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Connecticut Motor Vehicle Infractions and Penalties

Fairfield and New Haven County Motor Vehicle Infractions and Penalties Attorney

When charged with a motor vehicle infraction, or traffic violation, it is imperative that you are aware not just of the charge itself but each violation’s subsequent impacts and repercussions. While some infractions can be resolved with a verbal warning or fine, there are cases where you can have your insurance rates increased, points added to your license or even have your license suspended entirely.

Connecticut Point System:

The CT Department of Motor Vehicles employs a point system in order to document driving records. It follows that a license without points means that you have a clean driving record. Generally, the DMV considers a driver to be “unsafe” if he or she has one or more points on his or her license.

These points carry penalties and restrictions that ultimately affect one’s ability to drive. Often, these points are removed from your license after a two-year period. In the event of any person garnering 10 points or more, the DMV has the ability to suspend the license for 30 days or more.

The scale for the point system ranges from 1-5 points, depending on the severity of the motor vehicle infraction. Some of the charges that result in one point being added to your license are: speeding, failing to signal properly, passing in an illegal fashion or driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

A two-point penalty can be assessed to your license if you are stopped for any of the following: failing to follow yield signs, running a signal light, driving through a pedestrian area, not following an officer’s commands, or failing to follow proper traffic patterns of any kind.

Three points can be added to your license for any of the following motor vehicle infractions: operating a motor vehicle while in a diminished state, passing when prohibited, failing to yield to pedestrians when it is their right of way, and passing on the right.

Motor vehicle infractions, or traffic violations, that carry a four-point penalty are: driving with the intention of harassing another driver, failing to stop for a school bus dropping off children, or any form of street racing on public roads.

Lastly, you can earn five points on your license should you be charged with negligent homicide while operating a motor vehicle or other motor vehicle infractions of that nature.

Ultimately, the point system is in place to keep the roads as safe as possible. However, simply being charged with a motor vehicle infraction does not necessarily mean that you will have points put on your license. In most cases, there are a number of different venues to having these charges defended or expunged. After you are stopped and charged by the officer, you have various options should you decide to plead not guilty. In the event of you successfully proving your innocence with regards to the alleged charge, the points will not be added to your license and your driving record will not be altered.

Don’t just plead guilty to a traffic violation ticket without being fully informed of the potential consequences. At the Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will give you an honest opinion about what your best course of action is, and if we do not think we can help we will not just take your money. Schedule a free consultation today.

License Suspension in CT:

There are a number of different scenarios in which one can have their license suspended. Primarily, a court will impose a license suspension when you are found guilty for any number of motor vehicle infractions. Some examples of these are street racing, driving under the influence, manslaughter, personal injury, or a hit and run charge.

Below are some examples of motor vehicle infractions, or traffic violations, and their accompanying penalties and fines.

Speeding Violations:

Traveling above the speed limit does not always yield a stop or a traffic violation ticket. However, the act of breaking these suggested rates for travel endangers not only yourself but the people in the surrounding area. In the event of a police officer pulling you over for speeding, it is important to know what is at stake.

In the best case, when you are stopped for speeding, the police officer will not issue a ticket but instead verbally warn you. Usually this occurs when you have a clean driving record, a credible defense for why you were speeding, or if your speed at the time of the stop was less than 20mph over the posted speed limit.

If given a speeding ticket, the terms of the ticket will be based on how fast you were traveling over the speed limit. In the State of Connecticut, fines for speeding range anywhere from $200 to $500 per ticket. As well, there is a 1-point penalty for speeding and insurance rates can be increased by $303 per ticket.

Don’t just plead guilty to a traffic ticket without being fully informed of the potential consequences. At the Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will give you an honest opinion about what your best course of action is, and if we do not think we can help we will not just take your money. Schedule a free consultation today.

Cell Phone Use While Driving Traffic Violation:

Distracted driving, primarily through the use of a cell phone, has quickly become one of the more prevalent motor vehicle infractions in the United States. It follows that when using your cell phone while driving, your ability to travel safely lessens greatly.

In the State of Connecticut, any cell phone seen near your ear while driving can result in a stop by a police officer. However, as long as you are over the age of 18, you can use a cell phone’s speaker, Bluetooth, or voice activated features.

Penalties for driving while using a cell phone vary greatly based on the offense itself. A first offense yields a $125 fine while a second offense comes with a $250 fine. In a third offense or any offense after, the fine totals $400. As a teenager, the penalties are even more severe. For a first-time teen offender, there is a 30-day license suspension period, a $125 fee to restore the license, and court fines. A second-time teen offender will have the same penalties as a first-time offender with the exception of a 6-month license suspension in lieu of 3 months.

Don’t just plead guilty to a ticket without being fully informed of the potential consequences. At the Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will give you an honest opinion about what your best course of action is, and if we do not think we can help we will not just take your money. Schedule a free consultation today.

Texting While Driving Traffic Violation:

Much like using a cell phone to talk while driving, you can be pulled over and charged for using the SMS feature of your cell phone as well. While anti-texting campaigns have long warned against the dangers of this phenomenon, the issue of texting while driving still persists across the nation.

In any case, you can be charged with a texting while driving traffic violation if you are caught engaging with a text message in any capacity behind the wheel. In the State of Connecticut, the only form of texting while driving that is not illegal is hands-free through the use of a voice-activated SMS system. In rare cases, exceptions to this rule are made for texts deemed as an emergency.

If you find yourself facing a texting and driving charge, you can incur a $100 fine for a first-time offense. The second offense brings about a $150 fine, and a third offense will yield a $200 fine.

Don’t just plead guilty to a ticket without being fully informed of the potential consequences. At the Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will give you an honest opinion about what your best course of action is, and if we do not think we can help we will not just take your money. Schedule a free consultation today.

Traffic Violation for Following Too Closely:

According to Connecticut General Statute Section 14-240, all drivers must maintain a “reasonable and prudent” following distance while on the road. The language of the law is somewhat vague and does not detail an exact distance which constitutes a safe following distance. However, various driver’s education programs mandate at least 3-4 car lengths separating yourself and the car you are following.

In any case, following too closely can result in a number of different penalties for drivers in the State of Connecticut. If you are found guilty of failing to maintain a safe following distance, you can face up to a $150 fine. Other traffic violations, or infractions, of this nature, like intimidating driving or tailgating, can bring on further penalties as well.

Don’t just plead guilty to a ticket without being fully informed of the potential consequences. At the Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will give you an honest opinion about what your best course of action is, and if we do not think we can help we will not just take your money. Schedule a free consultation today.

Violation for Lack of Insurance:

In order to prove one’s ability to pay for damages accrued during an accident, the State of Connecticut requires every driver to have car/auto insurance. That being said, not all drivers are able to afford this type of insurance. Or, they simply choose not to pay for it out of principle.

For any driver, the fines for driving without insurance range from $100 to $1,000 based on the severity of the accident or collision. As well, for first time offenders, a lack of insurance can result in your license being suspended for 30 days. Any additional charge will yield a 6-month license suspension period. Should you have a Commercial Driver’s License without insurance, you can be charged with a Class D felony, which carries a $5,000 fine and/or 5 years in prison.

Don’t just plead guilty to a ticket without being fully informed of the potential consequences. At the Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will give you an honest opinion about what your best course of action is, and if we do not think we can help we will not just take your money. Schedule a free consultation today.

Operating Under Suspension:

If you find yourself with a suspended license, it is reasonable to assume that you will not get behind the wheel of a car until the suspension is lifted. However, in the State of Connecticut, operating while under suspension happens to be one of the most common crimes. One can have their license suspended for any number of reasons, such as other motor vehicle infractions or having too many points on your driving record. In any case, you should not operate a motor vehicle while under suspension. Should you choose to do so, it is vital that you are aware of the accompanying penalties.

For first time offenders, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license carries a $150-$200 fine as well as a year-long license suspension on top of the original suspension. As well, you can face up to 3 months in jail.

Any offense after this will result in another fine of up to $600 and a subsequent 2-year license suspension. For third time offenders, there is a mandatory 3-month jail period which cannot be negotiated or reduced in any fashion.

Don’t just plead guilty to a ticket without being fully informed of the potential consequences. At the Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will give you an honest opinion about what your best course of action is, and if we do not think we can help we will not just take your money. Schedule a free consultation today.

Traffic Violation for Operating Without a License:

In order to go out on the road in a vehicle, you must have all the appropriate documentation should you get in an accident or be stopped by a police officer. In Connecticut, it is illegal to drive without a valid driver’s license.

While it’s more than conceivable that you were unaware of driving without your license, it is important to know that doing so can result in a number of different penalties in the State of Connecticut.

In more favorable cases, police officers will grant you a 24-hour period in which you can retrieve your license and show it to the DMV to prove that you do in fact have a valid driver’s license. If you can do this, most officers will void the ticket against you and it will not be noted on your driving record. Should the officer choose to enforce the ticket despite your showing your license within the 24-hour period, the fine is generally rather small. As far as driving without a license goes, this is the most ideal situation when facing a ticket.

Of the less favorable situations related to license infractions while driving, driving while your license is suspended can yield far more severe penalties. There are fines, license suspensions, and even jail sentences for those who operate a motor vehicle with a suspended license or without ever having received a license. The Connecticut General Statutes that cover this traffic violation outline the penalties.

First time offenders will receive a fine of up to $200, as well as a one-year license suspension and up to three months spent in jail. Breaking this law a second time carries with it a fine of up to $600, a two-year license suspension, up to one year spent in jail, and in some cases, additional fines ranging up to $500 or even one hundred hours spent servicing your community.

Should you be found guilty of operating a motor vehicle without a valid license more than twice, you face a three-month mandatory jail term. Even if you choose to hire a lawyer and fight the charge in court, this penalty cannot be plead against.

Don’t just plead guilty to a ticket without being fully informed of the potential consequences. At the Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will give you an honest opinion about what your best course of action is, and if we do not think we can help we will not just take your money. Schedule a free consultation today.

Passing a School Bus Violation:

On a daily basis, motor vehicle operators have to take caution when there are school buses on the road. These buses often carry children who must either disembark from the bus or cross the road safely. While many school bus drivers possess elevated driving abilities, it is the responsibility of everyone on the road to not infringe upon the safety of the children.

Often, a school bus will stop on a road with other drivers in order to safely drop children off. Lights on the bus will shine and a red stop sign will swing out onto the road, indicating a full stop to other drivers. Should you encounter this while driving, you must immediately stop and allow ample time for the children to get off the bus. It is not until the bus lights have turned off and the bus has begun to move again that you may continue driving safely.

In the event of you passing a stopped school bus, you will find yourself in violation of Connecticut General Statutes, Section 14-279. This statute mandates that you stop at least 10 feet or more away from the bus, particularly when the lights are flashing. It is imperative that you stop for a school bus with flashing lights, regardless of where on the road you are. Failing to do so will result in penalties assessed to your license and driving record.

Generally speaking, it is the bus driver who tells the police when someone passes them while stopped and flashing their lights. The bus driver will report both vehicle color and model, as well as the license plate number if they were able to record it. Additionally, the bus driver makes note of the time that the incident occurred. An officer will then research and contact the offending driver, either with an official written warning or even a summons. Usually, it is up to the officer themselves to decide how to punish this offense.

Should the officer choose to pursue this charge, there are very strict penalties, as it is one of the more grievous traffic violations you can commit. The reason for this is that passing a school bus puts the safety of children at risk, which is wholly impermissible while operating a motor vehicle.

First time offenders face up to $500 in fines, with the lowest fine totaling $100. As well, up to four points can be added to your license if you fail to stop for a school bus. Breaking this law a second time carries a penalty of up to $1,000 in fines and prison time ranging up to 30 days long.

Contact Us For a Free Consultation if You Have Received a Traffic Violation

Don’t just plead guilty to a ticket without being fully informed of the potential consequences of the specific traffic violation. At the Lebedevitch Law Firm, we will give you an honest opinion about what your best course of action is, and if we do not think we can help we will not just take your money. Schedule a free consultation today.

Stephen Lebedevitch

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The legal process is often hard to understand, and in many cases seems like the cards are stacked against you. Fairfield attorney Stephen Lebedevitch brings nearly a decade of experience to his practice to ensure that you never feel like you are lost without answers. Stephen makes you feel like you are the only person in the room, even if you are in a crowd of hundreds.

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