Traffic Lawyer Austin
Anyone has a ticket for a traffic violation in Texas can benefit from hiring a traffic lawyer Austin. Traffic convictions all have associated fines and penalties and can potentially have many other undesirable outcomes, including driver’s license suspension, increased insurance costs, and possible jail time. An Austin traffic lawyer is qualified to ensure that the process of dealing with a traffic violation is properly handled with the least amount of negative impact possible. Another aspect an experienced lawyer can help with is understanding fines, penalties, and surcharges.
Penalties, Fines, and Surcharges
While all traffic violations in Texas involve paying penalties and fines, surcharges are only assessed in certain situations. Convictions together with a point system are the factors which determine whether there are surcharges and, if there are, the total amount of the surcharges as well as the number of years surcharges must be paid. Surcharges are assessed under the Texas Driver Responsibility Program (DRP), and a traffic lawyer in Austin will help you understand all required fees associated with your traffic violation.
The point system for Texas traffic violations follows:
- 2 points for a traffic conviction, whether in Texas or in any other state.
- 3 points for a traffic conviction involving a crash, whether in Texas or in any other state.
If you have just 2 points on your driving record, you could end up paying higher insurance premiums. The consequences for having 6 or more points on your driving record are even more serious, and hiring a traffic lawyer in Austin is highly recommended. Once you have 6 points on your record, you will be required to pay a surcharge each year until you have less than 6 points on your record. Basic surcharges are assessed as follows:
- For the first 6 points, $100.
- For each additional point over 6, an additional $25.
Conviction-based surcharges are a bit different, which a traffic lawyer in Austin can thoroughly explain. There are certain traffic violations which result in automatically assessed surcharges on your driving record. In these instances, you must pay the surcharge for three years from the conviction date; you may want to hire a traffic lawyer in Austin to try to avoid convictions associated with these expenses. The surcharge can be far more expensive than charges based on points. Here are some of the surcharges based on convictions:
- A first offense for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs carries a surcharge of $1,000.
- Two or more DWI offenses carry a surcharge of $1,500.
- If you have a DWI conviction in which your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .16 or greater, you must pay an annual surcharge of $2,000, and hiring an Austin traffic lawyer is recommended.
- For driving with no insurance, the annual surcharge is $250.
- For driving without a valid license, the surcharge is $250.
- For driving without a driver’s license, the surcharge is $100.
A qualified traffic lawyer Austin can inform you about all details associated with handling a traffic violation to your best benefit.