Did you receive a traffic ticket in Fresno? These consequences may seem minor at the moment, but they could impact your future driving privileges and insurance rates. Rather than immediately admitting guilt, you should consult with a Fresno traffic lawyer with extensive experience handling California moving violations.
At Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer, we can review your situation and advise you on the ways to defend against the ticket and keep your record clean. Call us today at (559) 443-7442 to learn more.
If you receive a California speeding ticket or reckless driving ticket, for example, think carefully about what to do next. If you send in the payment, it is important to remember that you are essentially pleading guilty to the infraction. After the payment is made, the ticket will go on your driving record and depending on the type of ticket, you may receive points on your driver’s license that could potentially result having your drivers license suspended.
Common Moving Violations
Some of the most common traffic tickets in California include:
- Speeding: Under sections 22348 through 22352 of the California Vehicle Code, you are prohibited from driving faster than the legal speed limit or at a speed that is appropriate for the location and conditions. If you are caught speeding, you will be ticketed and fined. These infractions are worth one point on your license and the amount of the fine depends on how many miles above the speed limit you were driving. For example, if you were driving less than 15 mph above the speed limit, your fine will likely be between $200 and $300. However, if you were driving more than 26 mph over the limit, your fine could be $500 or more.
- Excessive speeding: Also under section 22348, if you are caught driving more than 100 mph, then you can be penalized by a fine up to $500 and a 30-day license suspension.
- Running a red light: Sections 21450 through 21468 cover offenses related to traffic signals like stop lights. If you fail to stop at a red light where and when you should, you will be ticketed, fined hundreds of dollars, and receive a point on your license. You will face similar consequences for running a stop sign.
- Failing to yield to the right-of-way: Sections 21800 through 21809 explain which vehicles have the right-of-way in different scenarios. If you fail to yield to the car that has the right of way, you can be ticketed.
- Illegal U-turns: Section 22103 states no person in a residential area shall make a U-turn when another vehicle is approaching within 200 feet of either direction, except when the approaching vehicle is controlled by an official traffic device like a stop light. Additionally, it is illegal to conduct a U-turn when signage states they are prohibited.
- Reckless driving: Under Section 23103, you can be convicted of reckless driving if you are found to have been driving on a public road in a manner that shows willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property. If found guilty of this criminal traffic offense in Fresno, you can be jailed for up to 90 days and fined up to $1,000. You will also receive two points on your license. If the reckless driving causes injuries, then sections 23104 and 23105 may require harsher penalties.
- Using a cell phone while driving: Based on sections 23123 through 23125, it is illegal to drive while holding or operating a handheld wireless phone or another electronic communication device. Using a cell phone or texting while driving is an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $350.
- Passing a school bus: There are a number of times special stops are required based on section 22454, including near school buses. You must stop when a school bus has its stop signal arm out or red light flashing unless you are on the other side of a divided highway. If you unlawfully pass a school bus with its lights flashing or stop sign extended, you will be ticketed. You can be ticketed hundreds of dollars and suffer a driver’s license suspension for this violation.
Statutory Consequences of a Traffic Ticket
If you receive a traffic ticket, you may face:
- Hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines
- One or two driver’s license points
- A driver’s license suspension
- Time in jail
California Driver’s License Points
Numerous states, including California, use driver’s license points to keep track of your driving record and hand down additional punishments when you have broken too many rules in a relatively short period of time. Depending on the traffic offense, you will receive one or two points on your record. For instance, speeding is a one-point violation while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a two-point violation.
If you are over 18 years old, your driver’s license can be revoked or suspended if you receive:
- Four points or more within 12 months
- Six points or more within 24 months
- Eight points or more within 36 months
If you are under 18 years old, then your license can be suspended if you get three points or more within 12 months. Your license will be restricted for 30 days if you receive two points within 12 months.
The Department of Motor Vehicles keeps track of these points, most of which stay on your license for 39 months, which is more than three years. However, some points remain on your record for up to 13 years.
The consequences of a traffic ticket go beyond losing a bit of money. If you receive a ticket for a serious offense or more than one traffic ticket in a short period of time, you can expect your auto insurance premiums to go up. Also, you can eventually have enough points on your license that you lose your driving privileges for a period of time. This can impact your ability to get to and from class or work or to get your children to school and their extracurricular activities.
Defending Against a California Moving Violation
If you are facing a traffic ticket, whether it is for speeding, reckless driving, or having a taillight out, call Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. You have other options than to simply say you are guilty and send in the payment. We can review your situation and determine the best way to challenge the ticket, including whether a red light camera incorrectly led to your being mailed a ticket or an overzealous cop ticketed you for an offense you are confident you did not commit.
Contact a Fresno Traffic Attorney Today
After being handed a ticket by a police officer, your next step should be to make a call us at (559) 443-7442. At Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer we will fight to protect your rights and freedom. Fresno criminal defense attorney Michael McKneely will review whether you received proper notice and help you fight this charge. Our goal will always be to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. We want to help you keep your driving record clean and avoid the harsh consequences of an unnecessary traffic ticket or too many driver’s license points.