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What Is An SR-22?

What Is An SR-22?

What Is An SR-22?

               An SR-22 is a document prepared by an insurance company that can verify whether someone has car insurance.  It is not only prepared by the insurance company but also filed by them with the Missouri Department of Revenue (the Department of Motor Vehicles, or “DMV” in Missouri).

So now that we know what an SR-22 is, when would a person need one?  It is normally required when a person is seeking to either have their driver’s license reinstated or after someone has been convicted of a DWI or DUI in Missouri.  An SR-22 can also be necessary if a person is convicted of reckless driving or was an uninsured driver that caused an accident.

With respect to a DWI conviction in Missouri, the SR-22 will be required for a set number of years.  If the person fails to pay the premiums, the SR-22 can be cancelled and when that happens another document called an SR-26 is filed with the Missouri Department of Revenue, which notifies them of the cancellation and once received, the person’s license is suspended until a new SR-22 can be obtained and filed.

The SR-22 can be costly because the insurance company considers the person who needs one to be a high risk driver.  The higher the risk of insuring someone, the higher the premiums.

The SR-22 also requires a minimum amount of coverage in Missouri, which $25,000 for one person who is killed or injured, $50,000 for two or more persons killed or injured and also $10,000 for property damage.

It’s important to remember that if you need an SR-22 that you don’t delay in getting one.  If you’re license is suspended, you can’t drive and if you drive, you can get additional driving while suspended tickets in Missouri, which can lead to further costs and further problems on your driving record.

A sample of what an SR-22 document looks like can be found here:  http://dor.mo.gov/pdf/sr22.pdf

Traffic tickets and points…

Traffic tickets and points…

You probably know that when you receive a traffic ticket for a moving violation in Missouri, including a speeding ticket, pleading guilty to that ticket means you have “points” imposed on your driver’s record.  That’s why you want to hire a firm like Traffic Ticket Center to handle any ticket you receive.  Accumulating points not only could lead to a suspension of your driver’s license, but also increase your insurance premiums because your insurance company views you as riskier to insure.

What you probably do not know is how many points are assessed for certain violations.  Let’s take a look at point totals for specific traffic ticket violations in Missouri*:

  •  Leaving Scene of an Accident:  State Violation 12 / County Ordinance Violation 6 / Municipal Violation 6 points
  • Careless and Imprudent Driving:  State / County / Municipal = 2 points
  • Careless and Imprudent Driving (RSMo. 304.016) (passing on right side of the highway) for State Violation Only = 4 points
  • Failure to Produce Insurance:  State / County / Municipal = 4 points
  • Speeding (5 + MPH over):  State 3 / County 2/ Municipal 2 points
  • No Driver’s License (different than driving without proof of a license):  State / County / Municipal 2 (note that under state law a second violation is 4 points and a third or subsequent violation is 6 points)
  • Stop Sign Violation (running a stop sign):  State 2 / County 2 / Municipal 1 (if no accident) – 2 points (if accident)
  • Driving While Suspended Revoked:  State / County / Municipal = 12 points
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI):  State / County Municipal = 8 points (first violation) / 12 points (subsequent)
  • Improper Turn:  State / County / Municipal = 2 points
  • Driving Too Fast For Conditions:  State / County / Municipal = 2 points
  • Failure to Maintain Lane: State / County / Municipal = 2 points

Here is the link to review the Missouri points chart yourself:  http://dor.mo.gov/forms/899.pd

*This article refers to non-CDL drivers.  Some of the above violations can result of CDL privileges for one violation and generally speaking, any moving violation has much more serious consequences for the CDL driver versus the non-CDL driver.

Juvenile Cases in Missouri:   The Informal Adjustment Hearing…

Juvenile Cases in Missouri: The Informal Adjustment Hearing…

Juvenile Cases in Missouri: The Informal Adjustment Hearing…

If you are under age 17, you may find yourself charged with a crime and receive a notice that you must attend an informal adjustment hearing.   Those three words can be very intimidating, especially given that the instructions will clearly state that you have the right to have an attorney present along with your parents at the hearing.

The reality of the informal adjustment hearing is that it is a great opportunity to resolve what you have been charged with without having to get the courts involved.  That is because youth under 17 in Missouri are referred to the Family Court and not the Criminal Court.

The result the Court wants in informal adjustment hearing cases in Missouri is for delinquent or criminal behavior to be corrected, for your parents to get involved in making sure this happens and for the community around you to be protected by this correction.  An informal adjustment hearing is conducted by a Deputy Juvenile Officer (a “JDO”).

If you’ve received a notice for an informal adjustment hearing, what you have been charged with is not likely to be serious.  They are common in cases of school truancy, where children runaway or break curfew or some other minor offense.

At the hearing, you, your attorney and your parents can enter into an agreement where expectations for you going forward are discussed.  Conditions of your behavior might be agreed to and you’ll be expected to follows those explanations.  Essentially, it’s an opportunity for you to correct your behavior before your behavior causes you to really get into serious trouble through formalized charges.

For this reason, it’s a great idea to take advantage of the informal adjustment hearing process.  Our office can meet with you and your parents before the meeting, let you know what to expect and a probable result of the hearing.  We can also call the DJO for your hearing in advance to discuss the particulars of your upcoming hearing.

At the hearing, we can ensure that you understand what is expected of you and work with the DJO for an outcome with a maximum benefit to you.

If you have received a letter stating you must attend an informal adjustment hearing, give our office a call.  We can usually assist you and your parents with an affordable flat fee.

Dealing With Traffic Tickets

Dealing With Traffic Tickets

Dealing With Traffic Tickets

Getting a traffic ticket, in the grand scheme of life, is not a huge deal.  But you should definitely take action to protect your interests when you get a ticket, and the best action to take is to hire a lawyer to resolve the ticket for you.  

Moving violations carry what are known as points.  The number of points vary depending on the violation.  A speeding ticket, the most common ticket we see, is ordinarily a 2 point ticket.  Driving without insurance is a 4 point ticket and driving on a suspended license will result in 12 points.  

Getting points has two effects.  First, it can cause your license to be suspended.  If you accumulate 4 points or more in 12 months, the Missouri Department of Revenue will send you a warning letter stating that you are in danger of losing your driving privileges.  If you accumulate 8 points or more in 18 months, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days. If you accumulate 12 points or more in 12 months, 18 points or more in 24 months, or 24 points or more in 36 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year.

The second effect of points is that it can dramatically raise your cost of insurance.  When you incur points on your driver record, these points get recorded with the Department of Revenue.  Your insurance company will eventually check with the Department of Revenue and find the points and deem you to be a riskier driver to insure.  The result is higher premiums for experienced drivers and much, much higher premiums for young drivers.  

By hiring an attorney, you can ordinarily have your traffic ticket amended to a non-moving violation, which carry no points and will not raise your insurance.  

There are other benefits to hiring an attorney.  First, you don’t have to worry about showing up to court.  The attorney will handle the ticket and you’ve just saved yourself time and effort to get to a court date, or maybe multiple court dates.  Second, you no longer have to worry about the ticket because you’ve hired an attorney to handle it.  Peace of mind is important and you get that when you hire an attorney to handle the ticket for you.

Traffic Ticket Center handles all types of traffic ticket matters, as well as more serious charges such as Driving While Suspended and DWI.  We make everything as easy as possible for clients.  In many cases, we can take all the information about the ticket and payment over the telephone, saving you even more time and headaches.