It can happen to the best of us. Perhaps it was a traffic light that turned too quickly from yellow to red, or maybe it was a speed limit that dropped drastically, or you simply forgot to use a turn signal. These traffic violation scenarios are experienced every day—many of them honest mistakes, yet the consequences can be heavy fines and stiff penalties.
If you feel that you have been ticketed unfairly, seeking a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana could help you get points off of your record. Bryan Coulter, an experienced criminal defense attorney, details below what classifies as a traffic violation, how it could affect your life, and what you can do to avoid the penalties.
So, What Exactly Is a Traffic Violation?
We have heard the phrase “traffic violation” hundreds of times, but if asked about it, could we really define what it means?
A traffic violation can encompass many offenses, with the most common categories listed below.
All traffic violations are viewed as strict liability
Strict liability? Sounds intimidating, right?
Strict liability simply means that all traffic violations are considered intentional, even if the person committing the violation was genuinely ignorant of the offense. With this strict liability clause in mind, traffic violations can be further divided into moving and non-moving infractions.
A moving violation is very common among traffic offenses, and they refer to violations committed while a vehicle is in motion.
Common moving violations include:
- Turning into the wrong lane
- Running a red light
- Driving while intoxicated
- Failing to yield
Along with moving violations, non-moving violations are also extremely common.
A non-moving violation is committed while a vehicle is not in motion. These offenses are usually related to parking errors or broken vehicle equipment. Common examples of non-moving violations include:
- Blocking a fire hydrant
- Parking in restricted areas
- Not paying a parking meter
- Burned out tail/headlights
- Excessive gas emission or loud muffler noises
Traffic Violation Consequences
Now that we have defined the most common types of traffic violations, the next major question is, what are the consequences of these violations? Listed below are the ways in which a traffic offense could impact your life!
If you commit a traffic violation, you could be at risk of receiving a ticket. Tickets range in price, depending on the severity of the violation committed. Fines can range from $20 for a parking ticket, to up to $1,500 for offenses like driving under the influence. Tickets are also commonly given in conjunction with other punishments like jail time or license loss.
Points on your license:
Each time you commit a traffic violation, a specific number of points is placed on your license, where they will stay for 18 months. If you collect a certain amount of points, you could face punishments like fees or license suspension.
There are a number of reasons for why a license may be suspended. Traffic violations are considered one of the most common reasons, with people committing offenses like speeding. Licenses can also be suspended if traffic tickets are not paid.
For extreme traffic violations cases, like driving under the influence or driving recklessly, jail time could be a possibility. Perpetrators could face anywhere from 60 days to 1 year in jail, in combination with paying stiff fines.
Unfortunately, with a traffic violation comes an increase in insurance costs. With minor traffic violations like seat belt infractions or speaking on a cellphone, you can expect a slight increase in your insurance premium. With more serious traffic offenses, like driving under the influence, your premium could increase by as much as $1,000!
Don’t Live with the Consequences—Get a Criminal Defense Attorney in Lafayette, Indiana
If you feel that you have been ticketed unfairly, or if you wish to seek traffic violation expungement, a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana can help you!
Criminal defense attorneys are trained to spot errors and other mistakes in your ticket that could possibly invalidate your traffic fine. Even if a ticket cannot be invalidated, a defense attorney can use advanced negotiation skills to lower the cost or lessen the severity of your punishment.
Another great benefit to using a defense attorney is the chance to have points taken off of your license. Points can come with serious consequences like heavy fines, license suspension, and costly insurance premiums. By using legal counsel, you have a stronger chance of getting your driving record expunged, which can save you money and stress.
At Coulter Law, we understand how damaging traffic violations can be and how important your driving privileges are. With our aggressive courtroom representation and years of defense experience, we have the knowledge to actively represent you. Don’t let points on your record interfere with your daily activities—see how we can best represent you!