Driving in the United States requires two things: the driver must have a driver's license and the motor vehicle used must be duly registered. American traffic laws vary from state to state, although there are common basic rules, such as speed limit. Traffic laws form part of the more comprehensive motor vehicle law to ensure safety in roads. Motor vehicle laws are mostly regulatory laws that set up rules that should be obeyed by drivers and vehicle manufacturers. Traffic laws, on the other hand, govern the violation of motor vehicle laws.
Traffic violation laws governs unlawful activities involving a motor vehicle. Traffic violations include driving under the influence, or driving while intoxicated, driving without a license or driving with an expired or suspended license, and driving an unregistered motor vehicle or a motor vehicle with an expired registration. Traffic violations also include speeding, beating the red light, tailgating, and swerving. Other common traffic violations not wearing a seat belt and talking on a cell phone while driving.
Traffic violations can range from administrative to criminal offense, and the accompanying penalties would depend on the severity and the harm that could accompany such traffic violation. Driving while intoxicated or driving with license that was suspended as a result of the conviction of a criminal offense is a criminal offense and the conviction to these offenses can lead to incarceration. In most states, the traffic enforcement agency, usually the department of motor vehicle, gives points to a driver based on his violation. The number of points will determine the kind of penalty or sanction that the enforcement agency will impose upon the traffic violator. Traffic violation sanctions range from petty fine to suspension or revocation of driving licenses.
One of the nuances in traffic violation law is the determination of who has jurisdiction over the area where the violation was committed. Different government agencies takes charge in implementing a particular traffic in a particular location. This means that local enforcement agencies has authority to issue citations in a certain geographical area, but these areas often overlap. When faced with a traffic citation, the driver must review the citation to take note of the court that will hear the case or whether the citation requires personal appearance in court.
There are many ways to avoid points following a traffic violation. The law provides for other ways to avoid paying any monetary amount for a traffic citation. For instance, the law allows the traffic violator to attend traffic school. In addition, those who are falsely accused of traffic violations must retain the help of expert traffic violation law attorney as traffic violation, depending on the severity, is considered a criminal offense, and can have serious impact on one's life, including ability to obtain future insurance and employment. When wrongfully accused of a traffic violation, the accused can choose to go to a trial in order to argue against the violation. Going to trial, however, is a difficult and costly process, thus it is imperative to seek the help of counsel.