Moving Violations in Arizona

Posted On February 13, 2020 Arizona Laws,Drunk Driving,Drunk Driving Charges by John Allen Phebus

As a driver, it is your responsibility to obey every roadway rule and traffic law set in place in Arizona. Breaking even a minor traffic law is an infraction that could lead to fines or stiffer penalties, such as criminal charges. The two types of traffic offenses in Arizona are parking and moving violations. Both have unique consequences for you as a driver, including potential demerit points against your driver’s license. Understanding how moving violations work in Arizona, as well as how they may affect your record, could help you stay out of trouble.

What Is a Moving Violation?

Moving violations are more serious than parking violations. A moving violation could equal civil or criminal penalties, while most parking violations are only civil infractions. You can commit a moving violation without facing criminal charges or penalties, however. You may not, for example, face jail time for a traffic violation such as speeding (except in unique cases). Instead, most moving violations come with civil consequences only, such as having to pay a fine or receive points against your license. Civil violations will not end up on your permanent criminal record.

A moving violation could escalate to a criminal charge, however, if it is serious enough to constitute reckless driving or it breaks another state law. Examples include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding in a school zone, driving without insurance, driving on a suspended license, committing reckless endangerment, or committing vehicular manslaughter. Criminal violations for traffic infractions in Arizona could result in misdemeanor or felony charges, along with serious penalties such as jail time.

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Examples of Moving Violations in Arizona

Moving violations refer to traffic offenses a driver commits while the vehicle is moving, rather than stopped or parked. You could commit a moving violation for breaking any of Arizona’s traffic laws, from posted speed limits to rights-of-way rules at intersections. Different moving violations result in different amounts of points against your driver’s license.

  • Following too closely (two points)
  • Speeding (three points)
  • Failing to stop at a traffic signal (four to six points)
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way (four to six points)
  • Leaving the scene of an accident (six points)
  • Any moving violation that causes a fatality (six points)
  • Driving under the influence (eight points)
  • Reckless or aggressive driving (eight points)

The point system in Arizona serves to hold drivers accountable for breaking roadway rules. Accumulating eight or more points within one year will result in driver’s license suspension up to 12 months, as well as attending mandatory Traffic Survival School. It may be possible to reduce the points against your license after a moving violation by attending traffic school or taking other steps. Otherwise, they will accrue on your record throughout the year.

How Long Do They Stay on Your Record?

You may be able to erase a civil moving violation from your record immediately by completing an approved defensive driving school course, if the judge permits. This would prevent the demerits from ever affecting your record and insurance payments. You may also have to pay a license reinstatement fee, traffic penalties and the increased costs of SR-22 insurance to remove the points. Otherwise, the points assessed against your record will remain for 12 months. Criminal convictions for moving violations, on the other hand, will become part of your permanent record unless you qualify for record expungement.

Arizona Car Accident Statistics

As Glendale criminal defense lawyers, we always try to remind our clients why traffic tickets and moving violations are taken so seriously in Arizona. Here are a few reminders to refresh you:

  • In 2019, there were a total of 129,750 reported car accidents in Arizona, resulting in injuries to 58,185 individuals. (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)
  • On average, someone is injured in a car accident every 10 minutes in Arizona. (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)
  • Speeding was the leading cause of fatal car accidents in Arizona, accounting for 365 deaths in 2019. (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Arizonans aged 5 to 34 years old. (Source: Arizona Department of Health Services)
  • Roadway departure crashes account for approximately 30% of all fatal car accidents in Arizona. These crashes often involve a vehicle crossing the centerline or running off the road. (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)

Traffic School for Moving Violations

In Arizona, attending traffic school can help you mitigate the consequences of a moving violation and keep your driving record in good standing. Attending traffic school can benefit you in several ways. First and foremost, it allows you to avoid accumulating points on your driving record. Points are typically assigned to your record when you are convicted of a moving violation. These points can have a negative impact on your driving record and potentially lead to increased insurance rates. By attending traffic school, you may be eligible to have the points associated with the violation removed, preventing any negative consequences to your driving record and insurance rates.

Additionally, attending traffic school in Arizona can also serve as an opportunity to refresh your knowledge of traffic laws and safe driving practices. Traffic school courses cover a wide range of topics, including defensive driving techniques, Arizona traffic laws, and the importance of responsible driving behavior. 

It is important to note that not all moving violations are eligible for traffic school in Arizona. Certain serious offenses, such as DUI or reckless driving, typically do not qualify for traffic school. However, for minor moving violations such as speeding or running a red light, you may be eligible to attend traffic school as an alternative to paying fines and accumulating points on your driving record.

States With Highest Moving Violation Fines

When it comes to traffic violations, the fines can vary significantly from one state to another. As you know, Arizona tends to have a unique way of doing things. How does Arizona compare to other states when it comes to traffic ticket fines? 

California is notorious for having some of the highest fines when it comes to traffic violations. For example, the fine for running a red light in California can go as high as $490. Additionally, speeding fines can be as much as $500 or even more depending on the speed limit and the severity of the violation. 

Furthermore, New York is another state that is known for its high fines for moving violations. For instance, speeding fines in New York can start at $150 for going 1-10 mph over the speed limit, and increase up to $600 for going 31 mph or more over the speed limit. Additionally, Florida is also on the list of states with high moving violation fines. Speeding fines in Florida can range from $129 for driving up to 5 mph over the speed limit, to $301 for driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit. Ultimately, Arizona does have relatively high fines for moving violations, you might be comforted to know that other states do have heftier penalties.

Penalties for Moving Violations

Committing a civil moving violation will result in points against your driving record, a mandatory fine and higher insurance premiums. The amount of the fine will depend on the seriousness of the infraction. Committing a criminal moving violation can result in heftier penalties. Committing the crime of drunk driving, for example, comes with 24 hours to 90 days in jail, $250 to $750 in fines, 90 days to 1 year of license suspension and a required ignition interlock device. The penalties for a criminal moving violation varies according to the crime. For assistance with a civil or criminal moving violation in Arizona, contact an attorney.

Get In Touch With Us

If you would like to discuss options on your case and how we can provide legal help, contact The Law Offices of John Phebus Glendale Criminal and Personal Injury Lawyer today and connect with one of our highly experienced Glendale criminal defense attorneys.

Arizona Moving Violation FAQs

In this FAQ section, we will address some of the most common inquiries we receive as Arizona traffic offense lawyers regarding moving violations in our state.

  • Can I contest a moving violation in Arizona? Yes, you have the right to contest a moving violation in Arizona. 
  • What are the potential penalties for a moving violation in Arizona? The penalties for a moving violation in Arizona can vary depending on the specific offense. Common penalties may include fines, points on your driving record, and increases in insurance rates. In some cases, more severe violations can result in license suspension or even jail time.
  • Will a moving violation in Arizona affect my insurance rates? Insurance companies may view a moving violation as an indicator of increased risk and adjust your rates accordingly.
  • How many points will I receive for a moving violation in Arizona? The number of points you receive for a moving violation in Arizona varies depending on the specific offense. Accumulating too many points within a certain time frame can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. 
  • Can a moving violation result in a license suspension in Arizona? Yes, a moving violation in Arizona can lead to a driver’s license suspension. If you accumulate a certain number of points within a specified period, the Arizona Department of Transportation may suspend your license. 
  • Can an attorney help me negotiate a plea deal for a moving violation in Arizona? Yes, an attorney can help negotiate a plea deal for a moving violation in Arizona. They will have knowledge of the local legal system and can work with the prosecutor to potentially reduce the charges or penalties associated with your case.
  • Do I need an attorney if I plan to contest a moving violation in court? While it is possible to contest a moving violation without an attorney, having legal representation can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome. An attorney can gather evidence, build a strong defense, and navigate the complexities of the court system on your behalf.
  • How long do I have to contest a moving violation in Arizona? The timeframe to contest a moving violation in Arizona can vary depending on the specific offense and jurisdiction. 

Can I attend defensive driving school to remove points from my driving record? Yes, attending defensive driving school can potentially remove points from your driving record in Arizona. However, there are specific eligibility requirements, and the number of points that can be removed may be limited.

John Allen Phebus – Experienced Personal Injury & Criminal Defense Attorney

John Phebus is a seasoned attorney specializing in personal injury and criminal defense law. With a focus on DUI defense, vehicular crimes, and serious injury cases, John has been fiercely advocating for his clients, ensuring they receive the representation and compensation they deserve. His expertise and dedication have led to numerous successful outcomes. If you’re seeking a knowledgeable and passionate attorney who will fight for your rights, John Phebus is here to help.

Years of experience: +30 years


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