situation.

Why Should You Hire Me To Represent You? Here Are 7 Good Reasons:

  • Low Attorney Fees
  • Very Experienced Attorney, and Former Municipal Court Judge
  • Increase Your Chances Of Getting A Lower Fine
  • Increase Your Chances Of Keeping Points And Convictions Off Your Driving Record
  • Increase Your Chances Of Preventing Insurance Cost Increases
  • You Won’t Have To Miss Work (In Most Cases)
  • We Accept Credit Cards And Payment Plans

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 417-823-7500. We will be happy to  discussed your situation with you.

Forced Arbitration Clauses Should Be Outlawed

There Is An Epidemic Of Big Businesses Depriving Americans Of Their Constitutional Right To A Jury Trial, And Legislators Should Stop It

Every American citizen has the right to a jury trial.   it says so right in the seventh amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as additionally saying so in most state constitutions.  But almost every large corporation doing business in the United States has secretly buried, deep in the fine print of their contracts “gotcha” provisions which deprive American citizens of their constitutional right to a jury trial. Big businesses do this because they want to avoid being held accountable in front of an impartial jury of average citizens, and instead want to hide their misdeeds and keep secret consumers’ claims against them. Big businesses fear juries, because they know that under the American jury system 12 average people have the power to hold them accountable on a level playing field.

So, instead of a jury trial, they rig the system.  They write their contracts  to say that instead of going to court, any future disputes with customers must go to “binding arbitration,” where a private person (instead of a public court) rule on the outcome, usually without any publicity at all.

While depriving the citizen of his or her day in court is itself outrageous, it might not be quite as bad if it weren’t for the fact that these contracts then almost always go on to game the system even further by then also imposing completely unfair rules for the binding arbitration. Those unfair rules almost always include (i) picking a decision-maker who is on the payroll of the big company and (ii) prohibiting certain types and amounts of remedies that the arbitrator can impose.

Almost every American citizen is affected by this type of contract. You (yes, You!) almost certainly have given up your constitutional right to a jury trial, if you have done even one of these things in the last few years:

• bought a mobile phone;
• worked for a large company;
• charged anything to a credit card;
• bought a new car;
• bought any computer software;
• installed an an app on your phone; or
• rented a car.

I’m willing to bet that almost every person reading this had no idea that by some seemingly insignificant and innocent act they had actually given up one of their major constitutional rights. Did you really read all the fine print on the back of the carbon copy of the car rental contract that says you give up your rights to a trial? Did you really read the 15 pages of microscopic print when your credit card company mailed you an amended and updated contract?  Of course not. Nobody does.

Did you click “Agree” when installing software without actually reading the terms of the agreement? Of course you did. Nobody reads those things.  In general, people click on “Agree” because:

1. they know the terms are not negotiable, under any circumstances. It’s a “take it or leave it” deal; and
2. they think people are fundamentally fair and don’t expect that they will be stuck with ridiculous and unfair provisions they weren’t specifically told about.

One of the most basic concepts in the American legal system is that both sides are entitled to have an impartial person decide the case.  If the decision-maker has a vested financial interest in keeping one side of the dispute happy, they obviously can’t be fair.  In a typical situation, a large company will write its  contract to require that every dispute must to be submitted to a particular, specifically-named arbitrator or  arbitration organization.  (One example is the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”)).   When a dispute arises, the arbitrator gets   involved in the dispute and gets paid  for its services, charging, at a minimum, many thousands of dollars, and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars.  (Sometimes  the arbitrator’s payment comes from the company, sometimes from the customer, and sometimes from the loser of the dispute – it really doesn’t matter to the arbitrator where the money comes from, as long as it keeps coming.)

The arbitrator knows perfectly well  that if the company doesn’t like the arbitrator’s decisions,  the company will simply rewrite its contract to name a different arbitrator, and the arbitrator will lose their business.   The arbitrator  has a vested interest in keeping the big company happy with its decisions.     This conflict of interest means that  by definition  any named arbitrator is not fair, objective, or impartial.  They all pretend otherwise, but the fact is that they all know that they have to keep the company happy in the long run or they’ll lose the business.  If the arbitrator rules in favor of the customer too many times, or if any particular verdict is too high,  the company will fire them and simply hire a different arbitrator who is willing to play ball.

The United States Congress, the Missouri legislature, and each other state’s legislatures should pass laws prohibiting companies from imposing binding arbitration provisions  before a dispute has arisen, and declaring those provisions avoid.    If a dispute  comes up and both sides at that point voluntarily choose to submit the case to binding arbitration, that should be allowed  and permitted.  But the underhanded practice of burying these  kinds of provisions in the fine print in “standard” contracts,  which no one reads,  are impossible to negotiate and contain   unknowing waivers of important constitutional rights, should be outlawed and prevented from being enforced.

These laws would benefit the average consumer  and society as a whole.    Fear of being held publicly accountable for their actions is a powerful motivator for big businesses to act in a safe and responsible way.  Everyone in the community  benefits from public trials,  which is why the founders of this great nation required trials to be public.