Traffic tickets are up across the state. Both cops and motorists are getting back to business as usual. Over the last few months, we have seen a flood of tickets like never before. One of our clients who is a local police officer said there is a lot of federal grant money out right now for law enforcement to write additional citations.
That means there are more cops out there, and they are writing tickets more aggressively than ever. It is good news for the cops because they are getting lots of overtime pay. It is bad news for practically everybody else. On the other hand, I seem to see more crazy driving than ever before.
If you are in a hurry, now might be a good time to slow it down. The police are writing more than just speeding charges. We are getting lots of citations where the officer seems to write everything he can find. Is pretty common to see reckless operation charges along with motor vehicle inspection citations. One reason might be that the grant money is tied to the number of interactions the officers have with motorists. That means that if they write several citations on one ticket, they get credit for each charge as an interaction.
What that really comes down to is the police cannot have a formal quota. On the other hand, they are expected to have a certain number of stops and other interactions per hour, which they have to document by either writing a warning or an actual ticket. Writing everything wrong with the vehicle allows them to keep their statistics up.
The police also tend to stake out locations where they can get lots of easy tickets. For instance, the State Police have been known for hanging out at the Reinstatement Office on Independence Boulevard here in Baton Rouge. They will do a driver’s license check of all the people pulling into the facility to see if their license is valid. That is almost like hunting on a baited field. They have a pretty good idea that if you are going to the reinstatement office you need to have your license reinstated or have some issue or hold.
Fair or not, it is an easy way to write a book of tickets. Unfortunately, a charge of Driving Under Suspension carries an additional one-year suspension itself. In other words, it is both an unfair charge for the officer to write and it certainly complicates the drivers life because it prevents them from fixing the problem they went to the office to solve.
Fortunately, most of the charges are easier to handle. We get lots of speeding charges and other moving citations. These can usually be reduced down to a nonmoving charge and kept off your driving record. The real tragedy with most bidding charges is not the fine. It is the fact that your insurance rates will almost certainly increase if you just pay it.
The true average cost of a ticket is around $1,000 when you factor in the insurance premium you often have to pay. The advantage of hiring an attorney is saving that premium.
The Gouner Law Office has over a 95% success rate getting these charges reduced and kept off your policy.
Again, I urge you to drive carefully. If you do get a citation, be sure to give us a call.
Written by Greg Gouner