With a Strong Legal Advocate in Your Corner Enter The Courtroom With Confidence REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION TODAY

The Basics of Traffic Violations in Missouri

Walker Law LLC May 1, 2024

Women Sitting in Car Being Pulled Over by Police OfficerGetting a speeding ticket or a parking ticket is a common occurrence. You’d be hard-pressed to find a driver who hasn’t received at least one traffic violation in their lives.

Many people choose to simply pay these off and be more mindful of their driving in the future. However, there are cases when it may make more sense to try fighting a traffic violation in court with the help of an attorney. This is especially true if you are concerned about the number of points you’ve accumulated on your license. 

If you’d like help dealing with a traffic violation and are in the Chesterfield, Missouri area, reach out to me at Walker Law LLC. I’m able to help individuals throughout St. Louis County and Charles County, including Town and Country and Cottleville. Set up a conversation today. 

Traffic Violations  

No matter where in the country you are, traffic violations are more or less the same. Although there are many different types of traffic violations, they are all instances where you’ve failed to follow a traffic rule. The penalty for a violation will almost always be a fine, but racking up multiple violations can result in more serious consequences. Traffic violations could include speeding, failing to signal a turn, running a stop sign, parking in a restricted zone, or even mechanical issues like having a broken taillight.  

Moving Violations vs Non-Moving Violations   

There are two main categories of traffic violations: a moving violation and a non-moving violation. You can receive a moving violation anytime your car is in motion, while non-moving violations occur when the car is parked. In general, moving violations are more serious and typically come with higher fines, but this is not always the case.

Common examples of moving violations include speeding, running a red light, failing to yield, texting while driving, distracted driving, and can even include more serious offenses like drunk driving. Moving violations can also include charges like driving on a suspended license or driving without insurance. Non-moving violations include parking in a tow-away zone, having expired registration, having illegally tinted windows, excessive muffler noise, or disturbing the peace by playing loud music from your car. 

Understanding the Point System  

Many states use a points system to record each driver’s violations and impose penalties. Essentially, anytime you’re found guilty of violating a traffic law, a predetermined number of points will be added to your driving record. Note that simply being charged with a violation doesn’t automatically add points—you must be found guilty. The more points you accumulate within a certain amount of time, the higher the likelihood that you’ll face penalties.  

In Missouri, once you’ve received four points within a 12 month period, you’ll be notified with an advisory letter. After 8 points within a 12 month period, your driving privileges will be suspended. The more suspensions you have, the longer you’ll be prohibited from driving. The state has set a different number of points that correspond with each traffic violation. For example, the most serious violations like driving with a suspended license or leaving the scene of an accident will add 12 points to your license. Lower-level offenses like speeding will typically add three points, failing to produce insurance will add four points, and running a stop sign will add two points.  

Traffic Violation Fines and Penalties 

Traffic violation fines are set by the state but can vary depending on the severity of the offense and your driving history. For instance, speeding fines will increase in relation to how many miles over the posted speed limit you were traveling. 6-10 miles over the limit is a fine of $60.50, 16-19 miles over is a fine of $100.50, and 20-25 miles over is a fine of $155.50. Other penalties like having your driving privileges suspended will also increase the more violations you accumulate. For example, if you receive more than 12 points on your license within a year, your driving privileges will be revoked for one full year. 

Fighting a Traffic Violation  

It’s almost always worth fighting a traffic violation so that you don’t have to worry about how many points you have on your license. You may be able to do this on your own, but in many cases—especially cases where you’ll be facing an automatic license suspension—you’ll want to work with a criminal defense attorney who can help you determine your best approach. You may wish to dispute the officer themselves, calling into question their observations.

Or you may want to dispute the evidence that’s being used against you (for example, if there was no radar device used to clock your speed). Another approach is called “mistake of fact,” in which you will try to plead with the judge that you made a momentary error in judgment that’s not indicative of your overall driving habits. Finally, there are some cases in which violating the law is justified if you were trying to prevent a more serious accident from happening.

Traffic Violations Attorney Serving Chesterfield, Missouri

If you’re in Chesterfield or anywhere else in Missouri and would like to consult with an attorney about your options for fighting a traffic violation, give me a call at Walker Law LLC. I’m here to help you move forward