OKLAHOMA CITY - If you are considering whether or not to pay your most recent traffic violation, Oklahoma attorneys advise drivers to take a close look at the letter of the law before paying up.
Legal experts said it may be wise not to pay when it comes to a certain type of traffic violation because of a strict Oklahoma statute beefed up Nov. 2011.
Most Oklahomans are unaware there are several traffic violations for which a conviction means automatic driver license revocation for one year, including gas drive-offs, reckless driving and failing to stop for a school bus.
"It's a judgment call for a police officer," defense attorney Billy Bock said. "If you wind up getting convicted of reckless driving then you will lose your driver's license for up to a year. No one should be out there being reckless but we've all done things we shouldn't do behind the wheel or been inattentive by accident."
Here's the important part, if you pay that reckless driving ticket, you are admitting guilt.
The ticket doesn't indicate the penalty but your license will be automatically revoked for a year.
One other note, according to the Department of Public Safety, the department will alert drivers by mail if their license has been suspended or revoked.
However, if you have failed to keep your home address current on your driver's license, you may not get the notice and risk further charges if you are driving on a suspend license.
Legal experts like Bock recommend asking the court to withdraw your plea if you unknowingly paid the ticket and had your license revoked.
You will need a lawyer to request a withdrawal and you will have to act quickly.
A judge will typically only consider a plea withdrawal if it is requested very soon after the revocation.
"People would be floored by finding out what they can lose their driver's license for and for how long," Bock said. "When they get a ticket that is anything more than a minimal speeding ticket, they should get the help of a lawyer. It can be devastating for a family, for wage earners or for moms who drive to and from school and work."