A moving violation is a law that is broken while a car is in motion resulting in a traffic ticket.
Traffic tickets are issued by a Police Officer to any driver who violates a traffic law. Examples of a citation or traffic ticket include:
driving with a suspended license or without a license
driving without insurance or with insufficient insurance
driving with expired registration or without proper registration
making an illegal U-turn
running a red light or stop sign
leaving the scene of an accident (e.g. hit-and-run incidents)
All tickets may result in a penalty, such as a monetary fine or points on your driver’s license. In Texas, a moving violation is worth 2 points on your driver’s license; and a moving violation that results in an accident is worth 3. If you acquire 6 or more points on your license, you probably will be faced with annual fees known as a surcharge.
Surchargeable violations usually are those that constitute a crime, such as driving without a license, driving without insurance or driving while intoxicated. In addition to paying the fine for the original ticket, annual fees can range from $100 per year to $2,000 per year for three years. If you’ve racked up 6+ points on your license, the surcharge fee is $100 per year for the first six points and $25 per year for each additional point for three years.
Once you receive a ticket, you have 10 days to decide how to proceed. It is the driver’s responsibility to contact the court. You may either pay the fine or choose to appear in traffic court to contest the charges.
Drivers in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso, Plano, Corpus Christi, etc. also may have a traffic ticket dismissed by taking a defensive driving course, most conveniently done online through a course such as ComedyDriving.com. In most states, completing a driver’s education course will dismiss a traffic ticket if the moving violation was not criminal.
Upon completion of the program, the results will be entered on your driving record and your ticket points automatically will be reduced. You then will need to submit your certificate of completion to the court for final dismissal of the ticket.
Not only does taking a defensive driving course allow you to have a traffic ticket dismissed, it also gives you the opportunity to reduce your insurance rates and/or have points removed from your license. You do not have to have received a ticket to take a defensive driving class.
So remember: It’s up to you to determine your course of action after you receive a ticket. Whether you pay the fine, contest the charges in traffic court or enroll in a defensive driving course, take into consideration how your decision may affect your driving record.