An Overview of Traffic Violations

Even a safe and conscientious driver will, at some point or another, receive a traffic ticket. The specific laws regarding traffic violations are numerous, complex, and vary in each local and state jurisdiction, however, a general overview of traffic violation laws is possible, which can assist drivers in better understanding their rights. Many drivers will find that it is quite easy to incur small fines for driving related offenses, which in some instances, drivers were unaware these actions were deemed illegal offenses. For drivers that feel their driving records and privileges are in jeopardy, it is important to have a working understanding of all of the facts about traffic violations. The severity of traffic violations depends on a litany of factors including the offense itself, location, and other circumstances, however, with each ensuing traffic violation; the potential fallout from these citations becomes worse and worse. Having legal counsel is important to drivers that feel their licenses or driving privileges are in potentially in jeopardy from multiple driving offenses and traffic violations. However, this article and overview may provide drivers the information they need to begin a discussion about their driving record with competent traffic court lawyers to prevent going to traffic violation court.

Strict Liability Traffic Violation Offenses

Strict liability traffic violation offenses are those defined as non-criminal and only punishable through a citation, fine, or warning. In the course of these offenses, citing law enforcement officers discern the offending drivers committed the act without any intention to do harm, maliciousness, or gross recklessness. Typically, the vast majority of what is colloquially referred to as "traffic tickets" fall into the strict liability offense category. For a conviction of a strict liability traffic violation offense, is the assertion and testimony of the law enforcement officer that an offense did occur. These violations can be appealed in a court of law, with the assistance of a traffic violations attorney. For some drivers, the severity of the punishment whether for the single offense or as a result of multiple consecutive driving offenses will warrant appealing these citations. Some of the more common strict liability traffic violations include:

  • Speeding, which is driving faster than the posted speed limit. Fines may be heavier for speeding in a school or work zone
  • Failure to use turn signals, which endangers other drivers by not alerting them of the intention to turn
  • Failure to yield, which includes not following the rules for 2-way, 3-way and 4-way stops, as well as burnt out traffic lights and yellow "yield" signs
  • Turning in the wrong lane, which is going the wrong way on a street posing a serious danger, not only to the driver, but to other drivers as well
  • Burnt out headlights or tail-lights, which starts out to be a careless mistake that can turn into a deadly accident at night or in conditions with low visibility
  • Overdue parking meters, which drivers must pay appropriate fees to park in certain public areas
  • Parking in a handicapped spot, which without appropriate tags even handicapped individuals must get special license plates or stickers for their cars that indicate their privilege to park in designated spots

These are some of the more common reasons that drivers find themselves in trouble. The punishments are usually quite mild, and most only require a small fine. However, other offenses are much more serious, and they come with their own set of punishments, including heavier fines and jail time. Additionally, drivers violating multiples of the aforementioned offenses may also face more serious consequences as well, including problems with point additions to their driver's license.

Other Traffic Violation Offenses and How They Are Processed

  • Running stop signs or red lights, which doing can result in a much higher fine, because it puts other drivers at great risk
  • Parking in front of a fire zone, or fire hydrant, which drivers who do this also tend to incur heavy fines. Special zones are marked off, so that firemen can get to a building and a water source quickly, in the event of an emergency. Blocking these zones may endanger hundreds of lives
  • Drunk driving, which is a serious offense that can be punishable with jail time and the driver's license being revoked for a period of time amongst other items
  • Injuring a person or property and fleeing the scene, which though accidents do occur, leaving the scene is a felony and could result in some serious jail time

The aforementioned offenses denote a serious disregard or blatant willingness to violate local and state driving and traffic laws. These offenses often endanger the lives of drivers and pedestrians. Other extenuating circumstances, such as driving at speeds excessively above the posted speed limits, may bump charges up to more sinister traffic violations such as reckless driving and other criminal charges. Given the extremely subjective and unique nature of each traffic violation citation or arrest, traffic violation attorneys have a significant amount of leeway when representing the interests of clients. Contact a local traffic violations attorney in your area today.

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