California Traffic Violations

So – you got a traffic ticket. Your life on the road is over – right? Not necessarily! For traffic tickets in California, depending upon the type of violation you received and how severe it may have been, you could possibly have the option of masking that ticket from your public driving record. And it's actually much easier than you may think.

Below, we’ve outlined the difference between some of the most common traffic violations in California, along with a tried-and-true way to make yours disappear from your life altogether.

Moving vs. Non-Moving Violations

Traffic tickets which carry high fines and points are characterizes as “moving violations” – but what exactly does this mean? A moving violation is an incident that occurs when (you guessed it!) your car is in motion. These include speeding, running a stop sign, tailgating, reckless driving, etc. A non-moving violation is basically a parking ticket, or any other violation that happens when you are not actually driving the car.

California speeding tickets carry some of the harshest fines of any moving violation. If you are convicted of driving 1-15 MPH over the speed limit, your first offense will cost you $146, plus an additional 20% surcharge imposed by the state. If you were driving even faster – say, 16-30 MPH over the limit – you’re looking at a fine of $266. And if you were truly being a speed demon, you could pay anywhere from $380 – 760! So the moral of the story is… slow down!

Severe Penalties for Serious Tickets

While all moving violations carry a certain measure of danger, the state adds weight to certain California traffic violations that pose a major threat to the safety of other drivers and/or society as a whole. These violations include:.

  • DUI or DWI
  • Highway racing
  • Speeding in excess of 100 MPH
  • Hit-and-run accident
  • Negligent driving resulting in death
  • Improper lane changing

Many of these violations carry an automatic 1-year license suspension, on top of huge California traffic violation fines and surcharges that you will have to pay.

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What Are My Options?

If you’ve recently received a ticket, don’t panic. First, determine whether you were truly at fault for the violation. Many tickets – especially red light camera violations – are easily contestable, and you could mask your ticket without ever having to pay a single dollar in fines. Others, such as speeding or reckless driving, may be a bit trickier, because the police have radar technology and dashboard cameras on their side. However, if you truly feel you have grounds for masking, hire a traffic attorney and fight the violation in court. Just be aware that if you lose, not only will you be responsible for the ticket fines, but you will also have to pay attorney’s fees – and you’ll STILL have those points on your record.

A better way to handle your traffic ticket is to enroll in a California traffic school course. The state allows its drivers to take traffic school once every 18 months to mask a violation and points from their public driving record. And while the thought of sitting behind a desk for 8 hours on a Saturday may not sound like fun to you, hold tight for a second – there's another way for you to take this course that's far more convenient. Taking California traffic school online gives you the freedom to work on the lessons around your schedule and at your pace – no classroom required!

So don't worry. As long as your traffic ticket is a minor one, you'll have no problem keeping it private without any hassle to you.

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