Can You Go to Jail for a Traffic Violation?

man dealing with a parking ticket

Traffic Violation Tickets

When you got up that morning, you did not have traffic violation on your mind. You’re having a great day, cruising down the highway on your way to work, sun shining, favorite music is playing. Then you see them.  Those red and blue flashing lights on top of a car. You keep going thinking they’ll go around you, but then you hear the ‘whoop whoop’ of the siren. 

Slowly you pull over, no idea what traffic violation you could have committed. Of course when the officer gets up to your window, what seems like forever, they ask for license, insurance, and registration, all of you which you have. Sure enough, you have committed a traffic violation, so what is that going to cost you? 

What is a traffic violation and How do you get a traffic violation? 

Over ninety percent of Americans that are of the 16 years old and older have a driver’s license that gives them permission to operate a motor vehicle on the street. Experts calculate that equates to trillions of miles annual and millions of traffic violations.  Those traffic violation usually include DUI, reckless driving, running red lights, and speeding. 

In many cities and states, traffic violations are categorized as moving violation and nonmoving violation. The moving traffic violations are the more serious, like running a red light or driving over the posted speed limit.  A nonmoving traffic violation would be no brake light, failure to use a blinker, or illegally parked. 

What is the most common traffic violation?

Nobody sets out with the goal or intention of receiving a traffic violation. First of all, it puts a damper on your entire day or evening, it usually going to make you late for wherever you were headed. Then there is the traffic fines, potential points on your driving record, and what is going to do to your auto insurance?! 

 The following are the most common traffic violations. Make a mental note and be conscious of avoiding these, because these will increase your insurance and your driver’s license points fast. 

  • Speeding: Around the world, this may be THE most common traffic vіоlаtіоn. States are increasing speed limits every year, and yet, it just isn’t fast enough for many drivers here in the United States. A speeding traffic violation can reach $500.00 and higher depending on your speed vs the posted speed limit.  Other factors that can cause a speeding to be expensive is speeding in a construction zone or a school zone. 
  • Running a Stор Sign, Traffic Light: You may be one of those drivers that ‘slows’ down at that stop sign by your house. After all, you know who lives in the area and who would be going by there, right? Slowing down, or “rolling” a stop sign is the same thing as running a stop sign. To avoid a traffic violation in this scenario, come to a complete stop, and the applies to turn on red. 
  • Driving Under the Influеnсе: Driving under the Influеnсе, (DUI) is an extremely dangerous and serious traffic violation. Whether it is for alcohol or drugs, you are putting yourself and others in danger.  Having a designated driver or calling for a ride is nothing to be ashamed of as going to court for manslaughter. 
  • Phone Use While Driving: Cell phones are a big part of everyone’s daily life but talking or texting while driving is as dangerous as driving while under the influence. Where DUI affects your ability to judge, talking or texting is a distraction.  
  • Failure to Signal: A quick lane ѕwіtсh without signaling is dangerous. It may seem like an innocent and simple move, but it frequently ends up in a collision. Even if you’re not involved in the collision, the ramifications behind you could be deadly as the driver that is now behind you slams on their brakes, the car behind them doesn’t.  
  • No Sеаtbеlt: This traffic vіоlаtіоn may seem frivolous, but studies have found that it does save lives. The реnаlty іѕn’t as steep as other traffic violations, but it can affect your safety, your passenger’s safety, and your auto insurance rates. 
  • At-fault Cоllіѕіоn: If you are the cause a collision, such as a lane change without signaling, the repercussions are costly. Your auto insurance will increase, and depending on your record, the insurance company may drop you. 

What are misdemeanor traffic offenses?

In the state of Virginia, misdemeanor traffic violation can leave you with a permanent criminal record, demerit points on your driver’s license, and stiff fines. The most common misdemeanor traffic violations are: 

  • Driving with suspended license
  • Driving with revoked license
  • Reckless driving
  • DUI

What does a traffic misdemeanor do to your record?

Traffic violations will result in fines and points on your driver’s license. It is treated as a conviction on your drivers license and will remain there between two and eleven years, depending on the type of violation. In some cases, suspension may be handed down if you have previous points on your driver’s license.  

Can a traffic misdemeanor be expunged?

it is difficult, recommendation is to have an attorney represent you for better chance of success. Some limited circumstances that could have a misdemeanor traffic violation expunged are: 

  • Acquittal. If you were charged with reckless driving and the charge was acquitted by the judge, it is possible to have the arrest and acquittal expunged. 
  • No prosecution. If your case was not prosecuted, aka a nolle prosequi, you can petition for expungement.  
  • Dismissed. If the original traffic violation charge was dismissed for lack of evidence and you did not plead no contest or not guilty, you can file for expungement. 
  • Charges amended. 
judge pounding gavel

What does a criminal traffic ticket mean?

Certain traffic violations that are categorized a misdemeanor are a felony offense or a criminal offense. These will show on background checks, driver’s license records, and affect the driver’s auto insurance. The driver charged with a criminal traffic violation could be sentenced to twelve months in jail, $2,500 fine. Any driver charged with a Traffic violation and bail should seek the help of a criminal attorney.

The basis of the information in this article is in the state of Virginia. Every state has different traffic laws, traffic violations, and the penalties they bring. The services of an attorney are always the best source of proper information for the state and situation. Need help with traffic ticket bail? Call 434-237-2245 today.