If you’ve ever received a traffic ticket, you may have run across the term “moving violation.”
“Moving violation” doesn’t mean you got a traffic ticket while moving. It refers to a violation under the California Vehicle Code which would result in a point on your DMV record if you’re convicted of the offense.
What Types of Traffic Tickets are California Moving Violations?
There are hundreds of traffic infractions under the California Vehicle Code which constitute moving violations. However, there are a few violations that tend to be more common than others.
These are a few commonly issued traffic violations which are moving violations.
- Exhibition of speed (2 points)
- Speeding Tickets (usually 1 point, unless speeding over 100 mph which is 2 points)
- Failure to Stop Tickets (1 point)
- Crossing over a double yellow line (1 point)
- Driving on a suspended license (2 points)
In the case where a conviction of an offense results in one point on your record, you can complete an online “traffic school” in order to keep the point off of your DMV record.
However, you are only traffic school eligible if you haven’t gone in the past 18 months, your violation is not a “two point” violation, and (in the case where it’s a speeding ticket) you weren’t driving more than 25 miles an hour over the speeding limit.
It makes more sense to hire an attorney on a traffic ticket when you’re not traffic school eligible, because a point on your record can cause you a lot of problems, as discussed below.
What Does a “Point” from a California Moving Violation Do?
The California DMV has a point system which allows the DMV to monitor your driving habits. The point system is usually relevant for two main reasons:
- Your ability to keep your driver’s license valid.
- Your insurance rates.
Too Many California Moving Violations Will Result in You Losing Your Ability to Drive
The DMV allows a few points to go on your record without consequence, but if you receive too many points, the DMV will suspend your driving privileges.
How many points is too many? The DMV will try to suspend your license if you receive:
- 4 points in one year
- 6 points in two years
- 8 points in three years
If you receive this many points, you are subject to your license being suspended due to being classified as a “negligent operator.” The idea is that with too many points on your record, you’re viewed as an irresponsible driver.
A negligent operator suspension can often happen inadvertently, such as when you pay tickets to a collections agency like GC Services. But before the DMV can suspend your license for being a negligent operator, you are entitled to a hearing to contest the points or to contest the suspension.
As traffic defense attorneys, we can represent you in a negligent operator hearing.
Points on Your DMV Record Will Affect Your Insurance
When you get convicted of a moving violation and a point goes on your DMV record, an insurer can (and usually WILL) raise your insurance premium because by receiving a point you are considered a higher risk and they need to offset that exposure by raising your premium.
How much your insurance premium will go up is very case specific, and is tied in with other underwriting factors by the insurer. In some cases, even a single point can raise your premium significantly.
Get Assistance with Your California Moving Violations
As a traffic defense attorney in southern California who has handled thousands of cases, I’ve seen many of our clients charged with moving violations. My team of associates and I fight these in court to keep the point off of your record by getting a dismissal, amendment, or traffic school.
Generally, if you’re traffic school eligible, it’s best to just pay the ticket and get traffic school. If you have multiple offenses, aren’t traffic school eligible, or also are charged with a VC 40508 failure to appear, then it makes more sense to hire an attorney for representation.
You can call me (Attorney Paul Denni) for a free phone consultation at 888-250-8450 or use the Contact Form in this post.