You must beat a stop sign ticket in court. You cannot challenge a traffic ticket by mail or phone.
The good news is that having the stop sign ticket dismissed and avoiding the penalties is possible. You must still answer for yourself whether taking a day off work and appearing before a judge is worth the time, expense, and effort. So let’s start there.
A driver’s primary consideration is probably how much just signing and paying an Ohio stop sign ticket costs. This has more than one answer.
First, the statutory penalty for a single stop sign violation during a 12-month period is a maximum fine of $150, administrative fees, and 2 penalty points on your license. An officer who believes a driver ignored a stop sign because the driver was distracted can issue a separate citation for distracted driving. That results in an additional fine of $100 on stop sign ticket.
Racking up three stop sign violations over the course of a year can bring a charge that gets prosecuted as a third-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalties for a conviction on such a charge are up to 60 days in jail, fines totaling $500 and 2 points for each stop sign violation conviction or guilty plea.
Certainly, trying to stay out of jail for repeated stop sign violations would merit fighting a ticket in court. Wanting to get out of paying fines and fees could also justify taking every opportunity to have a stop sign ticket dismissed.
As a traffic ticket defense lawyer in Columbus Ohio and Franklin County, I have taken on several clients who wanted to keep the penalty points off their driving records. Accumulating 12 points during a 24-month period brings an automatic license suspension. Additionally, employers and insurance companies regularly review Bureau of Motor Vehicle records. Even drivers who are not close to earning 12-point suspensions can lose job opportunities and find themselves paying high insurance premiums because they have points on their records.
What Are Some Arguments You Can Use to Beat a Stop Sign Ticket in Court?
Once you know how much a stop sign ticket in Ohio is and decide that you do not want to pay that price, you must make a case for having the charge dismissed. Building a defense starts with determining exactly what the charge is.
Ohio state law and local ordinances require drivers to stop at intersections with posted signs, at railroad tracks when a train is approaching, and at unmarked intersections where pedestrians or vehicles could be crossing. Do any of these rules apply? If not, the case against you may fall apart.
The officer who issues a ticket for an alleged stop sign violation must observe the cited offense and appear in court to present evidence for prosecution. Simply demanding that the officer makes his or her case for conviction by appearing in court is enough to get the charges dropped.
Evidence that you did stop can come from traffic cameras, passenger testimony, and witness accounts. Whether approaching vehicles and pedestrians are visible from the usual place a driver stops before entering an intersection can also matter in a stop sign case.
Colin Maher of The Maher Law Firm takes all types of traffic ticket cases in Columbus Ohio while charging a flat fee. He also offers free consultations to potential clients. Contact us online or call Colin at (614) 205-2208.