Legal Term Tuesday: Moving Violation

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Legal Term Tuesday: Moving Violation

Legal Term Tuesday: Moving Violation

Justin Lavelle
July 8, 2015

_This is the latest entry in BeenVerified’s legal term library designed to help you better understand public record information, criminal records and related terminology. The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. _

A moving violation (also referred to as moving traffic violation) is an umbrella term that can encompass any number of infractions while driving an automobile, from the traditional speeding ticket, to more recently passed “no nos” like texting while driving all the way up to driving under the influence (DUI) and vehicular homicide.

A simple way to remember and understand moving violations have to do with the term itself; it covers anything to do with breaking a state law while the car is actually moving. This is in contrast to a non-moving violation, for infractions such as parking tickets and overly tinted windows, according to Esurance.

Just as moving violations cover a wide variety of offenses from the relatively minor ticketed events to extremely serious crimes, the punishments and impact on a violator’s public record is just as varied. In some states, minor moving violations rarely appear on a driver’s record permanently as long as all conditions are met such as prompt payment of any fines and any corrective actions such as the attendance of driving school.

A second approach to keeping moving violations off of public records is to either fight the ticket in court or negotiate to be able to plea “no contest,” according to

Major violations, including misdemeanor and felony convictions often are a different story and can appear on a driver’s public record. Most states maintain a points system for violations and incidents serious enough to register them can stay on a DMV report from two to five years, depending on the state. The most serious crimes, such as a DUI and vehicular homicide can remain on a public record for longer periods.

Keep in mind that specific moving violations vary from state to state, as do the associated penalties and systems for keeping track of those penalties. If you have a specific question relating to a moving violation, the best course of action is often to check your specific state’s laws and potentially consult with an attorney if you have concerns.

Recent celebrities who have been cited for moving violations include Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, Justin Bieber and John Stamos.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.