Moving vs. Non-Moving Violations
Moving violations, for the most part, are violations that occur when someone is driving a car as opposed to when it is parked. Moving violations include the following:
Non-moving violations, on the other hand, include the following:
- Parking illegally
- Having registration tags that have expired
- Having a broken headlight or turn signal
- Driving without car insurance
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Getting automated enforcement tickets (this is an exception, as you’re technically moving)2
Penalty vs. Warning
Whereas a penalty involves a fine you have to pay to resolve a ticket, with a warning, there’s no written ticket and no penalty.
Criminal vs. Non-Criminal
Minor traffic offenses, like failing to stop at a stop sign, are non-criminal civil offenses, otherwise known as infractions. Only misdemeanors and felonies end up in criminal court, although each state categorizes criminal versus non-criminal offenses differently. See the key differences and similarities between the offense types below.
||Traffic/non-criminal civil offense
||Failing to stop at a stop sign
||Driving under the influence
|Right to a jury trial?
||No; bench trial where a judge determines guilt or innocence
|Possible jail time?
|Possible license suspension?
||Only if the driver has multiple traffic convictions recently
|Burden of proof?
|Standards of proof?
||Lower standard; may be “clear and convincing evidence”
||All elements beyond a reasonable doubt
|Right to court-appointed
|Not typically; usually must pay for own attorney
||Yes, paid for by government3