Milwaukee Traffic Defense Lawyers Help You Keep Your License and Prevent Higher Insurance Rates
The Ticket Still Matters
Our clients often ask us whether a ticket issued as a result of an accident is worth fighting for insurance purposes. We are advised that even if an insurance carrier does not raise the premium for an accident, the carrier may still raise the premium if the accident results in a conviction for a traffic violation. Most insurance carriers score the ticket as a separate matter from the accident, increasing the chance of the carrier canceling coverage or increasing the insurance premium. The answer, therefore, is that it does pay to fight the ticket even though the fact of the driving record abstract will show that an accident occurred.
$29,000 Insurance Premium Increase for Cab Driver With OWI Conviction
There was a $5,800 per year increase in the cost of auto insurance for one cab after one of the drivers was convicted of First Offense Operating Under the Influence. The cab was operated 12 hours per day by one brother and 12 hours per day by the other brother. The $3,600 per year premium increased to $9,400 after the conviction. The insurance carrier advised our client that the increase would apply for five years, resulting in a $29,000 increase in premiums over the five year period.
Don't lose your freedom
Your driver's license is your passport to personal liberty and financial freedom. Driving a car is so fundamental to daily life that many consider it a right. But it is a privilege, not a right, according to the Wisconsin Legislature and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The number of laws regarding this privilege is staggering. There are many traps for the unwary. You need an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer. Our attorneys have over 75 years of collective experience in fighting traffic tickets in all 72 counties in Wisconsin. The suspension or revocation of your driver's license can jeopardize your job, inconvenience your family, and substantially increase your insurance premiums. Your entire lifestyle is affected. Serious traffic convictions or repeated traffic convictions can result in stiff fines, loss of license, restricted driving hours, substantial jail sentences, and even prison sentences. You can't afford to lose your personal freedom.
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Can we beat the speeding ticket or other traffic ticket you were issued?
Our vigorous traffic representation often results in tickets being amended to offenses that do not appear on your driving record or that otherwise have no effect on insurance rates. There are other tickets that would result in the loss of operating privileges or significantly increase insurance rates that result in substantial reduction through our representation. Our clients are very pleased to avoid the significant consequences of many tickets.
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Are you an Illinois resident or other out-of-state resident who received a Wisconsin ticket?
Most Wisconsin traffic convictions will appear on your home state driving record. The effect on your operating privileges in your home state is something we consider. We know there are many instances when variation between how Wisconsin treats a ticket and how your home state will treat a ticket provides an opportunity for a successful outcome. For example, some Wisconsin convictions do not appear on an Illinois driving record abstract. We are usually successful in negotiating the proper amendment for Illinois drivers.
Are you a Wisconsin motorist issued an out-of-state ticket?
An out-of-state conviction will be reported to Wisconsin and will appear on your Wisconsin driving record abstract. No points will be assessed for an out-of-state conviction. Clients routinely call us when an out-of-state ticket is issued. We can usually direct them to local counsel to avoid or minimize the negative impact.
Does Wisconsin have supervision, Traffic Safety School, or online traffic class?
Many states will permit motorists to negotiate for supervision or other hold-opens that result in nothing appearing on the motorist's driving record if the motorist successfully completes the program and drives for a period of time without any further violations. Other states offer dismissals if the motorist attends Traffic Safety School or does an online class. In Wisconsin, unfortunately, these types of dispositions are extremely rare, other than for certain offenses committed by motorists under the age of 21, including non-driving offenses such as underage alcohol possession or consumption.
How much will this ticket increase your insurance rates?
Insurance rates are affected by many underwriting criteria, including the age of the driver, the vehicle insured, the driving record, and the current offense. We have carefully researched the State of Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance website which lists information from each insurance company regarding how rates are determined. The companies are not required to provide precise information and therefore many companies make it difficult to determine the exact effect of a ticket, but we are able through our research to draw these conclusions regarding most insurance companies:
- Rates are determined based on convictions and chargeable accidents during a three-year period, although some companies use a four- or five-year period and some companies age the convictions so that a conviction occurring within the last year is treated more seriously than a conviction occurring more than two years earlier.
- There is no increase in insurance premiums for an equipment violation other than improper lights or inadequate brakes.
- Major violations usually include operating under the influence, refusing to submit to a chemical test, operating while intoxicated, operating after revocation, operating while suspended, fleeing (attempting to elude officer), failure to stop after accident (hit and run), reckless driving, racing, a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle, operating on the wrong side of a highway, illegal passing, speeding 20 over or more, and any other violations involving alcohol, intoxicants, or drugs.
For specifics, you might contact your insurance agent, or if you have recently been issued a ticket and are considering whether to hire an attorney to fight it, you can contact us. We can provide you with the rating information for your insurance carrier.
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Will your ticket result in CDL disqualification?
If you are a commercial driver charged with any type of traffic violation, you need an experienced lawyer to help protect your livelihood. A commercial motor vehicle driver is permanently disqualified from obtaining a CDL—
- If the driver incurs an operating under the influence conviction while operating a commercial motor vehicle
- If the driver is convicted of two operating under the influence violations on a Class D license if both violations occurred on or after September 30, 2005
If you incur an operating under the influence conviction while operating a vehicle on your Class D license, you receive a one-year disqualification from any Commercial Driver License privilege. There are many other technical rules regarding limited and permanent CDL disqualification. If you are a commercial motor vehicle driver and receive any ticket, on either your Class D license or on your CDL, a Milwaukee DWI attorney from our office can advise you about the effect of a conviction and fight hard for a positive outcome.
Occupational License in Wisconsin
If your Wisconsin license is suspended or revoked, you may be eligible for an occupational license which would permit you to drive specified hours not to exceed 12 hours per day and not to exceed 60 hours per week. You may drive to and from medical appointments, school, church, and work. You may drive for all employment related activities. You may drive for homemaker duties including to and from the grocery store, laundromat, and children's activities. Driving for recreational purposes is prohibited. You must list the counties in which you need to drive, or if appropriate you may list the State of Wisconsin. Operation in other states depends on the law of the state. Another state might not view a Wisconsin occupational license as providing the privilege to operate in that state.
It is important that any operation be within the limits of the occupational license. Operating outside of the restrictions could result in a citation or even an arrest for operating after suspension or operating after revocation. A conviction for first offense operating after revocation is punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $2,500, and a license suspension of up to 6 months.
Some revocation/suspension cases require that you serve a mandatory waiting period before you are eligible for an occupational license. The waiting period begins on the effective date of the revocation/suspension case. All revocation/suspension cases require a 15 day waiting period except the following:
|Demerit points (12 or more within 1 year)||no waiting period|
|Underage alcohol operation||no waiting period|
|Habitual Traffic Offender||after 2 years|
|first||no waiting period|
|second||after 60 days|
|third or more||after 90 days|
|Non-payment of child support||no waiting period|
|Blood alcohol content administrative suspension||no waiting period|
|OWI or prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC)|
|first||no waiting period|
|second or more||after 45 days, 60 days, 90 days or 1 year depending on whether the violation was before or after July 1, 2010, and whether there is another suspension or revocation within the one year period|
|Causing injury by intoxicated use||after 60 days|
|Implied consent refusals|
|first||after 30 days|
|second||after 90 days|
|third or more||after 120 days|
|Negligent homicide or great bodily harm||after 120 days|
For further details, contact Hayes & Rothstein, at 414-291-9911 or at [email protected].
Bring your speeding violation or other traffic violation to a knowledgeable lawyer
When you, a family member, or a friend receives a traffic ticket, please call us at 414-291-9911 for a free consultation. Our lawyers are available by phone 24 hours a day and for office appointments every day, including evenings and weekends. It costs nothing to be fully informed. Make an appointment at the Law Firm of Hayes & Rothstein,