Texas Traffic Tickets

Women Texting While Driving a CarWomen Texting While Driving a Car

In case you didn't know, approximately 23.7 million people in Texas hold valid driver's licenses. It's hardly surprising that some drivers disregard traffic laws when there are so many people on the road and they can put public safety in danger. However, there's a strong possibility you'll get a ticket in your pocket if you violate traffic regulations in Texas.

Because Texas is such a large state, there may not be many highway enforcement agents stationed beside the road to detect speeding drivers in some areas. However, law enforcement is there, and you will be fined if you break traffic laws. You may even serve time behind bars. It is a good idea to be familiar with the most common traffic infractions in Texas if you don't want to be pulled over by the police and given a citation.

When your conviction is entered on your record, fees for some offenses are immediately applied to your account. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is authorized by the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) to impose fees on an individual in response to certain traffic infractions.

The 9 Most Common Types of Traffic Tickets in Texas

The most frequent crimes committed by individuals are traffic infractions. Usually, they are separated into two categories: major and minor. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, both categories have repercussions. After incurring a traffic infraction, enrolling in a Texas Defensive Driving Course is the easiest option to get points off your record.

These are the most common types of traffic tickets for a traffic violation in Texas:

  • 1. Texting and Using a Phone While Driving
  • 2. Speeding
  • 3. Not Wearing Seatbelts
  • 4. Failure to Stop/Running a Red Light
  • 5. Driving Under the Influence (DUI)/Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • 6. When Not Using Child Car Seats
  • 7. Unsafe Lane Changes
  • 8. (Motorcycle Lane Splitting)
  • 9. Not Keeping a Safe Following Distance

The Number One Most Common Traffic Ticket in Texas

Traffic offenses and their repercussions come in different forms and sizes in Texas. Points will be applied to the penalized driver's license based on the severity of the violation. His or her license may be suspended if a certain number of points are acquired. Major infractions, such as the ones listed below, might result in immediate license revocation and other consequences.

In Texas, the majority of traffic citations are for Class C misdemeanors, which are offenses that result in a penalty of up to $500. A Texas legal firm has compiled a list of the most prevalent reasons for issuing traffic tickets:

  • Maximum speed requirement
  • Prima facie speed limits
  • Stop signs and yield signs
  • Expired driver's license
  • Passing an authorized emergency vehicle
  • Failure to display inspection certificate
  • Dismissal of charge; administrative fee
  • A requirement of financial responsibility
  • Operation of a motor vehicle in violation of motor vehicle liability insurance requirement

Fines and Penalties for Traffic Tickets: The Overview

In Texas, the town that issued your ticket decides the precise fine amount when you receive a speeding ticket. You may find out the fine amount from the citation itself or by getting in touch with the relevant court. In either case, you risk receiving significant penalties, having points added to your license, and having your future vehicle insurance premiums increase.

Fines and penalties for traffic ticket violations are determined on a county-by-county basis in Texas. What you’ll pay for a speeding ticket in Austin might be different from what it will cost you in El Paso.

The fines and punishments for some of the most prevalent traffic infractions are shown below. However, depending on the circumstances, judges can differ from these fine levels. It's also worth noting that fines may be raised for offenses in school zones, construction zones, and violations causing accidents.

Common Moving Violations Total Fine and Cost

  • Failure to Control Speed $185
  • Failure to Drive in a Single Marked Lane $150
  • Ran Stop Sign or Red Light $155
  • Unsafe Lane Change $160
  • Unsafe Speed $135
  • Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road - Not Passing $165
  • Driving Wrong Way - Divided Highway $215
  • Driving Wrong Way on One Way Road $280
  • Expired Driver's License $100
  • Failure to Report Change of Address $75
  • No Driver's License on Demand $120
  • No Texas Driver's License $155
  • Violation of Driver's License Restriction $100
  • Expired Inspection Certificate $105
  • Expired Vehicle Registration (Non-Commercial) $75
  • Failure to Wear Safety Seat Belt $125
  • Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility $315
  • Passing a Stopped School Bus $1080
  • Unrestrained Child $185

The Texas Point System: The Constant for All Counties

The Texas Department of Public Safety uses a point system to monitor traffic offenses to monitor driver behavior. A set number of points are added to a driver's driving record for each infraction of the traffic laws. More points are awarded for more serious infractions. The driver's license may be suspended after earning a particular amount of points.

However, not all traffic infractions result in points. You won't get any points if you get a ticket for exceeding the official speed limit by ten miles per hour or for failing to wear a seatbelt.

Which traffic violations have the highest point penalties in Texas? Points are assessed for any misbehavior that involves "motor vehicle control." Additionally, it is irrelevant where the driving infraction happens. Both national and international infractions can result in points being added to your driving record.

An Additional Fine You May Face

The Driver Responsibility Program is administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) (DRP). The program uses a point system to determine whether a service charge should be added to a driver's record. A DRP fee may also result from a conviction. In addition to other fees and assessments for things like a license suspension, there are also surcharges. A $100 DRP fee is required if your driving record has 6 points. For each extra point beyond six, there will be a $25 fine. Until your score falls below 6 points, the penalty will be applied yearly. You'll be relieved to learn that a fee won't appear without warning.

Once you reach 4 or 5 points, the Texas DPS will issue you an "advisory" notification. It serves as a warning that the following notice will come with a fee if you are found guilty of another moving offense.

The licenses of drivers who rack up a lot of points quickly may be suspended. A suspension is possible if you have 7 or more moving offense convictions in the space of 24 months.

Texas Traffic Tickets and Auto Insurance Rates

Additionally, when you pay your monthly vehicle insurance rate, points will empty your pocketbook. Before determining rates, insurers look at a person's driving history. The less you have to pay for vehicle insurance, the better your record will be.

What Should You Do if You Get a Traffic Ticket in Texas?

In Texas, receiving a traffic ticket for a traffic violation may be an unpleasant and perplexing ordeal. You could be concerned about the cost, if your driving record will be impacted, and whether your vehicle insurance premiums would increase.

As part of the Driver Responsibility Program, the Texas Administrative Code states that two points will be assessed to your license if you are found guilty of speeding more than 10% over the legal limit. Six points will result in a fee that you must pay, along with an extra $25 for each point after that, for a total of $100. If you don't pay the fee and are caught driving, your license would be suspended and you might face more serious charges.

How to Plead?

Explain a person's choices once they get the ticket and what logic to use when deciding on the options. First and foremost, always keep in mind that a traffic ticket just accuses a traffic infraction. You're not admitting guilt by signing the ticket, after all.

Therefore, you always have the option to hire a lawyer to represent you if you think you are not responsible for the claimed crime. Because a fine is the only sanction that may be applied, you also have the option to defend yourself in court pro se. You are so entitled to act as your advocate. You should be aware that some traffic violations may have further repercussions that might be quite expensive.

You have three options if you receive a traffic ticket in Texas: pleading guilty, admitting culpability but not guilty, or denying it. Before you make your appeal, it's a good idea to consider your alternatives and be aware of the effects of each decision.

Plead Guilty

If you enter a guilty or no contest plea, the judge will declare you guilty and impose a fine as punishment. The same outcome can be obtained from a plea of no contest as from a plea of guilty, but it cannot be used against you in any civil case that could develop from the incident that led to your arrest.

If you are pleading guilty or no contest, you may explain any mitigating circumstances that could affect the sentence as well as offer any evidence or papers to the court about the offense.

Explain what happens in this case and what a person will be required to do.

Pleading Not Guilty or No Contest

Making a not guilty plea is more difficult than it may seem. Both the officer who issued the citation to you and the judge sitting behind the bench are knowledgeable about traffic regulations and have relevant expertise. If you have the money, engaging a traffic law specialist lawyer might be a very beneficial move. However, it's important to keep in mind that you could not succeed in having a speeding ticket dropped. You may simply challenge your speeding ticket on your own if you're happy with a lesser punishment or term.

To enter a not guilty plea, you must inform your county court. Just send it in by the deadline listed on your ticket, whether you do it in person at the court or via mail. After that, a court date will be assigned to you so that you can present your case to the judge.

Take a Safety Driving Course

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has granted state approval to the online Texas defensive driving course (also known as driving safety) for the purpose of dismissing tickets and offering insurance reductions. The course is entirely online, making it available from any internet-enabled device at any time, seven days a week (PC, laptops, tablets, or smartphones).

You must fulfill the following criteria to be qualified for a driving safety course:

  • You must not currently be enrolled in or have finished a driving safety course within the preceding 12 months.
  • You couldn't have exceeded the specified speed limit by more than 24 miles if you received a speeding ticket;
  • Having reached the age of 17 is required;
  • You cannot have had a commercial driver's license (CDL) at the time of the violation or have had a CDL on your driver's license in the past;
  • You must provide evidence of insurance.
  • The completion of a driving safety course is not permitted for some specified infractions. If you would need detailed information on such offenses, please contact your court.

To keep a ticket off your driving record, it is wise to enroll in our Texas defensive driving course, which has been certified by the state. Why? Even paying tickets results in points being added to your record, which may lead to DPS surcharges and higher vehicle insurance rates as points are accumulated.

You might not be aware of this, but many vehicle insurance companies provide discounts for passing a defensive driving or driving safety course that has been certified by the state. Our course is one of these programs. It may reach 10% for three years. For further information, contact your insurance company.

Texas Drug and Alcohol Driving Awareness Program (DADAP)

For drug and alcohol-related crimes and insurance savings, the Texas drug and alcohol driving awareness program (DADAP) is a six-hour course that has been certified by the state. Because the course is entirely online, it is available from any device with internet connectivity around the clock, every day of the week (PC, laptops, tablets, or smartphones).

This online course, which has been recognized by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), is a legal alternative for numerous alcohol and drug charges, including Minor in Possession (MIP). Researchers strongly advise double-checking that the online DADAP will satisfy your criteria before to registering because every case and circumstance is different.

Few individuals are aware that many motor insurance companies give discounts for finishing our program to prevent drunk and/or drugged driving. If you're searching for a strategy to lower your insurance premiums each month, we advise getting in touch with your agent or provider to find out about any available discounts.

Common Traffic Tickets in Texas: The Summary

The advantage of driving a car comes with a lot of responsibilities. The state is rigorous about catching drivers who violate traffic laws that jeopardize public safety because motor vehicles are big machines with the ability to do considerable harm when they are handled unsafely. Here is a list of some of Texas' most prevalent driving infractions.

  • Speeding. One of the most frequent traffic infractions in Texas is speeding, which the majority of drivers can admit to having committed.
  • Risky Driving. When a driver disregards the safety of other road users while operating a vehicle, they are breaking the law and are guilty of reckless driving.
  • Driving while drunk. Driving while drunk is one of the most serious—and regrettably, one of the more frequent—traffic violations in Texas (DWI).
  • Driving While Using a Phone. Not only is it illegal to use a smartphone while operating a vehicle, but it's also risky. Since using a smartphone while driving is a principal offense in the state, drivers can be pulled over and issued a ticket for it even if they haven't engaged in any other types of traffic violations.

Avoid Paying a Fine for Expired Vehicle Registration

We understand that in today’s fast-paced world it’s easy to find time to run even the most important chores. Luckily, registration renewal in Texas can be done online, hassle-free. Reputable title service company like swift-tags will ensure the fast processing and the ease of carrying out your renewal process. And as a plus, you will also get a constant reminder when your expiration date is approaching. This way, you’ll avoid paying fines for expired vehicle registration.

FAQ

How do I look up a traffic ticket in Texas?

You can use the following websites: Traffic Record Search or Our Public Records.

Can you pay a traffic ticket online in Texas?

Yes. Those who do not appeal their ticket can pay their fines online using a credit card or debit card. There will be a convenience fee that is at least 3.5%. Only once the court has accepted your payment plan may you make partial payments online. Before completing your online payment whether you are selecting the Deferred Disposition or Driver Safety Course, you must first receive the court's clearance. To pay, click the FASTGovPay link.

How long do traffic tickets stay on your record in Texas?

A traffic ticket is recorded on your driving record in Texas for three years after you are found guilty. The points attached to the ticket are likewise archived for three years along with the penalty.

Are traffic tickets public records in Texas?

Your driving history is a publicly available record that may be requested. Anyone can order a certain sort of driving history. Additionally, some forms are exclusively available upon request that is used for official state legal cases.

Do unpaid traffic tickets ever go away in Texas?

A traffic ticket remains on your record if you don't pay it. You could discover that your license has already been suspended the next time you seek to renew it or commit another traffic infraction. This might lead to more citations and worse legal consequences for operating a vehicle while your license is suspended. Your license will not be renewed if you don't pay a traffic fine. Additionally, each new ticket will result in additional points being added to your record, which might result in a license suspension.


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