When you get a traffic ticket in Missouri (any kind — speeding, stop sign, seat belt, failure to show insurance, etc.), you have a few different options.First, you could show up on the court date at the court listed on the ticket and plead not guilty to the traffic offense. The court will then usually set a hearing date a few weeks out and you’ll have the opportunity to present evidence showing that you did not commit the alleged traffic violation. The judge will decide, based on the evidence, whether or not you are guilty. If he/she finds you not guilty, you’re free to go. If guilty, you’ll likely be subject to a fine and be assessed points on your license.
Second, you could simply plead guilty to the offense. More often than not, this means points will be assessed on your license.
Third, you could hire an attorney to represent you. Most counties in Eastern Missouri and surrounding Saint Louis will be receptive to an attorney in a traffic case. If the attorney does his/her job right, the moving violation ticket will be amended down to a non-moving violation. This is important because a non-moving violation does not result in points on your license, and thus will not affect your car insurance. Depending on the court, prosecutor and the severity of the offense, the fine is usually from $125-$400.
Now a quick word about how the point system works in Missouri. If you accumulate four or more points in a twelve month period, you will get a warning letter from the Department of Revenue telling you to shape up. If you accumulate eight or more points in an eighteen month period, then you’re license will be suspended for thirty days. And if you accumulate twelve points in twelve months, eighteen points in twenty-four months, or twenty-four points in thirty-six months — your driver’s license will be suspended for a year.
Obviously, traffic violations could have some important consequences. The following links to how many points moving violations are generally worth in Missouri —
It’s not uncommon to see people get 2-3 tickets in one single stop (e.g., speeding, failure to show insurance). In such cases, a person could be looking at around six points if the matter is not handled correctly.
The moral of the story is this: ADDRESS YOUR TRAFFIC TICKETS. Show up to court or hire a competent attorney to handle them for you. Points can add up fast. And you don’t want your day-to-day life turned upside down because the Department of Revenue is threatening to suspend/revoke your license.