Traffic Violation Laws in California

Driving in California does not need to be a challenge. There are so many beautiful areas to explore, like the coastal highway 101, that you should always be aware of the state's traffic violation laws so that your beautiful drive isn't interrupted with a less than beautiful traffic violation. Remember that police officers are only doing their job to promote public safety, so even if a violation should occur, courtesy is of utmost importance.

Types of Traffic Violation Laws

California has two types of traffic violation laws to be aware of when driving within this state. For more minor occurrences, you have an infraction. If you have been pulled over for speeding or for failing to signal, you have earned an infraction. For more serious violations, there are criminal penalties. If you are caught driving without a valid driver's license, you may be subject to arrest. Likewise, if you are caught while driving under the influence, you can suffer steep penalties like jail time or losing your driver's license. By always taking care to drive responsibly, you can best avoid breaking both infractions and criminal traffic violation laws.

What to Do if Stopped?

If you are pulled over by a California Highway Patrol unit, or by a local police officer, always follow any directions given for where to park and what to do when parked. Only get out of your vehicle if instructed to do so. When the police officer approaches you, remain courteous as they ask you any necessary questions, and then begin to ask any questions you may also have. Do not argue with the police officer, but instead take any notes for yourself to use in the future, should you decide to fight your citation.

Following Up on a Violation

Once you have been issued a ticket or charged with a criminal statute for breaking traffic violation laws, it is best to determine what you will do next. If you wish to pay your ticket or serve any penalty, you will need to enter a plea of guilty within a short period of time and pay any fines assessed. If you will be requesting a court date for your violation, this must also be done quickly. Remember that should you go to court, it is always best to retain an attorney to best protect your rights and driving record.

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