Traffic tickets are usually issued by Texas law enforcement officers for minor traffic offenses that are considered non-criminal “infractions” or low-level, Class C misdemeanors, but there are instances when a traffic ticket can get someone into serious legal trouble. If that happens to you, call the McNeal Law Firm for the legal advice and services of Houston traffic ticket lawyer David McNeal.
How can a traffic ticket open the door to serious legal difficulties? You could get a ticket in another state, for example, that could follow you back to Texas and put your driver’s license at risk. If you’ve been issued a traffic ticket anywhere in Texas or even in another state, call the McNeal Law Firm and get the legal advice that you’re going to need.
What is the Interstate Driver’s License Compact?
The Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC) is an agreement among 45 states to share the details about motorists’ driving records. A ticket issued in New Orleans, for example, also shows up on your driving record here in the Houston area.
If you already have points on your Texas driver’s license, an out-of-state ticket for tailgating or speeding could put you over the point limit and prompt a driver’s license suspension. And should you fail to pay a ticket in the state where you receive it, that state can ask Texas to suspend your driver’s license.
If you are issued any traffic ticket in any state, fight it. Paying a traffic ticket is an admission of guilt that adds points to your license and raises your insurance premiums. Every case is different, but the right traffic ticket lawyer – Houston attorney David McNeal – may in some cases be able to get the traffic charge against you reduced or entirely dismissed.
What Can Happen If You Are Stopped for a Traffic Violation?
Conducting yourself properly during a traffic stop can also help you avoid legal trouble that might otherwise accompany a traffic ticket.
If you are driving in or near the Houston area and you are stopped by the police, be polite and cooperative. If the police officer writes you a ticket, sign it without disputing it. You will be given a chance to tell your story to a judge, and you’ll have the right to a lawyer’s advice and representation, so do not argue with the police officer who is writing the ticket.
During a traffic stop, whatever you say can be used against you. Exercise your right to remain silent, but remain cooperative and polite. You might say, “Officer, I’d simply prefer to exercise my right to remain silent.”
What If a Police Officer Asks to Search Your Vehicle?
If a police officer asks to search your vehicle, politely decline. If the officer forces the issue and insists on searching your vehicle, do not try to determine if the officer has “probable cause” for conducting a search. Your attorney can take a close look at that question – later.
Your refusal to consent to a search is your legal right, but of course, your refusal to consent to a search must be entirely verbal. Never, ever physically resist a law enforcement officer, even if you are convinced that he or she is violating your rights and the law by conducting an unwarranted search.
Declining to consent to a search of your vehicle may not be considered evidence of guilt and does not provide a law enforcement officer with an automatic legal right to search or detain you. Remain polite, but do not let yourself be tricked or intimidated into verbally consenting to an unwarranted search of your vehicle.
When Is Paying a Traffic Fine a Bad Idea?
Many ticketed motorists in Texas pay the fines immediately, usually without realizing that paying off a traffic ticket can actually open the door to potential legal trouble. Paying a traffic fine is the equivalent of pleading guilty to the charge.
That could potentially trigger a driver’s license suspension, and it is certain to increase your auto insurance rates. Multiple unpaid tickets can lead to hefty fines, a license suspension, or even jail for an unsuspecting driver.
You can’t let a few minor traffic tickets turn your life upside-down. If you have even one unpaid ticket, consult with a traffic ticket attorney without delay to better understand your legal options moving forward. Traffic tickets are like everything else in the law. The longer you wait to deal with it, the more serious the consequences may become.
Schedule a Consultation With Houston Traffic Attorney David McNeal
When you schedule a case review of a traffic ticket with the McNeal Law Firm, Houston traffic ticket lawyer David McNeal will carefully listen to you explain what happened. If you have legal options for reducing the penalty or having the matter entirely dismissed, he will explain those options and begin bringing your traffic ticket case to its best possible outcome.
Schedule a consultation now with the McNeal Law Firm by calling our Houston offices at (832) 819-3281 to learn more, to resolve a traffic ticket, or to deal with any matter related to your Texas driver’s license and your driving privilege.