Indiana Traffic Violation Lawyer
Bending the traffic rules may seem like child’s play when compared to more violent crimes. Driving without insurance, driving on a suspended license, or speeding through work or school zones might seem like risks worth taking, because it feels like it’s only a problem if you get caught or if someone gets hurt. Traffic laws are based on the idea that everyone has a right to feel safe on the road. Similarly, driver’s licenses are issued on the premise that it’s everyone’s responsibility to contribute to road safety. Motorists who can’t follow the rules can have their driving privileges revoked by the state. Indiana’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) uses a point system that assign values to driving violations. Too many points can seriously put your privileges at risk.
If you are facing charges of a serious traffic offense, the IN traffic infraction defense attorneys at McNeely Stephenson can help. We understand the stress and uncertainty that criminal charges can trigger, whether misdemeanor or felony. Based in New Albany, Indiana, we proudly serve communities throughout Kentucky and Indiana including, but not limited to, Jefferson County, KY; Floyd County, IN; Clark County, IN; and Harrison County, IN. Whether you are only a suspect, have been arrested, or have been formally charged, consulting with an attorney can help protect your rights. Don’t risk your future and your freedom. Whatever the situation, we can review the circumstances, outline the options, and guide you through this challenging time. Call 812-725-8224 or fill out our online form.
There are many nuances, and thinking you’re in the clear because you’ve only had one “major offense” (as outlined by statute) is asking for trouble. You might not think it’s a big deal to run across town even though your license has been revoked. You might not be concerned that you got ticketed for letting your auto insurance policy lapse. You might not be too worried about your single DUI conviction. After all, it was an isolated incident, right? The thing is, you need to consider not just one offense, but your entire record of the last several years, as well as weigh the future.
Having too many traffic violations can lead to suspension of your license or brand you as a habitual traffic violator (HTV). The state of Indiana takes this label seriously and imposes severe and often permanent penalties. Once an HTV designation is on your record and has resulted in a suspended license, you’re looking at felony charges and possibly the lifetime loss of driving privileges if caught driving. Many people take the ability to drive for granted and don’t quite understand the luxury of that freedom until it’s taken away.
There are three different categories, with almost endless permutations within those categories, that can result in an HTV classification. One way is to accumulate two major offenses in a 10-year period that resulted in someone’s injury or death. That ensures you will get either a 10-year license suspension or a lifetime suspension. Another way is to accumulate three major offenses in a 10-year period, which will result in an automatic 10-year suspension. The third way is to accumulate nine traffic violations and one major offense in a 10-year period. That translates into a five-year suspension. There is a list of offenses that are defined as “major” including:
- Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more (DUI)
- Reckless driving
- Felony criminal recklessness involving a motor vehicle
- Drag racing
- Hit-and-run/leaving the scene of an accident
- Any felony under an Indiana motor vehicle statute or any felony in which the operation of a vehicle is an element of the offense
- Operating a motor vehicle without ever having been licensed
- Any offenses that result in serious injury or death.
Thus, a person can be labeled an HTV for two judgments of voluntary or involuntary vehicular manslaughter in a 10-year period. But so too can a person with 9 speeding tickets and one charge of reckless driving in 10 years. With so much riding on how an offense is classified, a reduction of charges can make all the difference. A criminal defense attorney that specializes in Indiana traffic laws is your key to understanding your charges and helping you keep your license.
LET US HELP
The Indiana HTV lawyers at McNeely Stephenson have the skills and experience needed to ensure that you get the effective representation you deserve. We know how the criminal justice system operates and how to use the unique circumstances of each case to develop a thorough defense strategy. If you or someone you love is concerned about habitual traffic violator status, let us plan the aggressive defense needed to fight these serious allegations. We will work diligently with you and tirelessly for you. To get more information about your options, contact McNeely Stephenson today by calling 812-725-8224 or filling out our online form. The initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose. Getting a criminal defense attorney involved as soon as possible is essential for a favorable outcome, so don’t delay.