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Driving Offenses

Traffic offenses often have the reputation of being little more than an inconvenience. In the wrong situation, however, a conviction for a traffic offense could have real consequences. These offenses could result in an increase in your insurance premiums and burden you with sizable fines. In some cases, you could lose your driving privileges.

While it may be tempting to forget about a traffic ticket and assume it will go away on its own, the reality is that your life will only become more complicated if you ignore a ticket. In addition to your traffic charges, you could also face an arrest warrant for the charge of failing to appear.

To protect your driving record and your livelihood, do not leave your traffic ticket to chance. Attorney William H. Ashe has an extensive background in taking on traffic charges in Ellsworth and throughout Maine. Schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of William H. Ashe to learn more.

Types of Vehicle Offenses

There are countless potential traffic violations under Maine state law. Speeding tickets are typically the most common form of a traffic violation, and they can come in many forms. While the penalty for violating the speed limit by a few miles per hour can be minor, you could face jail time and a suspension of your driving privileges in cases involve high speeds. If you exceed 29 miles above the speed limit, you could face criminal charges instead of merely a traffic violation.

Other traffic violations involve your license and your vehicle. Driving without a license or without insurance coverage can lead to a ticket, as can any failure to properly maintain your vehicle. Licensed vehicles must comply with regulations regarding working headlights, visible license plates, and undamaged windshields.

Finally, there are a number of moving violations that are very situational. Lane change violations only occur on multi-lane roads, while a charge of following too closely could happen anywhere. Regardless of the charge, your best chance at avoiding a conviction involves working with a skilled defense lawyer.

Examples of other common traffic violations include:

  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Running a stop sign
  • Reckless driving
  • Hit and run
  • Driving with a suspended license

Just like with a criminal case, the prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed a traffic violation. If they fail to meet their burden, you will walk out of the courthouse without a conviction on your record. Taking on these charges by yourself is never easy, however. To ensure you maximize your chances of an acquittal, contact the Law Offices of William H. Ashe right away.

Out-of-State Drivers

Traffic tickets are an unwanted hassle under any circumstance. However, if you have received a ticket in Maine despite living in another state, resolving the charge can become even more complex. Living out of state does not make a traffic ticket any less serious. You hold the same responsibilities with an out of state ticket as you do with your home state. You will have a court date that requires an appearance in most cases, and failing to appear could result in a warrant for your arrest.

Because of the cost of traveling across state lines, many people opt to pay the fine and plead guilty in order to avoid another trip. This is rarely in your best interest. In many cases, pleading guilty will result in a conviction on your record. Even though it is from another state, this conviction could cause your insurance rates to increase dramatically.

Increased insurance rates are not the only impact a conviction could have. Maine is one of 45 states that have signed on to the Driver's License Compact. This agreement allows participating states to share traffic violation data with each other. Unless your home state is one of the five that do not participate in the Compact, your conviction will be reported to your state's department of motor vehicles. This means that a conviction for a traffic violation in Maine can cost you points on your license back home in most cases.

Contesting a traffic ticket on your own in your hometown requires spending a morning or evening in court. However, if you live out of state, contesting a ticket on your own could cost you days away from your job. The good news is that you do not have to take on the challenge of defending against a traffic violation in Maine on your own. A local attorney could appear in court on your behalf and potentially resolve your case for you without ever requiring you to appear in Maine again. For local legal help you can count on, contact the Law Offices of William H. Ashe.

Defenses in Traffic Cases

Because of the wide variety of traffic offenses in Maine, the number of potential defenses in each case can vary tremendously. However, there are a few defenses that are universal. Below, we discuss some of the most common defenses raised at a traffic violation trial.

Mistaken Identity

When traffic is heavy, enforcing traffic laws can become chaotic. In many cases, officers will be traveling the opposite direction from a driver when they notice a traffic violation. By the time they turn around to follow the offending driver, a significant amount of traffic could have passed. It is not uncommon for an officer to pull over the wrong person in these situations.

Mistake of Fact

The most basic defense available involves the argument that the officer simply made a mistake. An officer could be mistaken in thinking a driver did not come to a full stop. Other examples could involve officers using the radar gun on the wrong car.

Contact a Hancock County Traffic Offenses Lawyer Today

If you treat a traffic ticket as a nuisance that can be annoyed, you could regret it in time. To protect your rights, it is crucial that you take the steps necessary to defend against a Maine traffic violation charge. To get started on your case, contact the Law Offices of William H. Ashe right away.

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