In California, speeding is a common moving violation which has corresponding fines and penalties as set by law. The state's Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedules show that the base fine for speeding range from $35 to $100, depending on the speed limit violation.
In California, traffic violations are considered infractions and drivers are required to pay fines ranging from $370 or more. Serious or felony offenses have a much higher fine. Misdemeanor charges usually carry stiffer penalties from $3520 or more.
The Department of Motor Vehicles keeps track of traffic violations and penalizes erring motorists through a point system. A driver who has accumulated a certain number of points within a period may be suspended, place on probation or face revocation of his driving privileges for being a negligent driver.
Aside from speeding, the following traffic violations are also considered as moving violations:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failure to use turn signals
- Driving without a license
- Using cell phone or mobile devices while driving
- Failure to wear seat belts
- Failure to yield to another vehicle which has the right of way
- Failure to stop for a school bus when children are boarding or exiting
- Failure to stop for pedestrians in crosswalk
There are serious traffic violations that may be classified as misdemeanors. These include the following:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving
- Hit and run or failure to stop at the scene of the accident
- Driving without insurance
- Street car racing
- Vehicular homicide
Under the law, all moving violations are considered severe offenses because these acts are potential causes of motor vehicle accidents that could result in personal injury and property damage.
The Effects of being Found Guilty of a Traffic Offense
Traffic citations usually do not require court appearance and you can pay your fine by mail, online or personally. Paying the fine is practically an admission of guilt. However if you wish to dispute the citation, you can appear on court at a designated date and argue your case.
Here are the consequences if you are found guilty of the violation in court:
- If you are found guilty of speeding and other moving violations, you get automatically reported to California Driver Safety Offices
- Your license may be suspended as points are added to your driving record
- You will pay higher car insurance premiums compared to other drivers who have accumulated lesser points on their driving record
In the end, the only way you can reduce the negative implications of a traffic violation is to drive safely and try not to commit additional offenses.