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What is the Difference Between a Traffic Ticket and a Moving Violation?

Posted by Sean Quinlan | Jan 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Traffic tickets are a common occurrence for many drivers. While some traffic tickets may seem minor, they can have serious consequences, such as points on your driver's license, increased insurance rates, and even suspension or revocation of your license.

It is important to understand the difference between a traffic ticket and a moving violation, as this can affect your options for dealing with the ticket and the potential consequences of a conviction.

What is a Traffic Ticket?

A traffic ticket is a citation issued by a law enforcement officer for violating a traffic law. Traffic tickets can be issued for a variety of offenses, including faulty equipment like tail lights, running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What is a Moving Violation?

A moving violation is a traffic violation that is committed while a vehicle is in motion. Moving violations are generally considered to be more serious than non-moving violations, such as parking tickets or expired registration.

Differences Between Traffic Tickets and Moving Violations

The main difference between a traffic ticket and a moving violation is that a moving violation is committed while a vehicle is in motion. This means that moving violations have the potential to be more dangerous and can result in more serious consequences.

Another difference between traffic tickets and moving violations is that moving violations typically result in points being added to your driver's license. Points on your license can lead to increased insurance rates and, if you accumulate too many points, suspension or revocation of your license.

Examples of Traffic Tickets and Moving Violations

Here are some examples of traffic tickets and moving violations:

Traffic Tickets

  • Parking tickets
  • Expired registration
  • Driving with a broken headlight
  • Tinted windows
  • Obstructed license plate

Moving Violations

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light
  • Failing to stop at a stop sign
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Tailgating
  • Reckless driving
  • Passing a school bus

Consequences of Traffic Tickets and Moving Violations

The consequences of a traffic ticket or moving violation vary depending on the severity of the offense. For minor offenses, such as parking tickets, the consequences may be limited to a fine. For more serious offenses, such as driving under the influence, the consequences can include jail time.

Here are some of the potential consequences of a traffic ticket or moving conviction:

  • Fines
  • Points on your driver's license
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver's license
  • Criminal charges

How to Deal with a Traffic Ticket or Moving Violation

If you receive a traffic ticket or moving violation, it is important to understand your options and take steps to minimize the consequences.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Pay the ticket: This is the simplest option, but it will result in points being added to your driver's license.
  • Contest the ticket: If you believe the ticket was issued in error or if you have a valid excuse for the violation, you can contest the ticket in court.
  • Take a traffic safety course: In some cases, you may be able to take a traffic safety course to reduce the number of points added to your license.

How to Avoid Traffic Tickets and Moving Violations

The best way to avoid traffic tickets and moving violations is to obey the traffic laws. However, there are some other things you can do to reduce your risk of getting a ticket:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and the traffic laws in the area where you are driving.
  • Drive at a safe speed and leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Use your turn signals and come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights.
  • Avoid distracted driving, such as talking on the phone or texting while driving.

Conclusion

Understanding the difference between a traffic ticket and a moving violation can help you make informed decisions about how to deal with a ticket and minimize the consequences. If you have any questions about a traffic ticket or moving violation, you should consult with an attorney.

About the Author

Sean Quinlan

Attorney Quinlan has practiced law in Pennsylvania since 2001. He earned his J.D. at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, PA, and earned his B.A. at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar. He also belongs to the Pennsylvania State Bar Associati...

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