Call 314-724-5059
E-mail: andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

How to Fight a “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” Ticket

“Leaving the Scene of an Accident” is not the kind of ticket you want on your driving record. An experienced traffic law attorney can get this type of ticket reduced from a 6- or 12-point ticket to a no-point, non-moving violation, such as “Illegal Parking.”

The outcome of your case depends on your driving record, the police report, and your attorney’s skill in negotiating a favorable plea bargain deal with the prosecuting attorney.

What Is the Penalty For “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” in Missouri?

The maximum punishment for a class A misdemeanor “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” (sometimes called “Hit & Run”) charge is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

“Leaving the Scene of an Accident” can be considered a class D felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a $5,000 fine, if the following occurred:

  • Physical injury to another party, or
  • Property damage in excess of $1,000, or
  • The defendant previously pleaded guilty or was convicted of this same offense

The applicable Missouri statute for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” is RSMo 577.060.

How Many Points Are Added To Your Driving Record For “Leaving the Scene of an Accident”?

The number of points added to your driving record for a “Hit & Run” or “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” conviction in Missouri depends on who issued the ticket:

  • 12 points if a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer issued the ticket
  • 6 points if a municipal or county police officer issued the ticket

Your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months.

If your attorney gets your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, that means no points will be added and your driving record won’t be affected.

How Long Does a Conviction For “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” Stay On Your Driving Record?

A conviction for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” stays on your driving record forever if the ticket was issued by a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer.

Missouri Can Suspend Your License If You Are Convicted of “Leaving the Scene of an Accident”

The State of Missouri can suspend the licenses of both the driver and the owner of the vehicle if you leave the scene of an accident and your vehicle was not insured at the time of the accident.

In addition, the State of Missouri can suspend your driver’s license if you leave the scene of an accident that you caused and you (or your insurance company) fails to pay for the damage to the other vehicle.

A Conviction For “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” May Affect Your Ability to Get a Hardship License

Your ability to get a hardship license (limited driving privilege) depends on who issued the ticket.

If you plead guilty or are convicted of a “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” ticket that was issued by a municipal or county police officer, you will be eligible for a hardship license.

If you plead guilty or are convicted of a “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” ticket that was issued by a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer, you will not be eligible for a hardship license.


Call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation and a price quote for your “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run” ticket. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

What Shows Up On Your Criminal Background Check

A Missouri criminal background check can reveal both open and closed criminal records, but the detail of the information disclosed depends on who is requesting the information.

You Need to Know What’s On Your Criminal Background Report

It’s a good idea to obtain a copy of your criminal background report, just so you know exactly what will be revealed to potential employers, colleges, landlords, banks, etc.

It’s very common for someone to have been charged with a crime in the past (shoplifting, marijuana possession, under-age drinking) and think the charge has been dropped or “sealed” but later discover that an arrest or conviction is showing up on their criminal background report.

If you know exactly what is on your criminal background report, you will be prepared to explain to potential employers about a previous criminal charge or arrest. It’s better to explain in advance about being arrested or charged with a crime, rather than look like a liar because you incorrectly claimed to have a clean criminal record.

The Difference Between Open and Closed Criminal Records

A Basic Name Search criminal background report shows open records only.

A Fingerprint Search criminal background report shows both open and closed records.

When you have been charged with a crime but the case is not resolved yet, your case is an open pending case, which is an open record.

Closed records show what happened in the past. So, if you were arrested but the Prosecutor dismissed the charge, you pleaded guilty, or the Prosecutor reduced the charge to a lesser offense, the case is closed and that is a closed record.

EXAMPLE:  If you were not arrested but you were charged with shoplifting and you hired an attorney who got the charge dismissed, a Basic Name Search will show nothing. A Fingerprint Search will reveal that you were charged with shoplifting and the case was dismissed, but only if the requesting entity is the type of employer that is entitled to see both open and closed records.

When Do Arrests and Convictions Show Up On a Criminal Background Report?

If an entity that is entitled to see both open and closed records requests just a Basic Name Search criminal background report, that report will show both open and closed records, so arrests and convictions will both show up.

EXAMPLE  If you were arrested for marijuana possession and your attorney negotiates a plea bargain deal with the Prosecuting Attorney to reduce the charge to “Littering,” that’s an open record and a Basic Name Search will reveal that the Prosecutor 1) filed charges against you for marijuana possession, and 2) you were convicted of “Littering.” The arrest will not show up but the Prosecutor’s action of filing the charge of marijuana possession will show up.

EXAMPLE:  If you were arrested for shoplifting and your attorney convinces the Prosecuting Attorney to dismiss your case, that’s a closed record, so nothing will show up on a Basic Name Search criminal background report. In this situation, if you request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report, both open and closed records will show up, and the report will reveal that you were arrested for shoplifting and your case was dismissed, but only if the requesting entity is entitled to see both open and closed records.

Recent Arrests Will Show Up On a Basic Criminal Background Check

If you were arrested up to 30 days ago, the arrest is considered “fresh” and will show up on a Basic Name Search background check, even if the potential employer is not entitled to see both open and closed records.  

Probation Will Show Up On a Basic Criminal Background Report

If you received a Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS) with probation, it’s an open pending case while you are on probation and is considered an open record. It will become a closed record after you successfully complete probation and your case is closed.

The fact that you are on probation will show up even on a Basic Name Search criminal background report because it’s an open record.

If you apply for a job with an “entitled entity” employer like a daycare, the employer can require you to get a Fingerprint Search criminal background check, which will show the following:

  • Were you on probation in the past?
  • What were you on probation for?
  • Did you successfully complete probation?
  • Is the case closed?

You Don’t Have to Agree To Disclose All Records, Even If a Potential Employer Requests It

Some employers ask potential employees to get fingerprinted and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report, even though the employer is not an entity that is entitled to see both open and closed records.

In that situation, the potential employee can choose what they want the potential employer to see — open records only, or both open and closed records. So, the person applying for a job who is required to get fingerprinted can request that only open records be disclosed on the background report, if the employer is not an entitled entity.

Some Employers Can Require Job Applicants to Disclose Both Open and Closed Criminal Records

If you are applying for a job with an “entitled entity” employer (criminal justice agency, state government, day care, etc.) and you are required to get fingerprinted and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report, you must agree to disclose both open and closed records.

What Is An “Entitled Entity” Employer?

“Entitled Entity” employers are those that are legally entitled to require job applicants to get fingerprinted and disclose both open and closed records prior to being considered for a job.

Missouri statutes RSMO 610.120 and RSMO 43.543 explain which entities are entitled to see both open and closed records.

Examples of Entitled Entities:  day care, nursing home, criminal justice agency, State of Missouri.

How to Get a Copy of Your Criminal Record Check

To order a Missouri criminal record check, go online to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) website or call CJIS at (573) 526-6153.

Or you can go to the state police headquarters in the county in which you live and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report. The Fingerprint Search criminal background report is more thorough than the criminal background report that you purchase online from CJIS.

If you have questions about  what is showing up on your Missouri criminal background report, or how to obtain a criminal background report, call the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) at (573) 526-6153.

 


To get help for your criminal case, call St. Louis criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

 

 

What To Do If You Receive a Summons From Criminal Court

When you receive a summons from a criminal court, it means you have been charged with a criminal offense and you must appear in court on your court date to respond to the charge.

What Happens If You Don’t Respond To A Summons?

After receiving a summons to appear in criminal court, you must go to court on your court date, or else the court will issue a warrant for your arrest.

What If You Did Not Receive The Summons From The Court?

Sometimes the court mails a summons to a defendant but the defendant does not receive it because the court has an incorrect mailing address on file for the defendant, or otherwise sent it to the wrong address.

The court is required to mail the summons to the defendant to notify them of the court date, but the court has no responsibility to make sure the defendant actually received the summons.

So, if the court sends a summons to you at the wrong address and you don’t receive the summons, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest.

What To Do If You Missed Your Court Date

If you have a warrant because you did not receive the summons from the court and missed your court date, your attorney can lift the warrant for you. Your attorney will make sure the warrant is cancelled and a new court date is scheduled.

Hiring an attorney to lift your warrant allows you to avoid turning yourself in to police, paying the bond, and appearing in court.

How To Respond To A Summons

If you have received a summons to appear in criminal court in Missouri, you can do one of the following:

  • Go to court on your court date and plead guilty
  • Go to court on your court date and plead not guilty
  • Go to court on your court date and ask the judge for a continuance to give you more time to hire an attorney to represent you
  • Hire an attorney to represent you in court so you don’t have to appear in court

If you plead guilty to a criminal offense, you will be ordered to pay fines and court costs, and you will end up with a conviction on your criminal record.

If you plead guilty to speeding tickets or other moving violations, you will have to pay fines and court costs, points will be added to your driving record, and your car insurance rates will probably increase.

The added points may cause your driver’s license to be suspended or revoked if you accumulate:

  • 8 points within 18 months
  • 12 points within 12 months
  • 18 points within 24 months
  • 24 points within 36 months

If you plead not guilty, the judge will schedule your case for trial and you will have to decide whether to represent yourself or hire an attorney to represent you at trial.

An Attorney Can Help If You Received a Summons To Appear In Court

You can hire an attorney to respond to your summons and represent you in court for your criminal case.

Your attorney can represent you at trial or negotiate a pre-trial plea bargain deal with the court on your behalf, and you may not have to appear in court at all.

An experienced attorney can get your criminal charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The outcome of your case depends on the following:

  • How old are you?
  • How serious was the criminal charge?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
  • Do you have any prior convictions on your criminal record? 

If you have received a summons to appear in a Missouri court for a speeding ticket or other criminal charge, call criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

What To Do About a Minor in Possession of Alcohol Ticket in Missouri

An experienced attorney can get your ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Underage Drinking dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.

What is “Minor in Possession of Alcohol?”

In Missouri, a first-time charge of Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) is a class D misdemeanor. According to Missouri law RSMO 311.325, you can be charged with MIP if you are under age 21 and you do any of the following:

  • Purchase or attempt to purchase intoxicating liquor
  • Possess intoxicating liquor
  • Appear to be visibly intoxicated
  • Have a detectable blood alcohol content of more than two-hundredths of one percent or more by weight

If you get charged with MIP a second time, it’s considered a class A misdemeanor.

Why Didn’t the Police Officer Breathalyze You Before Giving You a Ticket For MIP?

Police officers do not have to administer a breathalyzer test before issuing a ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol. Police can issue tickets for MIP in any of the following situations:

  • You are attempting to purchase alcohol while underage
  • You are pulled over for a traffic violation and the police officer sees a beer can in your car
  • A police officer sees you drinking at Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, etc.
  • A police officer sees you drinking in the parking lot before a concert
  • You are at a house party where underage drinking is occurring and police show up after neighbors call to complain about the noise

If the officer believes you appear to be visibly intoxicated, they can issue a ticket for MIP. In a situation such as a house party, the police officers will commonly issue tickets for MIP to everyone at the party if they believe underage drinking is occurring.

What’s the Maximum Punishment for Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Missouri?

If you have no prior convictions for Underage Drinking or Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Missouri, the maximum penalty is a fine of $300. If this is not your first ticket for underage drinking, the maximum punishment is 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000.

In addition to paying a fine, your driver’s license could be suspended if you were charged under Missouri’s “Abuse & Lose” law.

Even if you don’t care about paying a fine or having your license suspended, having an alcohol-related conviction such as MIP on your permanent criminal record may prevent you from getting a good job or being accepted into the college of your choice.

How to Fight a Ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Underage Drinking

An experienced attorney can help you fight a ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Underage Drinking. In most cases, your attorney can negotiate a plea bargain deal with the court to get your MIP ticket dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.”

The outcome of your case depends a lot on which court your case is being prosecuted in. The prosecutors and judges in some counties in Missouri are very strict when dealing with defendants charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Underage Drinking, but may be quite lenient in other counties.

Other factors that make a difference in your case include:

  • How old are you? (If you were 3 months from turning 21 when you got the MIP ticket, the Prosecutor may be more lenient than if you were 16.)
  • Do you have any prior alcohol-related convictions on your criminal record?
  • Were you polite and respectful to the police when they issued the MIP ticket?

Before dismissing or reducing your MIP ticket, the court may require you to do some or all of the following:

  • Attend a brief alcohol-education class
  • Perform a few hours of community service
  • Pay a fine and court costs
  • Make a donation to the local law enforcement restitution fund

How To Get An Old MIP Conviction Expunged

It is possible to get an old MIP conviction expunged (removed) from your criminal record if you pleaded guilty to Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) or Underage Drinking in the past. Contrary to popular belief, your MIP conviction does not automatically drop off your record or get sealed once you reach age 21.

After 1 year has passed since your conviction or you reach age 21 (whichever comes first), your attorney can file a petition for expungement of your MIP charge. There will be a hearing before a judge, and the judge will want to see proof that there are no other alcohol-related law enforcement contacts on your criminal record since the original MIP conviction date.

For more information about expungement of an MIP conviction, read my previous blog post “How To Get a First-Time MIP Conviction Expunged in Missouri.”


Call St. Louis MIP lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation about your ticket for under-age drinking or Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) in Missouri. Or email her at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com.

How to Remove Points From Your Driving Record

To remove points from your driving record, you can hire a speeding ticket lawyer to get your ticket fixed, or you can attend traffic school.

Hire a Traffic Ticket Lawyer to Remove Points From Your Driving Record

When you get a speeding ticket or other traffic violation in Missouri, you can hire a traffic ticket lawyer to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction. Some people call this “getting a speeding ticket fixed.”

Or you can just plead guilty and pay the fine. However, when you plead guilty to a speeding ticket, points are added to your driving record and your insurance company may increase your car insurance rates.

Your Driver’s License Will be Suspended if You Have Too Many Points On Your Driving Record

Some drivers don’t hire a traffic ticket lawyer until after they have accumulated so many points on their driving record that their license is in danger of being suspended.

  • If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension.
  • Your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Speeding Ticket Lawyer to Get Your Ticket Reduced?

A speeding ticket lawyer’s price to fix your ticket depends on the following factors:

  • How fast were you driving?
  • How many other speeding convictions are on your driving record?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in? (The court name and address are listed on your ticket.)

Most speeding ticket lawyers charge a one-time flat-fee price to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction such as “Illegal Parking.”

An experienced traffic law attorney can give you a price quote over the phone, along with an estimate of the fine and court costs. The fine (after getting your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction) will be slightly higher than the original fine.

You won’t have to appear in court, and the court will give you at least 30 days to pay the fine and court costs.

A Speeding Ticket Lawyer Can Lift the Suspension of Your Driver’s License

If you have already pleaded guilty to a ticket that caused your license to be suspended or revoked, a traffic law attorney can withdraw your guilty plea and get your old ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation. Removing the old ticket will reduce the number of points on your driving record, which will lift the suspension of your driver’s license.

You can call the Missouri Department of Revenue in Jefferson City, Missouri at (573) 751-4475 to ask if your license is suspended and find out how many points you have on your driving record.

How to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea For an Old Speeding Ticket

If you have an old speeding ticket that you pleaded guilty to without consulting an attorney beforehand, you can hire an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and get the ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation.

Withdrawing your plea and getting the ticket reduced will remove points from your driving record, which will lift the suspension of your driver’s license if you have accumulated too many points on your driving record.

PLEASE NOTE:  It is more difficult to withdraw a guilty plea if too much time has passed since you pleaded guilty, or if you were represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty.

You Can Take the Missouri Driver Improvement Program To Remove Points From Your Driving Record

Another way to remove points from your driving record is to take the Missouri Driver Improvement Program (DIP) traffic school.

The Missouri DIP traffic school removes points from your driving record after you have pleaded guilty to a speeding ticket or other traffic violation.

Most people hire a traffic ticket lawyer before the court date to get their speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation. But if that is not an option because your ticket was issued in a county that does not allow tickets to be reduced, or because you got a ticket for a very high speed (or other traffic violation) that the court refuses to reduce, the Missouri DIP class may be an option.

What You Need to Know Before Taking the Driver Improvement Program

Before taking the Missouri DIP class, you must get the judge’s permission. Some courts automatically grant permission, while other courts require the defendant to appear in person to ask the judge for permission to take the DIP class.

You must complete the DIP class within 60 days after pleading guilty to your speeding ticket.

After you complete the DIP class, fax proof of completion to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) in Jefferson City, Missouri and they will remove the points from your driving record. The DOR may not accept proof of completion of the DIP class if you don’t get the judge’s permission prior to taking the class.

Here are some other important tips you should know before taking the DIP class:

  • You are not eligible to take the DIP class if you have taken it within the past 3 years.
  • You are not eligible to take the DIP class if you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
  • You are not eligible to take the DIP class if the traffic violation was committed while driving a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Taking the DIP class removes points from your driving record but your insurance company will still be able to see the speeding ticket on your driving record, so they may use that as an excuse to increase your car insurance rates.

 

For more information about removing points from your Missouri driving record, read my previous blog post “How to Get a Speeding Ticket Reduced to a Non-Moving Violation in Missouri.” 


If you have a Missouri speeding ticket that you want to get reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, call Missouri traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a price quote and an estimate of your fine and court costs. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com