Traffic Violations in Connecticut
In Connecticut, a traffic violation is an offense committed while driving a vehicle. In Connecticut, the laws that govern these violations are outlined in the state traffic code. These laws are enforced by Connecticut traffic law enforcement and regulated by Connecticut state and county courts. The most common traffic violations in the state include speeding, running a red light, and driving without a seat belt.
Penalties for traffic violations vary depending on the severity of the offense. For example, drivers caught speeding may receive a ticket with a fine. More serious crimes, such as running a red light, may result in points being added to the offender's license, and where the offender accumulates too many points, their license may be suspended.
Depending on the nature and severity of the offense, Connecticut traffic violations may be included in the Connecticut traffic record of the offender. Like the penalties of these offenses, the implications of having a violation on record may vary; however, most offenders are bound to face fines and increased insurance rates.
Types of Traffic Violations in Connecticut
Connecticut traffic violations can be categorized into moving and non-moving violations. Moving violations occur when a driver is operating a vehicle, while non-moving violations are offenses that do not involve movement of the vehicle, such as parking violations.
Some of Connecticut's most common moving violations include speeding, tailgating, and running a red light. These offenses can result in penalties such as fines and points on the offender's driving record, which may lead to increased insurance rates and even license suspension.
Non-moving violations include parking in a handicapped spot without a permit, parking in a no-parking zone, and failing to yield to pedestrians. These offenses typically result in fines but are unlikely to impact the motorist's driving record.
Connecticut traffic violations can also be classified as major or minor. Major violations are more serious offenses, such as driving under the influence (DUI) or reckless driving. These types of violations can result in significant fines and jail time. Minor violations are less serious offenses, such as speeding or running a red light. The fines for minor violations usually range from $50 to $300, and points are typically not assessed.
Connecticut Traffic Violation Code
The Connecticut traffic code is a comprehensive document that governs all aspects of driving and traffic in the state. It covers everything from basic rules of the road to more specific regulations, such as how to handle a traffic stop.
Anyone who drives in Connecticut is responsible for knowing and following the provisions of the traffic code. Failing to do so can result in penalties, and ignorance is hardly deemed a sufficient excuse in the state's courts.
A few of the important provisions of the Connecticut traffic code include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and can result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
- It's illegal to text or use a handheld phone while driving.
- Motorists must come to a complete stop at a stop sign and yield to oncoming traffic before proceeding.
- Motorists must use their turn signal when changing lanes or turning.
- Children under the age of 16 must be seated in a properly secured child restraint system while riding in a vehicle.
Connecticut Felony Traffic Violations
Under Connecticut law, certain traffic violations are classified as felonies. These felony traffic violations carry much harsher penalties than misdemeanors, including prison time, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record.
DUI is perhaps the most well-known felony traffic offense in Connecticut. Motorists caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can face some severe consequences. These include one year in jail for a first offense and five years in prison for a second or subsequent offense. Offenders will also face a mandatory license suspension of at least one year and may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.
Hit and run is another serious traffic offense in Connecticut. Persons involved in an accident are required by law to stop and exchange information with the other driver. If they fail to do so, they can be charged with a hit and run. The penalties for a hit and run can include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Vehicular homicide is also a felony traffic offense in Connecticut. This charge can be brought against motorists who cause the death of another person while driving recklessly or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The penalties for vehicular homicide can include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Fleeing the scene of an accident is yet another serious traffic offense in Connecticut. If involved in an accident, motorists must stop and render aid to any injured parties. Offenders who flee the scene can be charged with a hit and run. The penalties for a hit and run can include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Connecticut Traffic Misdemeanors
There are a variety of traffic offenses that are classified as misdemeanors in the state of Connecticut. These offenses range from speeding and reckless driving to driving under the influence (depending on the offender's intoxication levels). Motorists convicted of a misdemeanor traffic offense may face up to one year in jail and fines.
Some common examples of misdemeanor traffic offenses in Connecticut include:
- Speeding: Driving over the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions is a misdemeanor traffic offense in Connecticut.
- Reckless driving: This offense covers a range of dangerous driving behaviors, including weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and passing on a shoulder.
- Improper lane change: Making an improper lane change without signaling or cutting off another driver can result in a misdemeanor charge.
- Failure to Yield: Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians or other vehicles can lead to a misdemeanor charge.
- DUI/DWI: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious criminal offense that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense. While a first offense may be charged as a misdemeanor, subsequent offenses can result in felony charges.
- Hit and run: Leaving the scene of an accident without providing your contact or insurance information is considered a hit and run, which could lead to misdemeanor charges.
Connecticut Traffic Infractions
In Connecticut, motorists can be charged with several types of traffic infractions if they break any traffic laws. Some common examples include speeding, reckless driving, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, and even not having their driver's license while operating a vehicle.
If charged with any traffic infraction in Connecticut, motorists must understand the consequences of such a charge. For example, when an offender fails to appear in court for a minor traffic violation, their license may be suspended until the case is resolved or until all fines are paid. Additionally, persons found guilty of committing certain traffic violations may be required to complete driver retraining or other rehabilitation programs.
Connecticut Traffic Violation Codes and Fines
In Connecticut, offending motorists may be prescribed fines and other penalties, which may vary based on the violation the offender is accused of committing.
- Speeding: Motorists may be charged with speeding if they exceed the posted speed limit or drive at an unsafe speed given current road conditions. The fines for speeding depend on how much faster than the posted limit the motorist was going when cited by law enforcement. The fine may also be impacted by any additional fees associated with higher speeds due to the increased risk of accidents and injuries. For example, persons going 1-9 mph over the speed limit may get a ticket for around $90.
- Reckless driving: A motorist may be charged with reckless driving if they operate their vehicle with complete disregard for the safety of others on the road. This can include weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, or running red lights or stop signs. The fines for reckless driving can range from $100-$500.
- Improper passing: A road user may be charged with improper passing if they attempt to pass another vehicle when it is unsafe, such as on a blind curve or hill. The fines for improper passing typically start at $50 but can increase depending on the severity of the infraction.
- Failure to Yield: Motorists may be charged with failure to yield if they do not give the right of way to another vehicle or pedestrian when required by law. Like improper passing, the fines for failure to yield typically start at $50 but can also increase depending on the severity of the infraction.
- Tailgating: Motorists may be charged with tailgating if they follow too closely behind another vehicle, making it difficult for the driver in front of them to stop safely if necessary. The fines for tailgating typically start at $50.
- Driving while under suspension: A road user may be charged with driving while under suspension if they continue to drive a vehicle after their license has been suspended or revoked. This is considered a criminal offense in Connecticut and carries heavy fines depending on the offender's criminal history.
- Failure to obey traffic signs or signals: Motorists may be charged with failure to follow traffic signs if they do not stop when required by law at a stop sign or red light or if they make an illegal turn based on signs posted where they are driving. Fines for this type of infraction typically start at $50.
- Driving without insurance: Motorists may be charged with driving without insurance if caught driving a vehicle without proof of insurance. The fines for this type of infraction vary but typically start at $200.
How to Pay a Traffic Violation Ticket in Connecticut
Paying a traffic violation ticket in Connecticut is a relatively straightforward process. Motorists who have received a ticket can either pay it online, by mail, or in person. Keep in mind that any fines associated with the violation must be paid regardless of how they choose to pay their ticket.
To pay a traffic ticket online, visit the Traffic Violations Bureau website and follow the prompts to enter the citation number and vehicle information. Afterward, submit the payment specified on the citation using either a credit or debit card.
Those who prefer to send in their payment via mail may include a copy of their traffic citation and a check or money order made payable to "Treasurer, State of CT" in their mail. Requests must also indicate the offender's citation number, and queries should be made to:
Traffic Violations Bureau
P.O. Box 1263
Hartford, CT 06143-1263
To pay a traffic ticket in person, motorists can visit any of the Traffic Violations Bureau locations throughout the state. The requesting party must bring a copy of their citation and the required payment along. Interested persons may view the list of locations in Connecticut on the Traffic Violations Bureau website.
Offenders are advised to pay their ticket within 21 days of receiving the citation. Persons who fail to do so within the specified timeframe may face additional fines and penalties.
Traffic Violation Lookup in Connecticut
Interested persons may look up Connecticut traffic violations with ease.
First, requestors can go online and visit the official website of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Connecticut. There, they can find all the information they need about different traffic violations, including their codes and penalties.
Upon locating the information about the specific violation of interest, it's important to double-check the accuracy of this data before acting on it. One way to do this is by contacting an experienced attorney who can help assess whether or not the traffic violation was correctly reported by checking court records or other documentation from the DMV.
Interested members of the public may also lookup Connecticut traffic tickets by visiting the website of the Connecticut Judicial Branch or calling the Traffic Division of the Superior Court.
When searching for a traffic ticket online, the requesting party will need to provide their name, date of birth, and driver's license number. If they do not have this information, they can still search for their ticket by case number or citation number.
Requestors who cannot find traffic ticket information online can call the Traffic Division of the Superior Court at (860) 263-2734. They will need to provide them with their name, date of birth, and driver's license number.
Interested persons can also look up these tickets using third-party sites. To use a third-party site for traffic ticket lookup, the requestor must first create an account and login. Afterwards, they may search for a traffic ticket by case number or citation number. The requesting party will be required to pay a small service fee.
Further questions about traffic ticket lookups may be directed to the Traffic Division of the Superior Court at (860) 263-2734.
How to Plead not Guilty to a Traffic Violation in Connecticut
Persons who are charged with a traffic violation in Connecticut have the option to plead not guilty to the charge and contest the ticket. However, before deciding whether or not to plead not guilty to an infraction, there are several things that the offender must consider.
When an offender opts to plead not guilty, they must attend a hearing. An official known as the judge or magistrate will listen to their case and determine whether or not the charges against them are valid and appropriate. If they decide that the offender stands guilty, they will likely issue a guilty verdict and impose a fine or other punishment. Otherwise, the offender will be acquitted.
What Happens if You Plead No Contest to a Traffic Violation in Connecticut
If an offender opts to plead no contest to a traffic violation in Connecticut, they will be found guilty and will be required to pay the associated fine. The offense will also be recorded on their driving record, and depending on the severity of the violation, they may also face additional consequences, such as license suspension or points being added to their driving record. In addition to any potential legal consequences, pleading no contest to a traffic violation can also lead to higher car insurance premiums. Insurance companies often view drivers who have pled no contest to traffic violations as high-risk drivers. As a result, you can expect your rates to increase significantly after pleading no contest to a traffic violation.
How Long Do Traffic Violations Stay on Your Record in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, most traffic violations stay on the offender's record for two years from conviction. The only exception is the second offense of driving without insurance, which remains on the offender's record indefinitely. Some less severe traffic violations may also be removed from the offender's record if they complete an approved remedial driving course within 60 days after receiving notice that points are being added to their driving record.
Can Traffic Violations Be Sealed in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, eligible offenders can apply to seal a traffic violation on their criminal record. This process involves filing an application with the court and providing evidence that they complied with all offense-related penalties, such as paying fees and completing community service or educational programs. The offender must also meet specific eligibility requirements, including having no other criminal convictions in the last five years. Additionally, if the traffic violation involved alcohol or drugs and resulted in a conviction for either DUI/DWI or drug possession, they will not be eligible to have it sealed.
To apply to seal a traffic violation, requestors will need to file an application with the court and provide evidence that they meet the eligibility requirements and have complied with all penalties related to the offense. Once the application is approved, the court will issue an order sealing the criminal record. This process can take several months to complete.
Sealing a traffic violation can make it easier for the offender to find employment or housing by allowing potential employers or landlords to see that they received a ticket but not the specific offense.
What Happens if You Miss a Court Date for a Traffic Violation in Connecticut?
Motorists who have been issued a traffic violation in Connecticut will be given a court date to appear before a judge. This is their opportunity to contest the charges against them and argue their case. If they fail to appear for their court date, the judge may issue a warrant for their arrest. In addition, they may be charged with failure to appear, which is a separate offense. If found guilty of failure to appear, the offender could be fined up to $500 and sentenced to up to 30 days in jail.