Traffic Tickets – Moving vs. Non-Moving Violation Differences

In Criminal Defense Attorneys in Spokane WA by Jeremy Friedland

Traffic tickets are issued every day in the State of Washington, for a multitude of reasons;  however, not all traffic tickets carry the same weight. Violations are classified as either “moving” or “non-moving” violations. It is importance to understand the difference between these offenses, as some can affect a driver’s insurance and possibly their ability to drive, especially regarding moving violations. Fighting moving violation tickets can be a challenge. Enlisting the assistance of traffic ticket lawyers or criminal defense attorneys, experienced with traffic infractions, can be beneficial in protecting driving privileges and keeping insurance rates down.

Traffic Tickets in General

All citations issued for traffic offenses are labeled as “traffic” tickets, which insinuates they occur in traffic. Actually, there are two kinds of traffic tickets involved in this classification: moving and non-moving violations. Traffic tickets are given for any kind of violation involving vehicles or vehicular traffic and do not have to occur occur while driving a car. Traffic ticket lawyers assert such tickets can even be issued to pedestrians and bicyclists, if the infraction is in an area where walking or bicycling is restricted. The difference between these two violations is significant when considering the effect a moving violation offense can have on a driver’s license and insurance.

What Are Moving Violations?

A moving violation is a traffic offense committed by a driver while a vehicle is being driven.  These offenses range from failure to yield to emergency vehicles to speeding, or any other offense committed while driving. Moving violations are classified as infractions and/or misdemeanor offenses, which are criminal offenses. More serious violations, such as DUI/DWI, or hit-and-run accidents, are classified as felonies. Criminal defense attorneys state that other common moving violations include carpool violations, negligent driving, driving without insurance and other similar violations. Some of these offenses carry heavy fines and can affect a person’s driving privileges. They may also cause insurance rates to increase.

What Are Non-Moving Violations?

A non-moving violation involves a traffic offense that relates to the vehicle itself, whether moving or non-moving, such as an expired registration or being parked in a restricted area. These violations are commonly called “paper offenses” and are the responsibility of the vehicle owner, not the driver. For example, If a driver is using another person’s car with an expired inspection sticker, the ticket would go to the vehicle owner. Other examples of non-moving violations include traffic camera violations, expired tags, parking in a handicapped zone, burned out headlights, etc. Although there are some exceptions to the rule, these violations do not affect the license or registration of the driver or owner; however, they do carry fines that can add up over time.

The importance in recognizing the difference between moving and non-moving violations is that moving violations typically carry stiffer penalties and can cause other negative effects for drivers. In many situations, drivers who have received a moving violation citation, or numerous non-moving violations, should consult with traffic ticket lawyers. No matter what type, a traffic ticket should never be ignored, as more serious moving violations are criminal offenses that require the assistance of knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys!

Maurer Law

505 West Riverside Suite 400

Spokane WA 99201

(509) 319-2209

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