Facing Traffic charges in Cleveland?

Facing traffic charges in Cleveland, OH?

You’re not alone. In fact, there were over 3 million tickets issued over a five-year period in the Buckeye State for traffic violations. Just because traffic citations are common, though, that doesn’t mean they can’t be destructive to your way of life.

A minor traffic offense simply results in a ticket, a fine, and fees, but a major traffic violation can result in major points on your license, license suspension, license revocation, serious fines, and even jail time. It can also cause your insurance rates to skyrocket.

For these reasons, it is important to call a Cleveland traffic lawyer as soon as possible after receiving a traffic ticket. We’ll give you some guidance about your available options, talk about what your next steps should be, negotiate a deal, or even prove your innocence so you can keep your license.

Most Common Traffic Violations in Cuyahoga County and Other Ohio Counties

  • Speeding tickets
  • Driving under the influence (DUI or OVI offense)
  • Running a red light
  • Running a stop sign
  • Reckless driving

What Is the “Points System”?

In most states, when you are convicted of a moving traffic violation, “points” will be assessed on your driver’s license. Different types of moving violations result in a different number of points being assessed, according to the rules of the state in which the ticket is received.

Generally, the more significant the violation, the more points you will get on your license. For instance, in Ohio, two points will go on your license if you are convicted of speeding more than 5 mph above in an area that has a speed limit under 55 mph.

Don’t underestimate the effect a two-point violation can have, though. A series of two-point violations can eventually lead to license revocation.

On the other hand, you will get a whopping six points on your license (plus other serious consequences) for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Ohio. Once you get 12 points or more on your license during a two-year period, your license will be suspended for six months, eventually requiring you to complete a remedial driving course and pass a road test in order to get your license back.

A Cleveland traffic violation lawyer offers your best chance of having the ticket dismissed or pled down to a lower-point (or no-point) violation. Lessening the points can often make or break keeping your driver’s license.

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Will My Insurance Rate Go Up If I’m Convicted of a Moving Violation?

The short answer is—probably.

Insurance companies have access to every driver’s Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), which includes information about traffic violations, points, and collisions. 

The insurance company will look at a variety of factors in determining your insurance premium, including:

  • Your prior driving record
  • Whether this ticket is your first traffic offense
  • The length of time between moving violations
  • Your age
  • The type of vehicle you are driving

If an insurance company determines that you are at greater risk of getting into an accident based on these factors, your premium will go up. If your driving record is particularly bad, they may refuse to renew your policy or insure you at all.

Those who are unable to obtain car insurance in the regular insurance marketplace often need to obtain the Ohio Automobile Insurance Plan (OAIP). OAIP offers car insurance to drivers who are considered high-risk, and the rates for insurance in this group are the highest in the state. The OAIP is considered a last resort for drivers who are unable to obtain car insurance through the regular marketplace.

What Should I Do If My Ohio Driver’s License Is Suspended or in Danger of Being Suspended?

Your first step should be to determine the reason for your license suspension. This will dictate the steps you must go through to have your license reinstated. Information about your license suspension can be obtained through the Ohio BMV website, but a notice will often be mailed to you from the BMV with important information about the suspension.

Your next step should be to contact a Cleveland traffic ticket lawyer right away. Failure to adhere to various traffic court procedures or missed hearing deadlines will limit your legal remedies. This could potentially prevent you from having your license suspension reversed.

A local Cleveland, OH traffic ticket lawyer will be able to explain your options, give you the best chance at defending yourself, and possibly get your license reinstated, or prevent it from getting suspended at all.

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Consequences of Driving With a Suspended License

If you drive while your license is suspended and you are stopped, you face potentially very serious consequences, such as:

  • Your car may be taken away
  • Your car may be immobilized with a boot, preventing you from using it
  • You may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor
  • You can face jail time
  • You may be sentenced to several hundred hours of community service
  • You will definitely have to pay a significant fine

There are serious consequences associated with traffic violations. Even “minor” two-point traffic tickets can add up quickly and result in the loss of your license and a higher insurance rate.

Cleveland, Ohio Traffic Attorney Near You

Facing one or more traffic tickets? Worried that your license might get suspended?

If you are unsure of what to do next and need help navigating Ohio’s traffic law, contact The Botnick Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. Your driving privileges are at stake, and losing your license could mean big problems in your life.

Call us now to get the help you need. An experienced Cleveland traffic ticket lawyer can help get you through this. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.

Process step-by-step

  • 01.
    Initial Arrest

    01. Initial Arrest

    The process to charge someone that’s been accused of a crime begins with an arrest. If the police have reason to believe that someone has committed a crime, the accused can be taken into custody. Police will usually start by asking basic questions like name and address to identify a person, and then they’ll often pivot to more specific questions related to the incident. At some point during this, you should have been read your “Miranda warnings.”

  • 02.
    Reading Your Rights

    02. Reading Your Rights

    You have the right to remain silent to avoid disclosing evidence that could potentially be self-incriminating, as well as the right to an attorney to defend you in court. Those are your unwavering rights that must be recited upon taking someone into custody. Take note of when these rights are read to you, as it could be helpful information for your attorney.

  • 03.

    03. Booking

    When you’ve been taken down to the station, police will fingerprint you and get your photograph to update their records. Once this is done, you should be granted the opportunity to contact your criminal defense lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, get a loved one to book a consultation with a lawyer on your behalf. It’s important that you do NOT disclose any details about your case over the phone with your loved ones, as those calls are monitored.

  • 04.

    04. Investigation

    After you’ve made it through the booking process, the police may begin conducting their investigation with you. Depending on the situation, this might include a personal search, collecting samples, interviewing/interrogating, police lineups, etc.

  • 05.
    Court Appearance

    05. Court Appearance

    You’ll be held at the station until you can be brought before a judge. The initial court appearance will happen within 48 hours or less of the arrest. Here, the judge will review the case and decide if there’s any reason to keep you in holding or if bail can be granted. If bail is granted, you’re allowed to be released upon certain conditions.

  • 06.

    06. Hearing

    Depending on the seriousness of your allegations, you may have a preliminary hearing at which a judge can determine whether enough evidence exists to charge you with that level of crime. You’ll be able to plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead not guilty, your case will be sent to trial. You may get the opportunity to enter a plea deal. That’s something your attorney will advise you on.

  • 07.

    07. Discovery

    In the discovery stage, the case against you is made much more transparent. The prosecutor will share the evidence they have against you with your defense attorney. During this time, your attorney can make additional requests for evidence if need be. All of the evidence on the table will be considered, and your lawyer will work with you to form the best plan for your defense.

  • 08.

    08. Trial

    If a plea deal is unable to be reached, the case will enter trial. During the trial, the prosecutor begins by presenting the case to the jury. They share any evidence they have against you and have witnesses make their statements for the prosecution. This can be tough to sit through. Afterward, it’s your lawyer’s turn to take the stands and share your side of the story. Your lawyer can question the prosecutor’s witnesses and all of the evidence that was used against you. There are many different strategies that your lawyer will use to defend you during the trial.

  • 09.

    09. Sentencing

    In a best-case scenario, you will have been found not guilty by the end of the trial, and the charges against you have been dropped. If you are found guilty, the judge must determine what your sentence/penalties will be. The sentencing will happen at another hearing, usually a few weeks after your trial ends.

Ohio Felony Sentencing

Prison TIme
Maximum Fine
First Degree
3-11 years
Second Degree
2-8 years
Third Degree
9-36 or 12-60 months
Fourth Degree
6-8 months
Fifth Degree
6-12 months

Ohio Misdemeanor Sentencing

Jail Time
Maximum Fine
First Degree
Up to 180 days
Second Degree
Up to 90 days
Third Degree
Up to 60 days
Fourth Degree
Up to 30 days
Minor Misdemeanor

FAQ: Cleveland Traffic Tickets

What’s the difference between a moving and a non-moving traffic violation?

A moving violation refers to traffic offenses that occur while the vehicle is moving. Examples include a speeding ticket (driving faster than the posted limit), running a stop sign, or going through a red light. Therefore, a non-moving violation is an infraction that doesn’t involve operating a vehicle. For example, having an expired brake tag or an expired registration can result in a non-moving violation.

Why can’t I just pay for my ticket and move on?

Certain consequences come along with the option of just paying your traffic ticket. Paying your ticket means that you’re pleading guilty to the infraction. Therefore, you’ll have to not only pay for the ticket, but it will also be on your driving record. This means you could be ineligible for certain job positions and it also means your insurance rates will likely go up.

While paying for your ticket might be the easiest option to move on with your life, it’s almost always better to resolve traffic matters in court with the help of a lawyer.

Do I really need a traffic ticket lawyer?

It is not legally required to work with traffic ticket lawyers. You can certainly just pay the fine for the traffic violation or you can even fight the ticket yourself in Ohio traffic court.

 However, paying the ticket means facing various consequences, and fighting the ticket yourself doesn’t often go as planned. Working with a traffic defense attorney will be beneficial to keeping a clean driving record as it will help ensure the best outcome for your traffic case.

Ohio Courts System

We have successfully represented clients across Northern Ohio. If you are facing criminal charges, we can help you too. Don’t delay. The district attorney is building their case against you right now.

The Prosecutor will not take your charges lightly — Will you?

Experienced in all Northeast Ohio Courts and Northern District of Ohio


  • Cuyahoga County
  • Geauga County
  • Lake County
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  • Portage
  • Summit
  • Medina
  • Erie
  • Stark
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  • Mahoning
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Major Cities

  • Cleveland
  • Parma
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