In most states, driving is considered a privilege. Not just anyone can drive. First, you must be old enough. Then, you must pass a written, vision, and behind-the-wheel test. Often, there is a probationary period before your license becomes final. With the privilege to drive come certain legal responsibilities.
Failing to meet them can have serious consequences. Numerous traffic violations may have a lasting effect on your driving record. You could lose your driver's license, you may be forced to pay a fine, or you might even be charged with a crime.
Types of Traffic Violations
Not every traffic violation will affect your driver's license. Some violations are more serious than others are. If you are caught running a stop sign, going through a red light, or driving without a seat belt, you may have to pay a fine. More serious traffic violations such as driving at unsafe speeds or under the influence of alcohol may have more severe consequences and may lead to criminal charges.
Losing Your Driving Privileges
A traffic infraction usually results in points entered on your driving record. The more serious the violation, the more points you'll receive. When you exceed the number of points set by your state, you will lose your driver's license. Often, the number of points you receive for a drinking and driving charge is so high that you lose your driving privileges immediately. Less serious violations, such as forgetting to use your turn signal, typically result in a smaller number of points.
Driving Without a License
If you lose your drivers license, you can no longer legally drive. If you are caught driving by the police without a license, the punishment can be significant. There is usually no defense to driving without a license. You will nearly always have to pay substantial fines, go without a license for even longer, and even spend a few days in jail.
A Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding drivers licenses and traffic violations is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. We hope you found it useful. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a traffic or criminal lawyer.