In all states, including Oklahoma, only those convicted of the more serious traffic violations, such as drunk driving, face the possibility of serving time in jail. By contrast, state laws do not allow a judge to impose a jail sentence for speeding or failure to stop at a traffic signal. Although ordinary traffic violations do not result in jail time in Oklahoma, the other consequences of not contesting a ticket, or fighting and being found guilty, can be significant.
The following are the negative consequences of getting a ticket:
- Fines – An average ticket for speeding, failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to yield, or a seat belt violation will typically cost a person between $25 and $300. If the fine is not written down on the ticket, you can learn the amount by either contacting the traffic court or searching the internet. Since it is costly for the state to fight a ticket, courts place obstacles in the way of people who insist on contesting their violation in a hearing, while administering “no muss, no fuss” options to pay your fine.
- License suspensions – For a routine moving violation such as speeding, you won’t lose your license for the first offense. But when facing several tickets in Oklahoma, motorists need to be aware of the fact that their citations will bring demerit points to their driving records. Accumulating 10 or more negative points on your driving record within a period of five years will result in the suspension of your driving privileges. For example, reckless driving results in -4 points, while failure to yield right of way is punishable by -2 points. You are entitled to a hearing in front of a motor vehicle bureau hearing officer before your license can be revoked. Drivers may enroll in state-approved traffic school to dismiss violations or reduce the number of points on their record. Having no traffic violation convictions within a three-year time frame may result in a reduction to zero on your total point amount.
- Insurance rates – Traffic citations in Oklahoma may increase car insurance premiums. Although your auto insurance rates will normally not increase if you receive one ordinary traffic ticket over three to five years, two or more moving violations—or a traffic violation combined with an at-fault car crash—during the same time period may result in an increase on your insurance bill. Completing a traffic school course may help lower-risk drivers to get discounts on their insurance rates. Prior to registering for an Oklahoma traffic school course, contact your insurer to verify if your credentials will be acceptable. Afterward, you can dismiss traffic tickets and obtain insurance discounts by providing a certificate of completion.
With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. is committed to helping our clients obtain the most favorable results possible in their traffic violation cases. For more information, schedule a free consultation with our Norman traffic violation attorney today.