Often times our clients who receive a traffic citation-whether it be for speeding or an OVI-face collateral consequences from the BMV as a result of a conviction. The two most frequent issues we see from the BMV are insurance suspensions and/or 12 point suspensions.
The BMV will impose a non-compliance suspension when it is notified that a driver failed to show proof of insurance at a traffic stop or at an accident. If the client does not have insurance at the time of the citation then this suspension cannot be avoided unless the case is dismissed. The length of such a suspension depends on the number of prior non-compliance suspensions that the driver has had in the past five years. At a minimum, the driver is facing an indefinite suspension until he or she obtains an SR-22 bond and pays a reinstatement fee; whereas the maximum penalty depending on the number of prior violations is a two year suspension as well as an SR-22 bond and reinstatement fee.
Many times, however, the client does have insurance but the citing officer either fails to note that insurance was shown or the client fails to produce it at the scene. In these situations, our office makes sure to obtain proof of insurance from the client and notifies the court that the client was insured, thus saving our client from a potential suspension.
With respect to a 12 point suspension, Ohio drivers are permitted up to 12 points on their licenses over a two year period. However, if they obtain 12 points during that period then the BMV will impose a six month license suspension, require the driver to take a remedial driving program, require the driver to retake the entire driver license exam, obtain an SR-22 bond, and pay a reinstatement fee. Most moving violations are two point offenses; however, excessive speeding cases and reckless operation offenses are four points, and serious offenses such as OVI, Leaving the Scene, and Drag Racing are six points.
An experienced defense attorney can utilize a number of tactics when representing a client potentially facing a 12 point suspension: including negotiating a no-point violation, continuing the case until points drop off, or having their client complete a driving program which gives them a two point cushion. If you have been charged with a traffic violation and are worried about collateral consequences from the BMV please feel free to contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima for a free consultation.