Though you get behind the wheel of your vehicle almost every day, you may not realize or fully think through the fact that you bend the rules on occasion. You may travel a few miles over the posted speed limit or roll through a stop sign when no one is coming rather than stopping completely. Because no harm has come from your actions, you may not consider them a big deal.
Of course, police officers typically see things differently and consider traffic violations of any type a big deal. As a result, if an officer sees you committing a violation or another person alerts authorities to your concerning behavior, it is possible that an officer could stop you and issue you a traffic ticket.
Though traffic tickets can result from a number of actions, some violations fall into the category of strict liability. This term means that a court could convict you of the offense even if you did not have any criminal intent, which is often required for other, more serious crimes. Some strict liability offenses include the following:
- Failing to yield
- Driving with broken headlights or taillights
- Letting the meter run out while parked
- Parking in a handicap space without a permit
- Failing to use turn signals
Of course, these are only a few examples of strict liability offenses, and they include moving and non-moving violations. As the names suggest, moving violations occur when a vehicle is in motion, and non-moving violations occur when a vehicle is stopped or when there is an issue with the vehicle itself, such as an excessively loud muffler.
Differences in severity
Like many offenses and violations that fall into the same category, some traffic violations are more severe than others. For instance, many people consider failing to yield the right of way a relatively minor offense, but driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major offense. Still, even a minor offense could increase in severity. If that failure to yield results in a car accident, the scenario becomes more serious.
Nonetheless, you have the right to defend against any traffic violation of which authorities accuse you. Even seemingly minor offenses may be worth defending against. If you have received a traffic ticket and feel the need to fight against it, you may wish to consult with a North Carolina attorney about your options.