Boulder Traffic Violation Defense Attorney
Traffic tickets seem as inevitable as death and taxes. Sometimes, it’s as simple as paying a fine and moving on. Sometimes, even a ticket that feels routine or minor can have a major impact on your driving privilege.
In Colorado, certain tickets can carry significant consequences. Points on your license can lead to higher insurance rates. Some tickets can even cause you to lose your license.
At Dolan + Zimmerman LLP, in Boulder, our Boulder traffic violation defense lawyers can help you minimize or eliminate the negative effects of a traffic ticket. Call us today to set up a free 10-minute consultation.
Why Choose Our Boulder Traffic Violation Defense Lawyer?
- Our Boulder criminal defense lawyers will review your case from every angle to search for solutions that will achieve the best possible results.
- We intentionally limit our caseload, so we can dedicate the amount of time and attention that your case deserves.
- Our Boulder traffic violation defense attorney is available 24/7 for support and assistance.
Protecting Your Driving Privileges
We take pride in our high level of experience with traffic and driver’s license-related charges. We understand that your driving privilege is enormously important to your ability to make a living and to go about your everyday life. We can make sure that you get the best possible outcome in court and the least inconvenient impact on your driver’s license by using our experience and creativity to find solutions that work for you.
Court Consequences and Administrative Consequences
Any traffic ticket has possible consequences in two different areas. Court consequences can range from fines to restitution to jail time. Administrative consequences through the Department of Revenue can take the form of points and even of driver’s license suspension or revocation.
Prosecutors and judges do not control and cannot advise you about the driver’s license consequences of your ticket or of any reduced charge that the prosecutor may offer you to resolve your case. This is why it is important to have a skilled lawyer on your side.
When Driving Privileges in Boulder May Be Suspended
Colorado has a point system in place based on the age of the driver and type of license. Your license can be suspended if you accumulate the following points as shown:
Minor Driver: 16-18 years old
- More than 5 points in 12 months
- More than 6 points within the time period for which the license was issued
Provisional Driver: 18-21 years old
- 9 points in 12 months
- 12 points in 24 months
- 14 points within the time period for which the license was issued
Driver 21 Years or Older
- 12 points in 12 months
- 18 points or more within 24 months
Driver in Course of Employment (Chauffeur)
- 16 points in 12 months
- 24 points in 24 months
- 28 points in 48 months
When Traffic Violations are Criminal Violations in Colorado
When you are ticketed or arrested by a police officer for a traffic violation in Colorado, it is because you have committed either an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony. Guidelines for these levels of offenses are as follows:
Drivers are commonly ticketed for committing minor traffic infractions. These include offenses such as speeding, failing to yield, or making an illegal U-turn, etc. While infractions can result in fines and demerit points, jail time is not a possible sentence as it is not a criminal charge. Colorado traffic infractions are divided into two classes, Class A and Class B infractions. Class B infractions are the least serious traffic violations, and penalty points will not be added to your driver’s license.
More serious traffic offenses are considered misdemeanor criminal offenses in Colorado and can result in jail time. These offenses include careless driving, driving on a suspended or revoked license, driving without insurance, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The less serious misdemeanor traffic violations are Class Two misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $300 fine if convicted. That fine can increase in certain situations, for instance, if the traffic violation occurred in a construction or school zone.
The misdemeanor traffic violations that fall into Class One misdemeanors are more severe, such as driving on a suspended license or while impaired. These carry penalties of up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Convicted misdemeanor traffic offenders may also be sentenced to community service and required to pay restitution when appropriate. If you are charged with a misdemeanor traffic offense and wish to contest it, you have the right to a jury trial.
The most severe traffic violations in Colorado are felonies, which are reserved for but not limited to:
- Vehicular homicide and vehicular assault
- Leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality or serious bodily injury
- Eluding a law enforcement officer
- Reckless driving
A traffic felony conviction is as serious as any other felony conviction. It can result in a greater punishment, such as a jail sentence for more than one year and/or a fine exceeding $1,000. Colorado has six classes of felonies. The class of a felony crime is important because the level and nature of the punishments vary with the severity. Class 1 is the most severe, whereas Class 6 the least severe.
Under Colorado’s Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) statute, three or more convictions for any major traffic offense within a period of seven years can lead to the revocation of your driver’s license for up to five years.
The Most Common Traffic Violations in Colorado
- Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident: 12 points
- Driving while under the influence of drugs: 12 points
- Driving while ability impaired by alcohol: 8 points
- Speed contest or drag racing: 12 points
- Eluding or attempting to elude a police officer: 12 points
- Reckless driving: 8 points
- Careless driving: 4 points
- Failure to yield right-of-way: 3 points
- Speeding over posted limit 5-9 mph: 1 point
- Speeding over posted limit 10-19 mph: 4 points
- Speeding over posted limit 20-39 mph: 6 points
- Speeding over posted limit 40-or more mph: 12 points
- Failure to stop for a school bus: 6 points
- Driving on the wrong side of the road: 4 points
- Failure to maintain or show proof of insurance: 4 points
- Improper passing: 4 points
- Failure to observe traffic sign or signal: 4 points
- Improper turn: 3 points
- Driving through a safety zone: 3 points
- Driving in the wrong lane or direction on a one-way street: 3 points
- Failure to signal or improper signal: 2 points
- Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle: 4 points
- Improper backing: 2 points
- Failure to dim or turn on lights: 2 points
- Operating an unsafe vehicle: 2 points
Fighting a Traffic Violation
Motorists who are cited for traffic violations have three options:
- Plead guilty as charged
- Represent yourself throughout the process
- Hire an Boulder traffic violation defense attorney to represent you
Admitting a violation is the fastest and easiest way to deal with it. However, you may end up paying more in fines than you would if you fought it, in addition to more points on your driving record. Fighting a traffic violation gives you a chance to evade those negative consequences. A lawyer can help you assess your situation and consider your options.
Contesting a violation involves preparing your case and going to court. Several defense strategies can reduce your charges or get them dismissed. For example:
- Postponing your court date to increase the chances that the police officer who cited you will not show up
- Choosing a trial-by-declaration, which involves submitting a letter stating why you’re innocent. The police officer will have to submit paperwork as well. If they fail to submit the paperwork, you win by default.
- Filing various motions to discover and exclude evidence, and presenting the prosecutor with contradictory evidence and witness statements.
- Using errors on your traffic ticket as a way to dismiss the charges.
Learn More in a Free 10 Minute Consultation
At our firm, your first 10 minute consultation is free. To arrange a time to discuss your traffic violation with one of our experienced Boulder traffic defense violation attorneys, please call us at 303-593-1874 or contact us by email.