Sooner or later we all get one. It may be your first ticket or one of many. Traffic tickets come in various varieties. If you want specific information regarding a speeding ticket only, try our speeding ticket page. Let us offer you some information to help you in your decision-making process, and offer our services in Salt Lake City or Farmington, Utah.
Be aware that there are two categories of traffic tickets: moving violations and non-moving violations. Some examples of moving violations are failure to signal, failure to maintain a lane, not coming to a complete stop at an intersection, driving too fast for conditions, following too close, negligent collision, careless driving, reckless driving, improper turn, DUI, HOV lane violation, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, passing on the right side, driving the wrong way on a roadway, driving over the gore, failure to obey traffic control device, etc.
Examples of non-moving violations include improper equipment, window tint violations, no registration, no license plate light, load extending beyond the rear of the vehicle, muffler violations, tire violations, video display visible to the driver, etc.
Given the choice between a moving violation or a non-moving violation, it is almost always better to choose the non-moving violation in terms of points on your record, and financial impact on your insurance. Sometimes we find that prosecutors will allow our clients to plead to non-moving violations as a practical way to resolve traffic tickets. As in any plea bargain, there is a give and take. We find that pleading to a non-moving violation strikes a balance that both the prosecutor and our clients can usually live with. So if you have some non-moving violation that you may have been guilty of, even if you were not cited for it, please be sure and let us know so we can offer that charge to the prosecutor when we are working on your case.
When you are facing a traffic ticket or a more serious allegation, call or text us. Below is a chart that shows how many points will accumulate on your record in Utah for speeding offenses. Note that reckless driving is 80 points. Non-moving violations won't earn you any points. Zero, zilch, nada.
1-10 MPH Over
11-15 MPH Over
16-20 MPH Over
21 - 25 MPH Over
26-30 MPH Over
31+ MPH Over
Utah DLD: Suspension may occur if 200 points accumulate over 3 years for drivers over 21, or if 70 points accumulate over 3 years for drivers under 21. Reckless Driving alone is 80 points!
Although most traffic offenses do not come with prison sentences and are generally categorized as infractions, some traffic offenses are more serious and can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies with longer prison sentences and much higher fines. It's important to understand the distinctions between the types of offenses.
An infraction is not considered a crime and is the least serious offense. Generally, they do not lead to serving jail time, nor do they create or stay on a permanent criminal record. Instead, you will be charged a fine, and you may be required to complete community service, depending on the violation. There are many different types of infractions, from administrative to violating traffic laws. The most common type that applies to drivers is speeding violations.
Infractions will not require you to be judged by a jury of your peers, but you will have an opportunity to appear before a judge to present your argument. However, you will not be entitled to court-appointed counsel.
While these are the least series of offenses, the consequences can become much more severe if you fail to show up to court or pay your fines. At that point, you will be charged with a misdemeanor.
The next level of offense is a misdemeanor. There are many different types of misdemeanors, such as vandalism and petty theft, and when it comes to traffic violations they can carry with them jail sentences as well as fines. Misdemeanors can also come with certain restrictions on privileges. A misdemeanor for a traffic violation may require your license to be suspended or for an interlock ignition device to be installed in your car once your license is reinstated, although these are usually consequences for all drunk drivers who have been arrested for DUI.
With a misdemeanor, you do have the right to court-appointed counsel if you do not have your own attorney, and you have the right to appear before a judge and have a jury trial.
The benefit of having an attorney is that they can argue for a reduction in your penalties. Your attorney can argue for a reduced sentence, reduced fines, or other less severe consequences than the ones you are currently facing.
Felony convictions are the most serious type of crime and thus carry the harshest consequences. A felony conviction can have an impact on your ability to get a job, housing, buy a firearm, vote, and drive. Felony charges come with longer jail sentences and are permanently on your criminal record, so it is important to contact an attorney immediately if you were facing felony charges for your traffic violation. If someone was permanently injured or disfigured from the accident, or if the accident resulted in someone's death, then you may face felony charges. Only an experienced traffic ticket attorney can mitigate or argue to lessen the penalties on your behalf.
Call or text Jardine Law Offices, P.C. today in Salt Lake City, as well as Farmington, Utah. We are proud to serve clients in Sandy, Ogden, and throughout the state.