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Moving Violation

Moving Violation Definition

Moving violations occur when a driver violates vehicle laws while they are driving. Each state has its own regulations on what constitutes a moving violation. Within each state, different cities and counties also have different rules. One of the most common examples of a rule that changes by county is the speed limit a driver is allowed to drive their vehicle. Many cities have law enforcement officers patrolling to decrease moving violations related to speeding and depending on where the driver is stopped; they may have varying punishments. 

Are Moving Violations Strict Liability Offenses? 

Moving violations are strict liability offenses, which means that there is no criminal intent required to prove a driver is guilty. The only proof that is required is whether the driver committed the act. The most common moving violations that are strict liability offenses are: 

  • Driving a vehicle with broken headlights.
  • Failing to yield at a stop sign or signal light.
  • Speeding.
  • Neglecting to use turn signals.
  • Turning into the incorrect lane.

How Are Traffic Tickets Processed? 

Traffic tickets are considered by many jurisdictions to be minor offenses, which means that they are not heard in criminal court. In cases related to most traffic tickets, the driver is not at risk of being incarcerated or paying large fines. Also, drivers are not entitled to a lawyer or jury trial. Certain traffic violations go beyond a standard traffic ticket that are seen as felonies, such as driving under the influence or leaving the scene of an accident. If a driver is accused of a more serious driving offense, then they are entitled to a court-appointed attorney and a jury trial. 

What Are the Punishments for Moving Violations? 

Moving violations will have varying punishments depending on the severity of the offense and in which state the moving violation takes place. Usually, the most common punishments are paying a fine and attending several sessions of traffic school. If there are other offenses combined with the moving violation, then imprisonment or license suspension is a possibility. In the United States, both distracted driving and driving under the influence have become significant safety risks. At the present moment, both federal and state legislators are attempting to crack down on severe offenses such as these to reduce the number of car accidents that occur each year and improve driving safety. It is highly recommended for drivers to try to avoid moving violations because they do have a negative impact on car insurance rates in the long-term and if drivers get too many, they can have more severe punishments that can include excessive fines or even license suspension. 

What Can a Moving Violation Do to Your Car Insurance? 

Even though moving violations may have less severe punishments than other offenses, they can have a lasting impact on what a driver pays on their car insurance. If a minor receives a moving violation, their insurance will also increase substantially. Individuals should read their car insurance provider's policies carefully to be sure they can afford the increase in their car insurance if they have a moving violation on their record. 

Is it Possible to Contest a Moving Violation? 

On the back of the ticket, there will be a date and time to appear in court and contest the moving violation. If a driver feels strongly that a law enforcement officer was in error or that they were wrongly given a moving violation, it is important to go to court. Courts have hearings to determine whether the driver still has to pay the fines or attend traffic school. In some cases, if the law enforcement officer who issued the moving violation does not show up, some courts will reverse the moving violation if substantial evidence is presented. 

Moving Violation Glossary Definition

A moving violation occurs when a driver violates any vehicle law while the vehicle is moving. The penalties vary for moving violations based on the jurisdiction. Moving violations can range from minor offenses such as failing to stop fully at a stop sign all the way up to drinking while driving. If drivers have too many moving violations, they may be subject to fees, traffic school, having their license suspended, or incarceration in extreme cases.