Having a traffic violation on your record can have an adverse effect on your life. Increased insurance rates and loss of your driver's license can hinder your day-to-day activities and ability to earn income.
Types of Traffic Violations
There are many types of traffic violations in Arkansas:
- Strict liability violations only require proof the action happened.
- Speeding is an example of a moving violation.
- Illegal parking is a non-moving violation.
Traffic violations also can be not wearing a seat belt, driving with a suspended or expired license, lack of insurance, DUI and reckless driving. Vehicle emission testing is not required.
Alcohol-related driving offenses carry harsh penalties. If you are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI or DWI) and you refuse to submit to testing, your license can be suspended because the DMV issues licenses with an implied consent condition to test for alcohol.
A DUI or DWI can result in arrest, arraignment, and other judicial procedures in the case of an alcohol-related violation. You are considered driving under the influence in Arkansas if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or greater.
Driver's License Laws
You must be at least 14 years old to get a learner's permit. You must practice to drive for at least six months before taking the test for your license. You must be at least 16 years old to get a license.
Restricted driving applies until 18 years old. Driving from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. is not allowed. You may only drive yourself and one passenger. If you are traveling to, or through, Arkansas, acquaint yourself with the state's highway safety laws. In general you must:
- Have minimum liability insurance or more
- Have a valid license and registration
- Ensure children are in car seats
- Wear a seatbelt
- Not use a cell phone to call or text
- Have drugs or alcohol in your system
- Obey speed limits
- Not litter
Moving traffic violations are doubled in work zones.
If You Are Stopped
If a traffic officer pulls you over:
- You must pull off to the side of the road safely
- You may be issued a warning or citation
- Illegal items found may be confiscated
- If arrested the car will be towed and
- It may be searched with reasonable cause
Officers with reasonable suspicion, or probable cause of illegality, may perform a vehicle or personal inspection as allowed under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Going to court is not generally required, but you may owe a fine. Paying it is an admission of guilt. More serious violations could result in jail time. Repeat offenses increase penalties.
You can fight a traffic citation by going to court on the given date and pleading not guilty. If you do not come to an agreement with the prosecution, you will go to trial. You must argue your case in front of the judge or a jury if applicable. You may appeal your conviction if you lose.
Regaining Your License
A point system keeps track of all driving offenses. The points may eventually add up to license revocation or suspension. Taking driving courses may reduce points. If your license is suspended you may not drive at all. If you are found driving you may be jailed for up to five years.
Once your suspension is over, you will get a notice of restoration with instructions on how to restore your license. In general, you will need to:
- Pay a fine of $150 dollars
- Apply for a standard license renewal
- Complete the mandatory probation of one year
If you are found breaking the law during probation you can receive an additional suspension.
Both state and federal laws apply in traffic violations. These laws are constantly changing and complex. Speak with an attorney to ensure you are properly represented.
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