Insurance companies have many tools to determine whether they have a basis for placing a client in an elevated risk pool. They can search online databases, run a client’s local driving record or simply ask a client to update them on whether they received any moving violations in the last year. Regardless, it should be expected that if you receive a Vermont traffic ticket that carries points, it is likely that your insurance company will find out about it.
How to avoid the Moving Violation
The key to any traffic ticket defense is to articulate a basis for a moving violation to be avoided. Driving history, conduct of the individual on the roadside and the age of the driver are all key factors. When negotiating with an officer it is important to point these factors out at the onset of negotiations. This should put the officer at ease knowing that they are dealing with someone who is reasonable and understands the importance of safe driving.
After the illustration of mitigating factors, it is equally important to determine whether there are any legal defenses to the charge. Radar calibration, other motorists on the road, and the proper issuance of the ticket are all important factors to consider. In some instances, it is advisable to point these issues out in negotiations, while in other cases it is best to keep these defenses close to the vest in the event the case has to go to trial.
Ultimately, these defenses can be used as leverage with the officer in order to negotiate a better deal or, if no deal can be reached, to present the defense to the judge to allow them to determine whether the clear and convincing standard of proof has been met.
No driver wants to have a list of Vermont moving violations following them around. The ultimate goal in presenting a traffic ticket defense is to leave all avenues open in the hope that a result can be reached that will not result in the insurance company being able to assess additional fees.
One major question many non-Vermont residents ask when they are facing a traffic ticket in Vermont is whether their insurance carrier will be notified of the violation. There is not a clear answer to this question, as each insurance company’s policy differs with regards to how often they run a motorists DMV record. However, the State of Vermont has made it incredibly easy for any legitimate insurance company, employer or other agency to quickly gain access to a motorist’s Vermont DMV violation record.
The State of Vermont has partnered with Vermont Information Consortium, LLC to set up a portal that, for a $75 annual fee, allows for most any legitimate business, to check an individual’s driving or criminal record. There are no cumbersome forms to fill out, or significant lag time between the request and production of the record. All the company needs is the driver’s name and date of birth and they can quickly review whether that individual has been convicted of violating any traffic laws in the State of Vermont.
Many may believe that if they do not reside in the State of Vermont, that their motor vehicle violation can remain their secret if they just pay the fine and move on. However, with the ever improving technology of State agencies, no motorist is free from the ever watching eye of those companies who may profit off finding a record of a motorists violations.
According to a recent Forbes article a motorist can expect as much as a 22 percent rise in their insurance premium after just one traffic violation. However, determining just how much of an increase you should expect to pay varies widely on the Vermont traffic infraction you are being prosecuted for.
Reckless driving and DUI hold the biggest risk of insurance hikes with an estimated 22 and 19 percent increase respectively. However, even for less severe offenses, such as traveling 1-14 miles-per-hour over the posted speed limit, motorists can suffer an 11 percent insurance hike or more.
Vermont motor vehicle laws state that it takes two years for a driving violation to be cleaned off a motorists’ record. This means, that any further driving violations can result in further increases to one’s insurance as well as the risk of license suspension if the issued points reach 10 or more.
The only way to combat insurance increases as a result of a traffic violation or DUI charge in Vermont is to fight back and thus the expense you must pay upfront to defend yourself, may be a worthwhile investment for both the short and long term.
Need to reduce or eliminate the damage a Vermont traffic ticket or DUI will have on your financial well being? Email or call Vermont traffic ticket attorney Evan Chadwick, for a free initial case analysis.