A traffic violation is a minor infraction that breaks traffic rules such as speeding or running a stop sign. A DUI is more serious than a traffic violation.
Most people have gotten a traffic ticket at some point in their life. A ticket can be stressful and expensive, but it’s usually a relatively easy process—you pay the fine or contest the ticket, and move on. Unfortunately, this leads people to believe that a DUI charge is just as minor. It’s not. In California, there’s a wide difference between getting a traffic violation (a ticket) and a DUI.
Traffic violations, also known as moving violations, are usually minor infractions. The law treats them differently than criminal offenses. For example:
- Traffic violations usually don’t require a trial.
- You can often challenge a traffic violation simply by seeing the local traffic clerk’s office, without appearing before a judge.
- The penalties for most traffic violations are fines, not jail time or other sanctions.
DUI, however, is a misdemeanor criminal charge or even a felony. Penalties include fines, jail, traffic safety school, probation, and a suspended driver’s license. While many traffic tickets cost less than $200, even the simplest DUI conviction will cost roughly $1,800.
But many DUI cases involve traffic violations as well. Officers have a tendency to pile on as many separate charges as possible—speeding, running a stop sign, and seat belt violations are all commonly paired with DUI charges. This can be a huge problem because traffic violations and DUI both add points to your driver’s license. If you get too many points too quickly, it could leave to being declared a habitual traffic offender, adding additional criminal penalties on top of the DUI.
A good DUI lawyer will know how to deal with traffic violations and DUI charges at the same time. Let us connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 and get your free consultation today.