Everyone knows that speeding or running a red light or stop sign can result in being pulled over and given a traffic ticket for your momentary lapse in judgment. But did you know there are literally hundreds of California Vehicle Code sections you can violate every single time you get in your car? And some, even, that you don’t even require you to be driving? Here is some information on the most common accident and insurance traffic violations.
Proof of insurance
You are required to carry proof that the vehicle you are driving is insured. Anytime you are questioned by an officer for proof of insurance, you must produce it or you may be cited. However, an officer may not pull you over simply for the purpose of asking if you are insured. There are two ways to be cited for breaking this law:
- If you have insurance but no proof – If you actually do have insurance but merely weren’t carrying the card with you when you were pulled over, this is relatively easy to have dismissed by giving a copy of your current insurance policy or card to the court clerk. Don’t forget to do this, however, as failing to provide proof of insurance is punishable by a fine of over $1,700!
- If you didn’t have insurance when you were cited – If you are cited for violating this section and you simply do not have insurance, you have a big problem. Fines are extremely expensive for this infraction and if you have no proof that you do have insurance, there is not much you can do. However, if the vehicle you are driving is insured by someone else, such as your employer, it is possible to get this sort of violation dismissed. Never give wrong information to an officer about your insurance. This crime is a misdemeanor and is punishable by an even larger fine and up to five days in jail.
Mandatory Reporting of Certain Accidents
In any accident involving personal injury or damage of at least $750, all drivers must file an accident report and provide evidence of insurance. Failing to do so can result in the suspension of your license for one year. In fact, even if you are driving someone else’s vehicle, you must comply with this section.
Exchange of Information at Accidents
Even if the accident in which you were involved is very minor and less than $750 worth of damage is involved, you are still required by law to exchange information with other drivers involved. If you fail to disclose your name, address, driver’s license number, vehicle identification number, or insurance information, you can be found guilty of an infraction with another hefty fine. However, it is important to realize that this violation must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you’ve been cited for one of the many violations dealing with accidents and insurance, it could end up costing you thousands of dollars in fines, an increase in your car insurance premiums, and even a suspension of your license. With a skilled criminal defense attorney experienced in defending traffic tickets, like those at Wallin & Klarich, however, you can fight your traffic ticket and win. Often, these sorts of tickets can be reduced to much less expensive violations or even completely dismissed.