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Should I Take Traffic Violations Seriously?

If you have been accused of a traffic violation, you may be tempted to not take it seriously. That can be a mistake. Traffic violations can have significant consequences for your driving record, wallet, and even your freedom.

What are traffic violations?

A traffic violation occurs anytime a police officer alleges that you broke a rule of the road (a traffic law). These are usually summary offenses or misdemeanors, but they can be more severe depending on the circumstances and severity. Common traffic violations are speeding and running a red light, and the more severe violations are hit-and-run and reckless driving.

Monetary penalties

Traffic violations can have a plethora of consequences, but the most common consequence is a monetary penalty known as a fine. Fines vary by violation and by county. Plus, traffic violation convictions increase your insurance rate premiums. This is also a monetary penalty.

Points

Points are also common with traffic violations, and they affect your driving record if you are found guilty. Points range from 2 to 5 per violation. To avoid losing your license, the first time you get 6 points or more, you must pass a written special point exam. You must pass it within 30 days, and if you do not, your license will automatically be suspended until you pass.

The second time this happens, you will be forced to attend a hearing where you will face another exam or a 15-day license suspension. On your third time accumulating 6 or more points, you will face another hearing where you will face another exam or a 30-day license suspension. And, you will face this each subsequent time you hit 6 or more points.

For minors though, there are different consequences. For minors who get 6 or more points on their license, you will have your license suspended for 90 days. This also happens if you are convicted of going 26 mph or more over the posted speed limit. And, if you hit 6 points or more again, the suspension time goes up to 120 days until you reach 18.

Jail time

Imprisonment from a traffic violation is reserved for only the most serious violations, those that endanger the public or involve some alleged criminal intent. This includes charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, homicide by vehicle, etc.

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