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August 15th, 2023 |

Traffic Citations: Understanding Consequences and Seeking Legal Guidance

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Traffic Citations: Understanding Consequences and Seeking Legal Guidance

Traffic citations are legal notices issued to those who violate traffic laws. Citations can have varying penalties depending on the nature of the offense committed. Whether it’s a moving or non-moving citation, understanding the consequences of the citation and seeking the guidance of a defense attorney can make significantly help protect your rights and minimize potential penalties!


There are two types of traffic citations: Moving and Non-moving.

Moving citations are related to offenses committed while operating a motor vehicle.

Common citations typically involve actions that occur while the vehicle is in motion; for example, speeding, running a red light, reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI), and failure to yield.

Penalties can range from fines and points on your driving record to more severe consequences such as license suspension, mandatory driving courses, increased insurance premiums, and even jail time, depending on factors such as the nature of the offense, the number of previous violations, and the resulting harm caused.

Non-moving citations, as the name suggests, are related to violations that occur when the vehicle is not in motion.

These offenses generally pertain to parking violations, expired registration or inspection, improper display of license plates, or having a broken taillight.

Penalties for non-moving citations can include fines, points on your driving record, vehicle impoundment, and potential increases in insurance premiums. Additionally, repeatedly ignoring or failing to address non-moving citations can lead to more severe penalties, like the suspension of your driver’s license.


You might ask what options you have if you receive a citation.

On one hand, you can pay for the citation. By paying the fine, you are essentially admitting guilt and taking responsibility for the forfeiture amount stated on the citation, as well as the associated demerit points. This option requires no further action on your part, but it’s important to be aware of the potential consequences!

Prosecutors will generally amend a citation to a lesser charge if you choose to contest the citation, either through representing yourself or hiring an attorney to advocate for you. An experienced attorney will be able to handle this process for you and likely get the best deal possible, which can save you money and reduce the demerit points on your license.


As you can tell, consulting with an experienced defense attorney is extremely helpful when you face a traffic citation. They can help you in several ways:

  • Expertise and Guidance: A defense attorney specializing in traffic law understands the nuances of the legal system and can provide valuable guidance throughout the process. They can explain the charges against you, help you understand the potential penalties, and outline your available options.
  • Assessing the Case: An attorney will carefully review the circumstances surrounding your citation, examining the evidence and identifying any potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. They will explore strategies to challenge the charges and work towards minimizing the penalties you may face.
  • Negotiating with Prosecutors: Defense attorneys can negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf, aiming to reduce the severity of the charges or seek alternative resolutions. They may be able to arrange plea bargains or diversion programs that can help you avoid certain penalties or mitigate their impact.
  • Court Representation: If your case goes to court, a defense attorney will provide skilled representation. They will present your defense, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s evidence to ensure a fair trial. Their expertise and familiarity with the legal process can significantly improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.

Traffic citations, whether moving or non-moving, can have lasting consequences on your driving record and financial well-being. Seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable defense attorney can ultimately help protect your rights, challenge the charges against you, and work towards minimizing the penalties you may face!


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