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Tag Archive for traffic violation

Expert Help with Houston Traffic Tickets

Houston Traffic Ticket Lawyer Charles Johnson

If you have received a Houston traffic ticket, the experienced traffic ticket attorneys at the Charles Johnson Law Firm can help.  While paying your ticket may seem like the easiest option, traffic violations can have serious consequences. Multiple moving violations may result in a suspended or revoked license. In fact, certain violations, such as passing a school bus, can cause an automatic license suspension even if you have a perfect driving record. The loss of your driver’s license may have far reaching consequences on your personal and professional life. Therefore, it is important that you speak with a Houston traffic ticket lawyer after receiving a traffic ticket to discuss your options and the best strategy.

Traffic convictions not only effect your Texas driving record, but can also negatively impact your insurance rates. Insurance providers believe that a single ticket indicates poor driving and increases the chances of future tickets and traffic accidents. Auto insurance companies review their policyholder’s driving records to determine premium increases and the potential cancellation of policies. A recent study found that a single Texas speeding ticket for 15 mph over the posted limit resulted in an average cost of $744 over the next five-year period!

Our firm provides aggressive representation in order to completely eliminate or minimize the negative impact on your life and ensure the best result possible. We can review your driving record and explain the proper course of action. The goal of our speeding ticket lawyers is to help our clients avoid an insurance rate increase and points or other record of conviction that may lead to suspension or revocation of their licenses. Keeping speeding tickets off of records is usually done through plea bargaining with a prosecutor or state’s attorney, and will involve an amendment of the ticket, probation, or diversion.  We can help you with the following violations:

  • CDL Traffic Violations (commercial drivers)
  • Cell Phone/Texting While Driving Violations
  • Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License
  • Driving Without a Valid License
  • Driving with expired license plates or registration
  • Driving Without Valid Insurance
  • Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident
  • Failure to Signal
  • Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle
  • Approaching Disabled Vehicles
  • Following too Closely
  • Illegal Transportation of Alcohol
  • Improper Lane Usage
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident
  • Overweight Truck Violations
  • Passing a School Bus
  • Railroad Crossing Offenses
  • Reckless Driving
  • Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
  • Seat Belt Violations
  • Speeding
    • Aggravated Speeding
    • Speeding in a School Zone
    • Speeding in a Construction Zone
  • Street Racing/Drag Racing

It is important to note that commercial drivers (i.e. truck drivers) face more severe license consequences than standard operators. CDL traffic tickets must be handled accordingly, often requiring an amendment to the original charge, or trial where appropriate. We understand that a single traffic violation on your record can effect your livelihood and result in loss of employment.

If you seek effective and knowledgeable legal representation, we look forward to hearing from you. From Houston traffic tickets to CDL Traffic Tickets issued anywhere within the State of Texas, our traffic attorneys are happy to discuss your individual situation. The Charles Johnson Law Firm Traffic Ticket Division is devoted to helping clients face their ticketing penalties and overturn the charges against them.

If you’ve been issued a ticket for a traffic violation and want to contest it, why not take advantage of our free evaluation service to see what can be done to help?

Call us locally at (713) 222-7577 or Toll-Free at (877) 308-0100 to discuss your case anytime, night or day.

What Happens If I Am Stopped by the Police?

When Will The Police Stop A Person?

Generally, the police will stop a person for committing a traffic violation, for suspicion of being engaged in criminal activity, or to arrest the person for a crime. After being stopped by the police, a person will typically be questioned.

Can The Police Stop And Question People Who Are Not Under Arrest?

Yes. The police can stop a person, and ask questions, without “arresting” the person. Upon seeing suspicious activity, the police may perform what is called a “Terry Stop,” and may temporarily detain people to request that they identify themselves and to question them about the suspicious activity. The scope of a “Terry Stop” is limited to investigation of the specific suspicious activity, and if the police detain people to question them about additional matters, the stop can turn into an “arrest.” For their own safety, the police can perform a “weapons frisk” on the outside of a person’s clothes (sometimes called “patting down the suspect”) during a “Terry Stop.” During this frisk, if they feel something that may be a weapon, they may remove it from the suspect for further examination. However, they are not entitled to remove items from person’s pockets that do not appear to be weapons, even if they believe that the items are contraband.

When Is A Person “Under Arrest”?

Many people think of an arrest as being a formal declaration by the police, “You are under arrest,” followed by the reading of the “Miranda” rights. (As seen on TV: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you.”)

Reality is a bit more complicated. An arrest occurs when a person no longer reasonably expects that he is free to leave. A “Terry Stop” is not an arrest, even though the person can’t leave during the investigatory questioning, as the detention is of short duration and is limited in its scope. (A “Terry Stop” may involve little more than a short series of questions, such as, “What is your name? Where do you live? Why are you here?”) However, if a person is not allowed to leave the scene for an extended period of time, the person may be considered to be “under arrest,” even though those words are never used. If a person is handcuffed, is locked in the back of a police car, or is otherwise restrained from leaving, the person will ordinarily be considered to be “under arrest.”

If The Police Ask To Search Me, My House, Or My Car, Do I Have To Say “Yes”?

No. You can refuse the police permission to conduct a search. Remember this – the only reason the police officer wants to perform a search is for evidence of criminal activity, and the fact that he is asking reflects an expectation that he will find some. You are entitled to say “No.” If the police officer has the legal right to perform the search, he will do so whether or not you agree. However, if he does not have the legal right to perform a search, your consent gives him that right.

During an investigative stop, or a traffic stop, a police officer may ask if he can search you or your car. However, if you give the police officer permission, he can perform the search even if he otherwise had no legal right to do so. Some people don’t know, or forget, that they have an “open” bottle of liquor in the car – a bottle with the seal broken, whether or not the cap is off. Sometimes, people have knives or other weapons which can be classified as illegal “concealed weapons.” Sometimes, people forget that they have contraband in their cars, such as illegal drugs, or find to their chagrin that their teenaged child dropped a marijuana cigarette in the car. Unless you are the only person with access to the interior of your car, you may be in for a surprise if you grant permission for a search.

Do The Police Have To “Read Me My Rights” When I Am Arrested?

The police have no obligation to formally announce the arrest when it occurs, or to read a suspect his “Miranda Rights.” Typically, at some point the police will inform a suspect that he has been arrested. However, many defendants never receive their “Miranda Rights,” which relate to the validity of police questioning of suspects who are in custody, and not to the arrest itself.

What Is The Difference Between A “Terry Stop” And An “Arrest.”

While a “Terry Stop” can be made upon “reasonable suspicion” that a person may have been engaged in criminal activity, an arrest requires “probable cause” that a suspect committed a criminal offense.

Can the Police Arrest Me Without A Warrant?

For most misdemeanor offenses, a police officer can only make a warrantless arrest of a suspect if the offense was committed in the officer’s presence. (A notable exception is “domestic violence,” where the police are typically required to make an arrest, despite the fact that “domestic violence” charges are almost always misdemeanor offenses.) Officers can arrest people for felonies based upon witness statements, or where a warrant for the person’s arrest has been issued.

What Happens If I am Arrested Without Legal Cause?

It is important to note that an “illegal arrest” does not mean that a person can’t be charged with a crime. If a person is arrested illegally, and is searched or questioned by the police, evidence gained through the search or questioning may be declared inadmissible. However, there are circumstances where that evidence will be admitted into court despite the illegality of the arrest. Further, if a person has outstanding warrants for other charges, he may be detained on those charges, even though his initial arrest was illegal.

If I Am Arrested, Can The Police Search Me?

When the police make an arrest, they get the power to search the suspect and his immediate surroundings “incident” to that arrest. If the police arrest a person who was driving a car, they ordinarily get the right to search the entire passenger compartment of the car – and will usually also be able to search passengers for weapons. If the car is impounded, the police may perform an “inventory search” of the entire car, including the contents of the trunk.

If you or someone in your family has been arrested, you probably aren’t sure where to turn or what to do next. While the arrest itself is a daunting situation, you can do several things right away to gain information and control. A positive first step is to contact the Charles Johnson Law Firm.  Attorney Johnson will guide you through the complicated maze of the justice system.

We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

 
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