Were you recently given a traffic ticket in the Columbus metropolitan area for improper passing? If so, you should consult with a Columbus traffic attorney about your improper passing charge.
The fact that you received a citation for improper passing does not mean that you are guilty of this offense or that you will be convicted of this offense. Oftentimes, a traffic lawyer can resolve your charge for improper passing without your having to go to court. Depending on the facts of your case, this resolution may result in a reduced violation, a no-points violation, diversion (resulting in dismissal upon completion of a defensive driving course and paying court costs), or even a dismissal.
You may have the option of prepaying your traffic ticket. But the cost of prepaying a ticket may be greater than you think. Prepaying a traffic citation is the functional equivalent to a guilty plea, and you will be convicted of the offense charged in your citation for improper passing. Aside from the financial cost that must be paid to the court, a traffic conviction for a moving violation may result in points being added to your driving record, increased insurance premiums, and potential employment sanctions if you are required to drive a company vehicle for your employer. A conviction for improper passing may appear on background checks run by current or future employers or professional licensing authorities.
Improper passing ordinarily is a minor misdemeanor. But depending on the facts of your case and whether you have prior predicate traffic convictions, a minor misdemeanor offense can be elevated to a more serious offense that carries the possibility of community control sanctions and even jail time. Additionally, your license may be suspended if you accumulate 12 or more points on your driving record within a two-year period. These are just a few considerations when deciding whether to hire a Columbus traffic lawyer to represent you in your ticket for improper passing.
For legal assistance with your Columbus traffic ticket for improper passing, contact us at 614.695.5000 or online. Below is summary of the traffic offense of improper passing, including the potential penalty and the points assessed if convicted of this offense.
Overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction.
Under Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.27, a driver overtaking another vehicle must signal to the vehicle to be overtaken, must pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and must not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle must give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle at the latter’s audible signal, and the driver must not increase vehicle speed until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
The driver of a vehicle overtaking and passing another vehicle in the same direction on a divided highway, a limited access highway, or a highway with four or more traffic lanes, is not required to signal audibly to the vehicle being overtaken and passed.
Overtaking and passing upon the right of another vehicle.
Under Section 4511.28, the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:
- When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn.
- Upon a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lines of vehicles moving lawfully in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle.
The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. The movement shall not be made by driving off the roadway.
Driving to left of center of roadway in overtaking and passing traffic proceeding in same direction.
Under Section 4511.29, no vehicle may be driven to the left of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing traffic proceeding in the same direction, unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made, without interfering with the safe operation of any traffic approaching from the opposite direction or any traffic overtaken. The overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for traffic approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within two hundred feet of any approaching vehicle.
Penalty for improper passing.
Improper passing ordinarily is a minor misdemeanor. The potential penalty for a minor misdemeanor traffic offense includes the imposition of a fine of up to $150, up to thirty hours of community service, and court costs.
But if, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, then improper passing is elevated to a fourth degree misdemeanor. The potential penalty for a fourth degree misdemeanor traffic infraction includes the imposition of a jail term of not more than thirty days, an additional or alternative community control sanction plus reimbursement for the cost of this sanction, a fine of up to $250, and court costs.
And if, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, then improper passing is elevated to a third degree misdemeanor. The penalty for a third degree misdemeanor traffic infraction includes the potential imposition of a jail term of not more than sixty days, an additional or alternative community control sanction plus reimbursement for the cost of this sanction, a fine of up to $500, and court costs.
Community control sanctions generally can include residential placement, house arrest, drug/alcohol testing and treatment, specified education and training, community service, curfew, probation, etc. Under certain circumstances, the court also may order an offender to pay restitution to any identifiable victim who incurred economic loss as a result of the violation.
Points assessed for improper passing.
A conviction on a traffic ticket for improper passing carries 2 points in Ohio on an offender’s driving record. For more information on how the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) processes points for moving violations and the substantial penalty for excessive points accumulation, press Ohio BMV Points System.
Discuss your ticket for improper passing with a Columbus traffic attorney.
Frequently a lawyer can appear in court and resolve a traffic case in the client’s absence, provided both the court and the prosecutor agree. This saves the client the aggravation of taking time off from work, fighting traffic to get to court on time, waiting for potentially hours for the case to be called, standing in long lines, and potentially having to do it all over again if the case is continued.
If you are seeking a traffic lawyer, contact us at 614.695.5000 or online. We offer legal representation to drivers charged with traffic tickets in the Columbus metropolitan area, including Franklin County Municipal Court, Bexley Mayor’s Court, Canal Winchester Mayor’s Court, Dublin Mayor’s Court, Gahanna Mayor’s Court, Grandview Heights Mayor’s Court, Granville Mayor’s Court, Grove City Mayor’s Court, Hilliard Mayor’s Court, New Albany Mayor’s Court, Obetz Mayor’s Court, Pataskala Mayor’s Court, Pickerington Mayor’s Court, Reynoldsburg Mayor’s Court, Upper Arlington Mayor’s Court, Westerville Mayor’s Court, Whitehall Mayor’s Court and Worthington Mayor’s Court.
We also offer legal representation to drivers charged with traffic tickets in other courts near the Columbus metropolitan area, including Circleville Municipal Court (Pickaway County), Delaware County Municipal Court, Fairfield County Municipal Court, Licking County Municipal Court, Marysville Municipal Court (Union County), and Madison County Municipal Court.
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Failure to Yield
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