Getting a moving violation ticket is treated a bit differently depending on if it’s in Kansas or Missouri, but both can result in the loss of your driving privileges — and allow your auto insurance company to raise your premium along the way to your suspension.
Missouri uses a points system, while Kansas is straightforward — three moving violations in one year and you lose your license.
Regardless of your state of residence, fighting a speeding or other ticket is not a sign of a disloyal citizen who won’t own up to his or her mistake. Rather, it is a right that each person has. Given that the consequences can be, at minimum, a hike in your insurance premium, and at worst, the loss of your driving rights, you should challenge every ticket.
One in every four tickets is issued in error, but only 5% of people ticketed every challenge the violation in court.
If you’ve been charged with a moving violation in the Kansas City area — either in Kansas or Missouri — exercise your rights to challenge the ticket before it ends up costing you money or more.
Contact me at The Richman Law Office LLC. I have been helping clients with traffic violations and suspensions of their licenses for more than two decades. I will bring my experience to bear on your case and help you achieve the best result possible.
In both states, Kansas and Missouri, tickets are divided between moving and non-moving.
If you’re talking on your cell phone while driving or one of your brake lights is out, you could receive what would be termed a non-moving violation, even though your vehicle is indeed moving. Non-moving violations generally have no bearing on your insurance rates, and many if not most are not even reported to your state licensing department or your insurance company.
Moving violations mean you’re operating your vehicle and you break a specific traffic law. Moving violations include everything from speeding and running a red light or stop sign, to following too closely, driving recklessly, driving while under the influence (DUI), and many others. These violations do indeed go on your driving record.
In Missouri, moving violations accumulate points (which can lead to your driver’s license being suspended), while in Kansas, no points are assigned. Instead, three moving violations in a 12-month period can result in the loss of your driving privileges.
While Kansas law is straightforward — three strikes and you’re out — Missouri is more like other states in that it assigns points to your driving record depending on the severity of the violation you committed. If you receive four points in a 12-month period, the Department of Revenue (which handles driver licensing) will send you a “point accumulation advisory letter.”
If you accumulate eight or more points in 18 months, you will face a suspension of 30 days for the first accumulation. If you accumulate eight points again in another 18 months, the suspension increases to 60 days, and a third time to 90 days.
Points can depend on who issues your ticket — a Missouri State Trooper or a Sheriff’s Deputy. If you get a speeding ticket from a State Trooper, you get three points; from a Sheriff’s Deputy, two points. City police officers also issue traffic tickets. After speeding, points assigned remain mostly the same. A first-time DUI results in eight points, driving with a suspended license 12 points.
Fortunately, points in Missouri fall off your record over time. After one year of driving without an additional violation, your total points get reduced by one-third. In two years, the remainder of your points gets cut in half. After three years with no additional points, your point balance goes back to zero.
In Kansas, there is a checkbox on the back of the citation that, if checked, signals you’re pleading “not guilty.” Checking the box will result in a contested hearing. In Missouri, you must request a contested hearing.
Remember, in both states, if you pay the fine online, by mail, or in person, that is the equivalent of a “guilty” plea, and you face the consequences — points added in Missouri, one strike added to your record in Kansas. The result will be a higher insurance premium, and a pathway to a license suspension if you receive more citations.
Though your contested hearing represents a civil violation and not a crime, the prosecution still faces the burden of proving you guilty. Once you go inside the hearing chamber, your defense will likely rest on trying to prove the officer who gave you the ticket was either wrong or mistaken. The officer may have confused your vehicle with another that actually was breaking the law.
You can also challenge the officer’s assessment of your speed. Even if he used a radar gun, you can challenge the device’s accuracy by questioning its calibration. You may also have had a valid reason for speeding or changing lanes too aggressively. You can argue that you were rushing to take care of an emergency, or maneuvering or speeding to avoid an accident with a driver near you.
Too much is at stake to simply pay a traffic fine, let it go on your record, and see your insurance premium skyrocket — to say nothing of taking another step toward a license suspension. You need a skilled attorney on your side to help you avoid facing the most serious consequences.
I'll do everything I can to help protect your rights and fight to defend your driving privileges. If your legal matter requires an appearance in court, I'll be right by your side every step of the way.
You shouldn’t have to worry about losing your driving privileges if you’ve made a series of relatively minor mistakes behind the wheel. If you’ve been cited for a moving violation in Kansas City, on either side of the Kansas-Missouri border, reach out to me at The Richman Law Office LLC. Call my office today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.