TENNESSEE SPEEDING TICKETS & MOVING VIOLATIONS
If a vehicle is in motion when the transgression occurs, it is deemed a moving violation. This includes speeding, running a stop sign or red light, reckless driving, drunk driving (DUI/DWI), racing, and eluding an officer. The majority of moving violations are misdemeanors.
The Department of Transportation allows up to 11 points within a 12-month period. If you accrue 12 points within 1 year it will result in your license being suspended. Each subsequent offense will result in harsher penalties. These are also the infractions that cause your insurance rates to rise steeply.
TENNESSEE TRAFFIC TICKET PENALTIES
Tennessee uses a point system and records each moving violation on your driving record. Many different violations can lead to a license suspension, revocation or cancellation. If your license is suspended or revoked, you will not be allowed to drive until you satisfy all requirements to get your license back.
If you’re younger than 21 years old, the most common concerns are driving while under the influence (DWUI) and having any of your restricted license privileges suspended. Most convictions stay on your record 5 years from the date of the conviction.
See our Tennessee License Suspension/Revocation page for more information.
PENALTIES FOR TENNESSEE COMMERCIAL DRIVERS
Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders must notify their employers within 30 days of a violation. Some violations carry federally mandated penalties serious enough to impact a driver’s income and even career. For more details on offenses and penalties, please see our Tennessee CDL Suspension/Revocation page for more information.
DEFENSIVE DRIVING/TRAFFIC SCHOOL AND TRAFFIC TICKET DISMISSAL
Depending on your driving history and the reason for your ticket, your traffic court may allow you to complete a defensive driving or traffic school course to avoid adding any driver’s license points and dismiss the ticket. Taking the Defensive Driving Course or enrolling for the Class instruction enables you to receive a point reduction, and may also qualify you for a reduction in your car insurance rates. If you would like help in this decision or to get set up, call us for free advice!!!
OPTIONS IF YOU RECEIVE A CITATION IN TENNESSEE
Many citations do not require a court appearance, and you may admit guilt by paying the ticket directly. The citation will indicate how and by what date to pay the fine. Fines are either paid to the state or local municipality. You can pay in person or by mail. If your ticket has the “Must Appear” box checked you cannot pay the fine and you will have to appear in court on the date mentioned on the ticket. If you wish to dispute the citation, you must inform the courts in writing of this. You must appear in court personally on the scheduled date, and enter a “not guilty” plea. While you may be able to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney, a trial will be scheduled if no agreement is reached. A trial gives you an opportunity to fight the traffic ticket in front of a judge or jury, and most people prefer to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to defend them in court. If you are unable to attend court on the scheduled date, inform the court and make arrangements for a new date. Failing to do so could result in a warrant being put out for your arrest.
If you believe you have been incorrectly charged with committing a moving violation, you may be able to fight the charge in court. CALL US!!!!
CHECK YOUR TENNESSEE DRIVING RECORD
Order your driving record to check your drivers license status, check for a suspended license, check for tickets, DUI record or DWI records, look up drivers license number and check the points on your license. Driving records are used for background checks, in court proceedings, and by insurance agencies to adjust your policy rates/premiums and investigate claims.
Convictions, license suspensions, and revocations will show up on your 3-year and 5-year driving records. You may be able to dismiss traffic tickets and remove points from your driving record by completing an online defensive driving course. Because your driving record can affect your auto insurance rates and even your employment, it’s crucial that you make sure your information is accurate.
CONSEQUENCES IF YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY IN TENNESSEE
If you pay a ticket directly, you are essentially pleading guilty to a traffic offense, which carries the same consequences as being found guilty of the violation in court. Motorists who either plead guilty directly or are found guilty of an offense should be aware of the following possible consequences:
- Certain traffic offenses, including speeding and other moving violations, are automatically reported to the Tennessee Driver Services Division. Tennessee routinely provides information concerning traffic ticket convictions to other states.
- The Tennessee Department of Transportation follows a point system to track violations and their corresponding penalties. Points are added to your driving record, which could result in your license being suspended.
- Tennessee drivers that accumulate points on their driving record are often subject to higher car insurance