Articles Posted in Traffic Tickets

Lambo--300x225When COVID-19 hit Connecticut first responders were reluctant to make traffic enforcement stops due to possible exposure to COVID-19.   Traffic enforcement is a low priority in law enforcement.  Additionally, the government shut down lead to many people staying at home and a 70% reduction in mobility in our state.   Many have noticed empty roads and have taken advantage of this to drive at very fast speeds.

Nationwide there has been an increase in fatalities in motor vehicle accidents apparently due to the rapid speeds that people are driving.  Also, our state is facing record budget deficits due to COVID-19 so speeding ticket enforcement has once again become a high priority.  While we are freeing convicted criminals from our jails, the police are out in mass giving speeding tickets to otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Police are back out in full force and seem to have lost their fear of interacting with the general public.  With new COVID-19 fears, there is little opportunity to “talk your way out of a ticket” when you get pulled over.  The state needs revenue and people are driving fast so that the police are just issuing citations. Most of the people calling our office over the last two weeks were alleged to have been driving over 80 mph.   Remember over 85 mph is reckless driving per se in Connecticut and a criminal offense.

police-line-1-300x225Everyone who gets a traffic ticket that does not require a court appearance in Connecticut is faced with the somewhat misleading language on the back of the ticket which states “If you are charged with a motor vehicle infraction or violation and you choose to pay the amount due to the Centralized Infractions Bureau, no points will be assessed against your operator’s license by the Connecticut Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.” This language is somewhat misleading as while the DMV may not impose points if you plead by mail or online the conviction will go on your permanent DMV driving history.  Most insurance companies regularly check the driving histories when it comes time to renew your auto instance policy and having a record for a moving violation can result in increased insurance rates.

Plead Guilty or (No Contest) to a Speeding or Traffic Ticket Can Increase your Insurance Rates and Lead to Administrative Sanctions 

No matter how tempting the offer of “no-points” sounds there are still consequences for pleading guilty or no contest.   The reason why is even though “no-points” will be assessed against you, the conviction will be noted on your permanent Connecticut driving history and insurance companies will be able to charge you increased premiums on the basis of your conviction for a moving violation for years to come. Obviously, the more violations you have the more the insurance company charges you through higher insurance premiums.

Stamford-Police-Station-300x225Recently Connecticut implemented an online ticket review program that allows you an opportunity to enter a not guilty plea to your traffic infraction and then apply to have a State’s Attorney review your case online. At first glance this seems like a great idea, it can save you a trip to Court and gives you an opportunity to give your side of the story. A lot of my clients are tempted to write in a big long explanation to the State’s Attorney without realizing that often what they are submitting is an admission of guilt and will not lead to the State’s Attorney dropping or nolling the charge. In fact, statistics show that since its inception the vast majority of cases submitted to the online review program have only resulted in offers of reduced fines and only a small fraction have resulted in offers to nolle or drop the case. Let’s drill down a little bit on how the program works and why I recommend that you should never use this new program.

How Does The Online Ticket Review Program Work?

The program is fairly simple and on its face makes perfect sense. The problem is that it is a program designed to help move the huge quantity of traffic ticket cases more efficiently for the State. When you plead not guilty to a traffic infraction or violation that does not require a Court appearance though the centralized infractions bureau you are automatically afforded an opportunity to participate in the online ticket review program. When you use the online program you can fill out an online dispute form and submit a written narrative explaining your side of the story and also upload any documents supporting your position. The State’s Attorney will review your submission along with the materials provided by the arresting police officer and then make an “offer” to resolve your case. In the vast majoriety of cases the offer be a reduction in the amount of the fine – not a reduction in the charge to a non-moving violation or a nolle or droppoing of the case.

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