Traffic Tickets in Missouri
Drivers who receive moving violations in Missouri incur points against their license. If a driver accumulates a total of 8 or more points in 18 months, the Department of Revenue will suspend that person’s driving privilege. The first suspension is 30 days, the second suspension is 60 days, and the third or more suspension is 90 days. The Department of Revenue will revoke your driving privilege for one year if you accumulate 12 or more points in 12 months, 18 or more points in 24 months, and 24 or more points in 36 months.
Different violations are assessed a different amount of points. See RSMo. §302.302. http://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=302.302
The Missouri DOR has a helpful chart that lists the number of points for each moving violation. https://dor.mo.gov/forms/899.pdf For example, failure to produce an insurance card is 4 points.
The most common moving violation that people hire attorneys to represent them for is speeding more than 5 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Speeding more than 5 mph over the limit will cause the driver to incur 3 points (state law violation) or 2 points (county or municipal law violation). There are multiple ways such a ticket may be resolved in court depending on how fast the driver was going, what the driver’s record looks like, and any other case-specific factors.
One possible resolution is that the prosecutor will amend the ticket to a “no points” speeding ticket, which is a ticket a driver gets for going 1 to 5 miles per hour over the limit. Because this is technically a moving violation that will appear on a driver’s record, some insurance companies may raise an insured’s rates. But the driver will not get points against his license for DOR purposes.
Another possible resolution is to amend the speeding ticket to a non-moving violation, such as defective equipment. Non-moving violations such as defective equipment do not result in points assessed.
A third resolution is to plead to the speeding more than 5 miles per hour over the limit but receive an SIS. An SIS stands for a Suspended Imposition of Sentence. This is not a conviction. When a driver receives an SIS, the driver is on probation for a period of time and must comply with certain conditions, perhaps taking a class or completing community service. So long as the driver gets no other violations during this probationary time and completes all conditions, the driver will not incur points against his license.
If the prosecutor will not amend the ticket or agree to an SIS, a driver can plead guilty and request that the court allow the driver to take a driver-improvement program (DIP) to avoid points. It is up to the court whether to allow a driver to take the course. The program is online or through an in-person course. The driver-improvement course is only permitted one time in any 36-month period and must be completed within 60 days of the date of the conviction (usually that is the date of the guilty plea). Timely completion of the program removes points but does not remove the conviction from your record. In Springfield, Missouri, the DIP is offered through Mercy Injury Prevention Center (417) 820-7233. For more information about the online DIP, see the Missouri Safety Center. http://www.mosafetycenter.com/divisions/division-of-transportation-safety/driver-improvement-program/
It is important to note that special statutes apply to a CDL holder, so if you have a CDL, the above information may apply differently to you. For example, the driver-improvement program is not an option for CDL operators. Information about CDL suspensions can be found at the DOR’s webpage. https://dor.mo.gov/drivers/commercial/cmv.php You must let your attorney know if you have a CDL.
Give Cantin Mynarich, LLC a call if you received a traffic ticket and are concerned that an accumulation of points will cause your license to be suspended.