Most Common Moving Violations and How To Avoid Them

traffic offences

traffic offencesMoving violations and traffic tickets are common in almost every jurisdiction – indeed they are among the most common of any violations – including in the Washington DC area.  However, having some knowledge about how to deal with such violations is important for anyone facing them.  The consequences are significant.

Moving violation tickets will typically result in points on your driving record and ‘scoring’ too many points will lead to suspension of your drivers’ licence.  This may be avoided if a hearing examiner says that you may attend traffic school, you may avoid the points.

What are the categories of moving violations?

Simply put, there are two basic categories of moving violations: traffic violations and non-moving violations. Non-moving traffic violations are minor violations that only occur while the car is not in motion; they do not include traffic tickets.

Common Traffic Violations

Common traffic violations involve parking infractions such as expired parking permits, speeding tickets, and parking in a no-parking zone. For those in the DC area the details of the offences and the points that are incurred for offending can be seen here.  If you have multiple moving violations, especially involving DUI, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device.

Most common non-moving traffic violations include improper lane changes. This may include changing lanes when another driver is overtaking you, or other lane change infringements may include changing lanes without signaling. If you are stopped due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be required to take an alcohol or drug test. Even drivers with previous clean records can receive a traffic ticket.

Speeding tickets may be issued to drivers who go slightly above the speed limit. Parking tickets can be handed out to motorists who violate a no-parking zone when they receive their ticket.

There can be civil traffic violations and criminal traffic violations. A civil traffic infraction is a non-criminal charge that can be disposed of by payment of a civil penalty, requesting a court hearing, or election of a defensive driving course. On the other hand, a criminal traffic offense may be such offenses as D.U.I./DWI, fleeing a police officer, or leaving the scene of an accident. This requires a court appearance, unlike most civil traffic violation cases where court appearances are rare except when the violation involves serious bodily injury or death of another person. 

Pay Traffic Times on Time

Pay your fines at the court on time. If you can afford it, you can consider paying your fines using a credit card instead of money in the form of cash paid to the court.

If you are unable to pay the full amount of your moving violations, you may want to contact an attorney to assist you with the payment process. There are a few common mistakes that people make when paying traffic tickets, and some legal professionals can help you avoid them. This may include not paying your fines in the correct manner, failing to present necessary documentation and failure to provide any necessary supporting documents.

By avoiding traffic violations you can steer clear of legal issues. While traffic violations may be frustrating, if you think of the reasons they occur, you will be less likely to make the same errors in the future.

In addition to avoiding traffic violations, there are other ways to get traffic fines reduced. If you are arrested for a traffic violation, it can negatively affect your credit rating and insurance premiums. 

Legal Options

There are other alternatives besides looking to avoid traffic violations. If you are pulled over for a moving violation, you may want to discuss the matter with and see if they can aid you to reduce the amount of your fine or deal with any other issue relating to traffic offences..

Traffic violations are a problem, but they can be managed. If you are convicted of one of them, it won’t deter you from traveling or driving, but you could take steps that help to prevent additional tickets and fines in the future.


Riley Legal are a Washington DC law firm handling major and minor traffic offence cases. Contact details may be seen here.

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