Police officer writing a traffic ticket

Everything About Traffic Tickets

While most drivers know the basics about traffic tickets, few are familiar with the each of the many types of traffic tickets.

The truth is that traffic tickets are criminal offenses not to be taken lightly. An understanding of the basic categories and subcategories of traffic tickets may help drivers communicate with law enforcement, navigate the judicial system, interpret insurance premiums or avoid a traffic ticket altogether.  Often people are charged with traffic-related violations and need the help of a good bondsman.

Moving vs. Non-moving Violations

Traffic tickets are divided into two major categories, non-moving violations and moving violations. Non-moving violations are usually related to parking. Unless a driver has outstanding or delinquent traffic tickets, resulting in a warrant, non-moving violations are not serious offenses and do not require a court appearance or steep fine.

Moving violations, on the other hand, are more serious offenses that occur while the vehicle is in motion. The most common types of moving violations are speeding, distracted driving, driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving and failure to obey traffic signals such as stop signs and stoplights.


Speeding tickets are among the most common citations given to drivers. As the name suggests, a speeding ticket penalizes driving at speeds that exceed a road’s designated speed limit. If a driver exceeds 45 miles per hour on a road marked with a 45 miles per hour speed limit, he or she could be issued a speeding ticket. Some states have laws on the books regarding presumed or basic speed limits. These limits make exceptions based on driving conditions. Exceeding a speed limit by a negligible amount in safe conditions (e.g., no traffic, clear weather) may be excusable in a state that follows this type of law. If a driver resides in such a state, he or she may contest the speeding ticket in court to be acquitted of the offense.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving tickets are usually issued to drivers operating a cell phone while driving a car. While this is the main reason drivers are issued distracted driving violations, any activity that distracts the driver is implicated in this type of citation. For example, applying makeup while driving can endanger the driver and others on the road and earn the driver a distracted driving ticket.

Some states have laws that specifically ban cell phone use while driving. Some states prohibit only texting while driving while other states forbid all cell phone use. Other distractions that may earn drivers distracted driving tickets, depending on the state in which they reside, include tending to a pet, reading, shaving and writing.

Driving Without a License

To operate a vehicle in the U.S., a driver is required to have a driver’s license. Most states treat driving without a license and driving without possession of a license.

If a driver operates a vehicle without sitting for a licensing exam or drives while their license is revoked, the penalty can be serious. The penalty is far less serious for a driver who is pulled over without proof of their license. In fact, some states will allow you to bring your driver’s license to traffic court as evidence in order to throw out the citation.

Disobeying Traffic Signals

Moving violations can be issued to drivers who fail to observe a traffic light or stop sign. “Rolling through,” or failing to come to a complete stop, at a stop sign or stop light can also earn the driver a citation. Some states implement the use of traffic signal cameras with motion sensors. If one of these cameras takes a photo of a driver disobeying a red light signal, a citation may be issued to the registered owner of that vehicle in the mail.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving violations are issued to drivers who endanger themselves or others while operating a vehicle. Reckless driving is a catch-all violation for many offenses, including:
-Street or “drag” racing
-Avoiding a police officer
-Exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 25 miles per hour

Whether you are issued a simple speeding ticket or a more serious citation, such as reckless driving, you should either pay your ticket on time or appear before traffic court. If you fail to pay traffic tickets on time, you could be fined or issued a warrant. In the event of such an occurrence, drivers should enlist the help of a traffic lawyer or bail bondsman to help resolve these legal issues.

Tags: ,
Posted in CA Laws Comments Off on Everything About Traffic Tickets

Bail Bond Rates

In general, the standard industry rate for bail bonds is 10% of the face amount of bail. For example, if the face amount of bail is $10,000, the fee is $1,000. Read More


We offer affordable bail bonds for jails throughout California. Call us today to learn more. Contact Us