Particularly in Missouri, it is important to know the difference between a moving and non-moving violation. This is because Missouri has a point system for moving violations, and the more points you accumulate, the more likely you are to face consequences such as having your license suspended or revoked. Non-moving violations, on the other hand, merely carry a fine that can be paid.
The Point System for Moving Violations
Most speeding violations will add two or three points to your record, depending on whether you are pulled over by local police or a state trooper. However, any additional infractions incurred while speeding can add additional points. For instance, endangering a highway worker or failing to signal while speeding, aggressively driving, fishtailing, driving while intoxicated, or causing a fatality, can each add two to 12 additional points.
Consequences depend both on the number of points you have and the period of time in which you acquired them, with penalties being steeper for points accumulated in a shorter time period. For instance, the penalty for accumulating 12 points over 12 months is equivalent to the penalty for accumulating 18 points over 24 months or 24 points over 36 months.
You should contact a lawyer even with a two-point violation. The more points on your record, the higher your risk of losing your driving privileges and getting an insurance increase.
Common non-moving offenses include things like driving without a registration or with expired tags, littering, or having illegally tinted windows. Some things, like driving on a suspended license, driving without insurance, or failing to stop at a stop sign, may seem more like non-moving violations, but they are actually moving violations.
Avoiding Moving and Non-Moving Violations
The best way to avoid non-moving violations is to ensure that your car is in good working order and its tags are up to date. Getting your vehicle regularly inspected is a good way to reduce your risk of getting unwanted moving violations. Avoid moving violations by following all posted speed limits and guidelines. If you are unsure of certain traffic rules, it is a good idea to review them and to make a good faith effort to follow them. It’s also important to note that in some cases you can get a moving violation even when going the speed limit, if weather or road conditions make it unsafe to travel at the posted limit. So always use your best judgment and slow down when visibility is low or road conditions are not ideal.
When to Get a Lawyer
If you have received a moving violation in Kansas City, it is important to speak with an experienced Missouri Speeding Ticket Lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced Kansas City attorney will be able to ensure that as little damage is done to your driving record as possible. In many cases, your lawyer will be able to have your moving violation reduced to a non-moving violation that can be paid without adding any points to your driving record. Even if you have only received a two-point violation, it is in your best interest to speak with a lawyer because the more points that are on your record, the higher your risk of losing your driving privileges. Hiring a Speeding Ticket Lawyer is also likely not as expensive as you might think, and a couple hundred dollars is well worth the price of being able to retain your license and the ability to drive to and from work.