If a vehicle is in motion when the transgression occurs, it is deemed a moving violation. This includes speeding, running a stop sign or red light, reckless driving, drunk driving (DUI/DWI), racing, and eluding an officer. The majority of moving violations are misdemeanors.
The DMV will suspend your license if you accumulate 6 points in 1 calendar year. Each subsequent offense will result in additional harsher penalties. These are also the infractions that cause your insurance rates to rise steeply.
TRAFFIC TICKET PENALTIES
Most states use a point system and record each moving violation on your driving record. Many different violations can lead to a license suspension, revocation or cancellation. If your license is suspended or revoked, you will not be allowed to drive until you satisfy all requirements to get your license back.
If you are younger than 21 years old, the most common concerns are driving while under the influence (DWUI) and having any of your restricted license privileges suspended. Most convictions stay on your record 5 years from the date of the conviction.
PENALTIES FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVERS
Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders must notify their employers within 30 days of a violation. Some violations carry federally mandated penalties serious enough to impact a driver’s income and even career.
As a commercial driver, you face harsher penalties when it comes to committing traffic violations. This article summarizes some of the penalties you'll face for both major violations and minor offenses.
As the holder of a commercial drivers license (CDL), you're held to a higher standard when behind the wheel - kind of a the -bigger-the-vehicle-the-bigger-the-responsibilies type of mindset.
Traffic Violation Repercussions for Truckers
The best advice is to avoid getting ticketed. This applies to all driving situations, regardless of when, where, or how. As a truck driver, you could jeopardize losing your CDL even while getting ticketed behind the wheel of your family car.
You especially want to avoid one of the following major violations:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
- Operating under the influence of a controlled substance.
- Fleeing the scene of an accident.
- Causing a fatality due to negligent driving.
- Refusing an alcohol test.
- Having a blood alcohol content higher than the state's designated legal limit (this varies by state).
- Using the vehicle to commit a felony.
- Using the vehicle in manufacturing, distributing or dispensing a controlled substance.
- Trucking while your CDL is suspended, revoked, or cancelled.
Commercial drivers also want to avoid getting ticketed for one of the following serious traffic offenses:
- Following too closely.
- Speeding 15 mph or more above the posted speed limit.
- Improper lane changes.
- Operating a commercial vehicle without your CDL in your possession.
- Careless driving.
- Driving a rig without the proper endorsement.
If convicted of any of above described violations, you could face the following commercial driver penalties:
- The suspension or revocation of your commercial drivers license. The length of time is contingent on your state, the nature of the violation, and your driving record. You'll then face, once cleared to resume driving, expensive license reinstatement fees.
- Points assessed to your drivers license, if applicable to your state. Top a specified amount of points as designated by your state and you could lose all driving privileges.
- The temporary or permanent loss of your job.
- Higher insurance rates.
- Stiff fines.
- Possible jail time, dependent, of course, on the nature of the violation.
If convicted of any of the above violations, you are required, by law, to notify your employer. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your ticket and what's at stake, you may want to consider hiring a traffic attorney who specializes in CDL affairs.
Keep in mind that HAZMAT drivers are under tighter scrutiny; penalties are magnified even more.
Are you a CDL driver who's ever gotten a traffic ticket while trucking? Call us at
DEFENSIVE DRIVING/TRAFFIC SCHOOL AND TRAFFIC TICKET DISMISSAL
Depending on your driving history and the reason for your ticket, your traffic court may allow you to complete a defensive driving or traffic school course to avoid adding any driver’s license points and dismiss the ticket. Taking the Defensive Driving Course or enrolling for the Class instruction enables you to receive a point reduction, and may also qualify you for a reduction in your car insurance rates. If you would like help in this decision or to get set up, call us for free advice!!!
OPTIONS IF YOU RECEIVE A CITATION
Many citations do not require a court appearance, and you may admit guilt by paying the ticket directly. The citation will indicate how and by what date to pay the fine. Fines are either paid to the state or local municipality. You can pay in person or by mail. If your ticket has the “Must Appear” box checked you cannot pay the fine and you will have to appear in court on the date mentioned on the ticket. If you wish to dispute the citation, you must inform the courts in writing of this. You must appear in court personally on the scheduled date, and enter a “not guilty” plea. While you may be able to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney, a trial will be scheduled if no agreement is reached. A trial gives you an opportunity to fight the traffic ticket in front of a judge or jury, and most people prefer to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to defend them in court. If you are unable to attend court on the scheduled date, inform the court and make arrangements for a new date. Failing to do so could result in a warrant being put out for your arrest.
If you believe you have been incorrectly charged with committing a moving violation or are interested in getting your citation reduced, you may be able to fight the charge in court. CALL US!!!!
Convictions, license suspensions, and revocations will show up on your 3-year and 5-year driving records. You may be able to dismiss traffic tickets and remove points from your driving record by completing an online defensive driving course. Because your driving record can affect your auto insurance rates and even your employment, it’s crucial that you make sure your information is accurate.
CONSEQUENCES IF YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY
If you pay a ticket directly, you are essentially pleading guilty to a traffic offense, which carries the same consequences as being found guilty of the violation in court. Motorists who either plead guilty directly or are found guilty of an offense should be aware of the following possible consequences:
- Certain traffic offenses, including speeding and other moving violations, are automatically reported. States routinely provides information concerning traffic ticket convictions to other states.
- Most states follow a point system to track violations and their corresponding penalties. Points are added to your driving record, which could result in your license being suspended.
- Drivers that accumulate points on their driving record are often subject to higher car insurance.