- Different Types of Felony Classes & Charges
- What is Juice Jacking?
- What are Romance Scams?
- Traffic Offenses and Violations
- What is Doxing and How to Prevent it?
- What are Spam Text Messages
- The U.S. Death Penalty: History and Modern Usage
- A Guide to Different Types of Bankruptcies
- Common eBay Scams to be Aware of
- What Happens When You are Booked in Jail?
- What Information Can You Get From A License Plate
- Different Types of Assets
- 8 Tips to Help You Find Family Members
- Car History Guide, Benefits, Importance
- Am I Dating a Stalker?
- How to Find out if Your Partner is Cheating
- What Is A Packet Sniffing Attack
- Intellectual Property Law and Rights
- Cyberstalking And Its Dangers
- A Guide to Phishing Scams
- What is Organized Crime?
- I’ve Lost My Driver’s License: What Should I Do?
- Misdemeanor Charges: Types, Classes, and Penalties
- A Complete Guide On Catfishing
- Vanity Phone Numbers: A Complete Guide
- What Happens When You Get Arrested
- Guide to Find Information About a Person Online
- How To Find And Claim Unclaimed Money
- What Happens if You Violate Probation
- Guide on How to Remove a Mugshot from the Internet
- How to Stay Safe on Public WiFi
- How to Deal with an Outstanding Warrant
- Different Types of Car Insurance
- What Is Cyptojacking?
- What Is Email Security?
- What Is the Deep Web and What Can Be Found There?
- What Happens When You Declare Bankruptcy
- How Divorce Settlements are Calculated
- What are Common Methods of Social Engineering
- What is the Difference Between a General Lien and a Specific Lien?
- How to Detect Odometer Rollback
- Different Types of Probation
- Finding forgotten life insurance policies
- What is Bearer Bond and Why the US Banned it
- Everything you need to know about small claims court
- Moral Turpitude: Definition, Examples, and Much More!
- Misdemeanor vs Felony
- How To Read VIN Number
- How to Find Out Who Hacked Your Cell Phone
- How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay On Your Criminal Record?
- The Paypal Phishing Scam You Should Care to Avoid
- License Plates Types: USA Guide
- Effects of Cyberbullying: Complete Guide for Parents
- What is the DPPA?
- Petty Theft: Definition and Consequences
- What is a Life Sentence?
- How to Find Out if Someone Has a Warrant?
- Marriage License vs Certificate: Everything You Need to Know
- The Ten Most Popular Celebrity Mugshots
- How to Find Out if Someone is Married?
- How to Stop Phone Spoofing?
- How To Avoid Probate
- Dealing with abandoned vehicles in your neighborhood
- How to Find Someone's Cell Phone Number by Their Name
- Who Are the Worst Drivers in America?
- How To Find Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives
- What is a Digital License Plate?
- How to Find out if Someone Died?
- Murder vs Manslaughter: The Differences and Definitions
- How to Hire a Private Investigator?
- What Is a Number Neighbor?
- How to Find Out if Someone was Arrested
- How to Find Someone's Birthday?
- What is a Car Title
- How to Obtain a Police Report and Court Records?
- Filing a false police report
- Prison Valley: Look inside Prison Town
- How to Get Custody of a Child Without Going to Court?
- How to Find Someone’s Social Media Profiles?
- What to Do if Your Phone Is Tapped?
- What Is a Deed in Real Estate?
- Where Was The First US Federal Penitentiary Established?
- How to Find Someone's Location Using Their Cell Phone Number?
- What Is a Restricted Call?
- Who is the Most Dangerous Prisoner in the World?
- Poshmark Scams: How to Prevent and Report Them
- How to Find a Missing Person?
- How to Send Money to a Federal Inmate?
- DUI vs DWI: What're The Differences
- How Long After Buying a Car Do You Need to Register it?
- How to Find out Where Someone Lives?
- What Happens If You Get Caught Driving a Car Without Interlock
- Situational Crime Prevention: Theory, Techniques and Examples
- How Can I Find Out Who Called Me for Free?
- Gun Free Zone Statistics and Facts
- Online Threats and Digital Security: Trends, Types and Most Common Examples
- Cold Cases: Best Practices For Police Officers and Investigators
- Court Order: Definition, Types and Examples
- What Does a Fingerprint Background Report Show?
- How to Check Your Criminal Record?
- What is Tort Law?
- How to Calculate Child Support
- Property Rights: Definition, and Characteristics
- 12 Common Reasons for Public Records Request
- What is Antitrust Law?
- Virginia Gun Confiscation Law
- How Do You Find Out Who Own a Property?
- Neighborhood Watch Program
- How to Perform a Mugshot Search?
- Crime Mapping
- Safest Colleges in Florida
- Veterans Guide to Cars and Driving
- U.S. Correctional System: Structure, Incarceration and Facts
- License Plate Laws in the US
- How to Locate Inmates and Access Jail Records?
- Email Hacking: Laws, Penalties and Protection
- Romeo and Juliet Laws
- Holiday Safety for Home and Family
- Differences between Criminal and Arrest Records
- Public Records and Property History: What is Public Information and What Isn’t
- How to Look up Immigration Inmates?
- Famous Prisons in the USA
- How to Find Out Who Owns a Vehicle Using Reverse Lookup Tools
- How to Search for Your Family Tree?
- The Federal Judicial Center
- Mass Incarceration in the USA
- What is COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act)?
- Data Safety After The Capital One Breach
- Scholarships Guide for Students
- Complete Guide to Student Safety
- What Is a Vehicle Identification Number?
- Determining Divorce: 5 Types of Divorce You Must Know
- Sex Offenders: Complete Guide to be Protected
- New Privacy Laws and Public Records
- Motor Vehicle Registration in the US
- Digital Token Age: Security Laws and Regulations
- Facial Recognition Technology and Legal Restrictions
- What Shows up in a Background Report
- Car Repossession Laws: Dealing with Car Dealers and Auto Fraud
- How to Protect Yourself from Phone Scams
- Human Rights in the Prison
- What are Business Competition Laws?
- What is a Hate Crime?
- Starting a Business and Business Licenses
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Guidance
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Tax Reform Impact and Changes To Know
- Self-Driving Cars: Laws and Regulations
- White-Collar Crime: Statistics and Facts
- Have You Been Arrested? Cases You'll Need a Lawyer
- Getting a driver's license in the US: What to Know
- Car Theft in the US: Prevention and Facts
- Identity Theft Passport Program
- Changing your Name after Marriage: What You Need to Know
- Finding the Perfect Roommate: Dos and Donts
- What if You Get Into a Car Accident? A Complete Checklist
- Property Crimes: How to Burglar Proof Your Home
- Consumer Laws in the US: What Do They Mean for a Customer and a Business Owner
- Child Trafficking: The Scope, Understanding, and Prevention
- Business Assets: A Guide to the Financial Health of your Business
- Guide To The College Application: How, When and Where to Apply
- Which States Have “Stand Your Ground” Laws?
- Adolescent Depression Symptoms and Causes
- Things to Know About the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory System
- Inheritance in the US: With & Without a Will
- Online Dating Safety Guide for Men and Women
- Sexual Abuse in the U.S.: Laws and Statistics
- Supporting Children After Divorce: Child Custody Options
- Halloween Horrors Come to Life: Holidays Crimes in the U.S.
- Charity Scams in the U.S.: Be Aware and Protected
- Webcam Hacking & Spying in the US
- Sex Offender Search
- Freedom of Religion in the U.S.
- Senior Financial Scams: How are the Elderly Targeted and How to Avoid It
- Catcalling: Is it illegal? How to Deal With It
- A Complete Guide To Insurance Fraud: Common Types and Prevention
- Sextortion: What to Do if You Became a Victim of Blackmailing
- Concealed Carry: How to Protect Yourself on Campus
- Debt Collection Laws | Fair Debt Collection Act: What You Need To Know
- How Much Is My House Worth? Ultimate Guide to Home Buying and Selling
- What are the Traits of a Sociopath?
- Do You Know Who Your Neighbors Are?
- Learn How to Find Your Birth Parents
- The Importance of Public Records in Law
- Do You Know What's the Difference Between Jail and Prison?
- Homeowner’s Insurance, Is it a Public Record?
- The Disturbing Facts of Gun Violence in America
- How to Use Public Records in Marketing
- Best & Worst Cities for Driving
- LGBT Bullying
- What You Need to Know When Buying or Selling a Used Car?
- School Safety and Security Standards
- Making Your DMV Experience Fast And Easy
- How to Prepare For an Active Shooter Incident
- How to Report a Crime?
- How to Protect Yourself Against Cyber Attacks
- 50 Things to Know When Filing for Divorce
- What to Do When You Are Stopped By the Police
- Tips for Back-to-School Safety and Security
- Guide to Filing for Bankruptcy
- How to Appeal the Court's Decision
- A User's Guide to Warrants
- How to Fight a Traffic Ticket?
- Keeping Your Neighborhood Safe For Your Family
- A Parent's Guide to Keeping Your Child Drug-Free
Traffic Offenses and Violations
Roughly 228.2 million U.S. citizens are licensed to drive. Federal, state, and local laws govern driving behavior. Typically, local and state police enforce driving laws in their jurisdiction. Some traffic offenses are crimes, and others are not.
What are Traffic Violations?
Traffic violations are when a driver operates a motor vehicle in a way that violates federal, state, or local laws. Local police monitor towns and cities, and state police monitor highways for drivers who violate the law.
When law enforcement spots someone driving erratically or violating the law, they will often use a license place lookup to determine a few pieces of information. That can include if someone reported the car stolen, who owns it, and see if the person has any outstanding warrants in their name before stopping them.
Types of Traffic Violations
Traffic violations usually fall into one of three categories:
Each type varies in severity along with the punishment. Depending on the state, the classification of a traffic violation may be different than in another state. What might be a misdemeanor in one location could be a felony in another. Typically, the severity of a traffic violation dictates whether the driver hurt or killed anyone or damaged property due to their behavior.
Strict Liability Offenses
Most traffic infractions and the majority of tickets are for strict liability offenses. Strict liability offenses are driving violations that do not rely on “intent.” Whether the person knows what they are doing or not does not matter. If they speed above the speed limit, they are violating the law. Some examples of strict liability violations include:
- Running a red light
- Failure to yield
- Parking in a fire lane or in front of a fire hydrant
- Turning into the wrong lane
- Not turning on headlights at night
- Driving without a valid registration sticker
- Failing to signal when turning
- Seat belt violations
Moving Traffic Violations
Another deeper classification of driving offenses is moving or non-moving violations. Moving violations refer to crimes committed while the vehicle is in motion. Some examples would be speeding, not stopping at a red light or stop sign, and reckless driving.
Non-Moving Traffic Violations
Non-moving violations refer to violations that drivers commit when the vehicle is not moving. Infractions such as parking in a no-park zone or having modifications to the car that violate state laws, such as tinted windows, a broken taillight, noisy exhaust systems, and illegal license plate covers, could all qualify.
Criminal Driving Offenses
Most traffic offenses are minor and punishable only by a warning or ticket. However, any driving offense that carries the penalty of prison or jail time is considered a criminal driving offense. These vary widely by state and severity. For example, many states classify reckless driving as a misdemeanor and others as a felony.
Some examples of criminal driving offenses are:
- DUI (driving under the influence)
- Reckless driving
- Hit and run
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
Speeding is a complex issue because if someone drives a few miles over the speed limit, they may only get a ticket, but if they go faster, they could end up in jail. Throughout each state, there are specific speeding laws, and some pertain to the type of area the person is driving in.
For example, speeding in front of a school or near a school bus is considered far more dangerous and will net the driver a higher fine. In addition, the faster the person goes (more over the speed limit), the higher the penalty; if someone goes 50 miles over the speed limit, the violation may turn criminal.
Law enforcement officers expect drivers to slow down and go slower than the posted speed limit in bad weather conditions. Law enforcement may stop someone and give them a citation if they violate this unwritten rule.
Another issue complicating the matter is when someone faces repeat convictions for the same crime. As a result, the court will sanction drivers with multiple DUIs much stricter than those first offenders.
Additionally, if someone commits a driving offense and hurts, kills, or damages property, the penalties will be harsher, and the offense elevates to a crime.
The penalty for traffic infractions/violations is usually a warning or ticket. The driver can choose to pay the ticket by mailing it in or dropping it off at the courthouse. They also have the right to fight it in court. If the officer does not show up in court on the day of the hearing, the driver will win, and the court will throw out the case. If the officer does show up, the driver must prove the officer was wrong and that he or she did not commit the infraction.
Penalties for more serious driving offenses involve fines (sometimes exorbitant amounts of money), jail or prison time, and community service. In addition, a judge may order probation or require the driver to take a safe driving course to avoid further driving offenses in the future. Anyone convicted of a driving crime must appear in court for an arraignment and has the legal right to a trial by jury. If they waive that right, the judge will determine their fate and set the punishment. The offender also has the right to an attorney to defend them, and the court must prove that "beyond a reasonable doubt" the driver committed the crime.
Even minor infractions may result in points on the driver’s license (not all states use a point system, but most do). If someone earns too many points in a short amount of time, they may lose their license for a year or more. The driver may lose their license forever with severe offenses such as multiple DUIs.
Drivers must understand and follow the rules of the road. If they do not, they will face the consequences, which are sometimes very serious. Each state has a government website (usually the Department of Motor Vehicles) where drivers can reeducate themselves on the driving laws in their area.