If you’ve received a traffic ticket, there are likely two questions on your mind: how can you afford it, and is there a way to get out of it? Depending on the seriousness of the offense and your previous driving history, you may also face a license suspension and lose your means of getting to work. The first step towards winning an outcome in your favor is understanding the possible outcomes and your options.
Penalties for Kansas Traffic Tickets
There are three standard penalties for traffic tickets in Kansas: fines, license suspension, and the traffic diversion program.
Kansas traffic fines start at $45 for minor offenses including speeding up to 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. The highest possible fine is $315 for improper passing of a school bus. Failure to have proper registration or insurance cost $287 and $137, respectively.
There are two things to note.
First, the fines listed above are from the state’s uniform traffic fine schedule. These fines only apply when you plead guilty or no contest. If you challenge the ticket, the court may impose a higher fine at its discretion.
Second, these fines do not include court costs. The total amount you need to pay may be slightly higher.
Kansas also issues license suspensions for serious or repeated violations. Common reasons for license suspension include the following:
- Three moving violations within 12 months
- DUI or failing to submit to chemical DUI testing
- Failing to appear in court on a traffic citation
- Failing to report an accident
- Failing to maintain insurance
Traffic Diversion Program
The traffic diversion program allows drivers to accept responsibility for a traffic ticket while avoiding more serious penalties. Completing the traffic diversion program successfully can result in your ticket being dismissed entirely.
How it Works
- Apply for the traffic diversion program.
- Your court date can be delayed, but keep going to court as originally scheduled until you are officially notified you have been accepted into the diversion program.
- Complete the diversion requirements. This can vary depending on the type of offense, the jurisdiction, and an individuals driving history.
- When you return to court after successfully completing the requirements, generally, your ticket will be reduced or dismissed as agreed.
Your eligibility for the traffic diversion program depends on your driving record and the seriousness of the offense.
Can a Traffic Attorney Make a Difference?
No traffic attorney can promise you a specific outcome when you receive a traffic ticket. Each ticket is unique, and many factors affect whether you are found guilty and what penalties are imposed. You are not required to hire a lawyer, but consider the following.
About 25,000 of the 75,000 traffic tickets Wichita police officers issue each year are for speeding. Some lawyers claim that about 95 percent of speeding tickets are valid. How would you know if your speeding ticket was one of the 5 percent that had a legal defense?
Wichita police also annually issue around 7,000 citations for no proof of insurance, 5,000 for seat belt violations, 5,000 for no driver’s license and 3,000 for parking on a private lot. Would you know how to handle those violations?
Remember, if the judge thinks you’re wasting their time with a defense you found on the internet that the judge has already dismissed numerous times, the judge can increase your fine. A lawyer can help you consider the following.
- Is there a technicality that could get your ticket dismissed?
- Are you eligible for traffic school or other alternatives?
- If not, what’s a good plea deal? Many tickets are reduced after negotiating with the prosecutor. Would you know what to ask for or what a fair deal was?
If you received a traffic ticket in Wichita, KS, contact criminal defense attorney Jonathan W. McConnell to discuss your options.