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While the violations that lead you to traffic court may seem relatively minor on the surface, their consequences can have long-lasting ramifications on your life. Penalties associated with traffic violations might include hefty fines, higher insurance rates, loss of points on your driver’s license, and even suspension of your license can impact your ability to work and carry on with your daily life. It may seem like you can handle these charges on your own, but enlisting the assistance of an experienced attorney like Stephen Archambault in Rhode Island can result in a faster and more favorable decision in your case overall.

In addition to the financial impact, dealing with traffic violations can contribute to unwanted stress in your life. The professional team at Archambault Law understands the anxiety that often accompanies any legal issue, including one that sends you to traffic court. We will provide you the representation necessary to ensure the best outcome to your charges, guiding you through each step, so you don’t have to navigate the complexities of the legal process alone.

Types of Traffic Violations

Parking violations and moving violations are the two categories that can send you to traffic court. Both categories can have potentially severe ramifications on your driving ability and are taken seriously in the eyes of the court. However, the potential harm caused by moving violations means these offenses tend to carry much stronger penalties and higher fines. Moving violations might include:

  • Speeding
  • Speeding in high-risk areas like a school zone or through a pedestrian walkway
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Failure to operate a safe vehicle
  • Parking in a handicapped zone without legal authorization
  • Failure to fasten your seatbelt
  • Allowing parking meters to expire
  • Failure to use proper child safety seats while transporting children
  • Unsafe use of cell phone while driving
  • Following a car too closely (tailgating)
  • Driving under the influence of prescription or illicit drugs or alcohol
  • Driving with a suspended license or without any license
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Reckless endangerment

Penalties for Traffic Violations

The penalties for these violations will vary considerably, depending on their severity. You may also face more severe penalties if you have had more than one traffic violation, primarily if they occurred in a relatively short period. Some penalties, such as a fine, will be assessed right away while other consequences, such as higher insurance rates, may be seen later. Common outcomes associated with traffic violations include:

  • Fines up to $1,000, based on the severity of the offense and the number of violations you have on your record
  • Driver retraining courses, which can take up to 60 hours to complete and cost as much as $800
  • Up to 60 hours of community service
  • License suspension of up to one year
  • License revocation of up to two years

Suspension constitutes a temporary withdrawal of driving privileges. It does not invalidate your current driver’s license, which can be reinstated as soon as the suspension is over. On the other hand, revocation means the current license is no longer valid. Once driving privileges are reinstated, you will need to go through the process once again to have a new license issued.

Can traffic violations be dismissed?

There are cases where a traffic violation might be dismissed. Drivers with a clean record are most likely to have this occur, depending on the specific offense. A good driving record means no violations within three years. Some violations will not be eligible for dismissal even if the driver has a clean record. These offenses might include:

  • Refusal of a breathalyzer test
  • Accidents that involve property damage or injury to a person
  • Violations involving improper use of child safety restraints
  • Violations involving a school bus
  • Speeding 14 miles or more above the posted speed limit

In addition, drivers of commercial vehicles are not eligible for a dismissal of their charges. Drivers that were operating commercial vehicles at the time of the offense are also ineligible, even if they do not have a commercial driver’s license. If your charge is dismissed, you will likely be asked to pay an administrative fee and will not be assessed any fines or lose points on your license.

Why You Need a Rhode Island Attorney

The more traffic violations you face, the more severe the penalties you will have. Even if it is a first offense, the assistance of an experienced legal team will help to produce the most favorable outcome and preserve your driving record as much as possible. If you are heading to traffic court, don’t go alone. Contact Archambault Law today at 401-231-9700 to find out how we can help you produce a positive result in court.

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