Violations of Arizona’s Traffic Laws


When most people in Phoenix think about the traffic laws of Arizona, being charged with violating one of them doesn’t seem like a big deal. After all, the most common violations in people’s minds are speeding and parking tickets. Why should they care much about either of those?

However, as any experienced Phoenix traffic law attorney can attest, there’s far more than parking and speeding violations that you can be charged with, and some of those speeding violations are far more serious than most people realize. In certain instances, traffic tickets can result in your driving privileges being suspended, and can make you insurance payments skyrocket wit surcharges – some of which go on for up to 7 years! Violating some traffic laws can even lead to prison time.

Different Types of Traffic Laws in Arizona

One of the first things that tends to surprise people when they start to really learn about traffic laws is that Arizona outlines two different kinds of speeding – civil speeding and criminal speeding.

Civil speeding in Arizona is a 3-point violation against you and can include:

  • Driving at a speed not considered to be reasonable and prudent
  • Inability to control speed to prevent an accident
  • Causing criminal damage while exceeding the speed limit

Criminal speeding in Arizona is also a 3-point traffic violation, but it also is categorized as a Class 3 misdemeanor. Because it is considered a criminal act, criminal speeding can greatly raise the cost of automobile insurance and even result in the loss of a commercial driver’s license, which could end someone’s career. Those charged with criminal speeding might also face:

  • A sentence of up to 30 days in an Arizona jail
  • A $500 fine
  • An 84 percent surcharge
  • A Class 3 Misdemeanor

Reckless driving is another charge that Arizona looks at with the utmost seriousness. It is charged as a criminal offense that is designated a Class 2 misdemeanor. If you have been charged with reckless driving, you might receive:

  • up to 4 months in jail
  • a $750 fine
  • an 84 percent surcharge
  • traffic survival school
  • license suspension

In fact, if you do not immediately attend Traffic Survival School, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division will automatically suspend your license.

Leaving the scene of an accident is something that the state of Arizona also considers a criminal offense, and it is listed as a Class 3 misdemeanor. If you are charged with this crime, you could face penalties such as:

  • Arizona jail time of up to 30 days
  • A $500 fine
  • An 84 percent surcharge
  • Restitution owed to the other driver involved in the accident

Driving on a suspended license is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense and is a very serious violation of Arizona traffic laws. Because having your license suspended in the first place is usually a result of violating other traffic laws, such as excessive point, fines that are unpaid, a court date that was missed, or a DUI, driving while your license is suspended comes with severe penalties:

  • Up to 6 months of incarceration in an Arizona jail
  • A $2,500 fine
  • An 84 percent surcharge
  • Additional suspension of driving privileges
  • Participation in Traffic Survival School

Just as is the case with a reckless driving charge, not immediately attending Traffic Survival School will cause the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles to automatically suspend your license.

How to Fight Arizona Charges Related to Traffic Laws

The methods that an experienced Phoenix traffic laws attorney would employ to defend you vary depending on the charges you face and the specific circumstances of your case. If an officer stops you for speeding or reckless driving, it is possible that providing a reasonable explanation for your actions will cause the court to go easy on you and reduce or even throw out the charges altogether. Violations of traffic laws involving accidents with other drivers are often complicated by having differing viewpoints about what actually occurred, and can often be fought as misunderstandings that have been blown out of proportion.

Retaining the services of an experienced Phoenix traffic laws attorney will mean that you have someone fighting for your rights who will work hard to keep you from having your license suspended or getting a criminal record.

By Michael Munoz

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