In recent years, Nevada has seen a significant change in its approach to traffic violations. With the decriminalization of most traffic offenses, drivers now face civil infractions rather than criminal charges for many violations. This shift aims to offer a fairer and more proportionate response to minor traffic infractions.
Las Vegas sees millions of visitors every year, and with them comes a high volume of traffic. This heavy flow of vehicles increases the likelihood of traffic violations, which can result in hefty fines, increased insurance premiums, and even license suspension or revocation.
However, it is crucial for drivers in Las Vegas (and Nevada as a whole), to understand the consequences of traffic violations and the potential impact on their driving records, insurance premiums, and overall road safety.
Here, we will explore the most common traffic violations in Las Vegas. From speeding to driving under the influence, we will cover each violation category, explain the associated penalties, and offer guidance on how to navigate the legal process if you find yourself facing a traffic citation.
If you are facing traffic violations in Las Vegas, it is essential to consult with an experienced traffic ticket attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and advocate for your rights. Ticket Busters is here to help. Our team of skilled attorneys has extensive experience in fighting traffic tickets and can work to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Changes in Traffic Laws: Decriminalization of Traffic Offenses
One significant change in Nevada’s traffic laws is the decriminalization of most traffic offenses. Formerly, many traffic violations carried criminal charges, resulting in potential jail time and long-term consequences.
However, Nevada legislators recognized the disproportionate impact these penalties had on low-income and minority communities. As a result, they passed Assembly Bill 116, which decriminalized most traffic offenses in the state.
Under the new law, minor traffic infractions like speeding offenses are no longer considered misdemeanors in most cases. Instead, they are treated as civil infractions, resulting in monetary fines rather than criminal convictions.
This took effect on January 1st, 2023, and has since seen a significant shift in how traffic violations are handled.
Most Common Traffic Violations in Las Vegas
Nevada, just like most states, split its traffic violations into two broad categories: moving and non-moving violations.
Moving violations are those that involve actively operating a vehicle, such as speeding or running a red light. Non-moving violations are offenses like parking in an illegal spot or failing to register your car.
The most common moving violation in Las Vegas is speeding. As of April this year, a report reveals that the Nevada Highway Patrol is issuing an average of 9 citations per day for speeding over 100 miles.
Some non-moving violations that are commonly seen in Las Vegas include expired registration tags, parking in a no-parking zone, and failure to properly secure a load.
Violators of these offenses are still liable for fines associated with them, but they will no longer be subject to criminal convictions unless the offense is particularly egregious or involves alcohol/drugs.
Speeding remains one of the most common traffic violations in Las Vegas, Nevada, and across the United States. According to the National Safety Council, hundreds of thousands of drivers receive speeding tickets each day in America.
In Nevada, speeding is a civil infraction, with fines varying based on the severity of the offense. It occurs when a driver exceeds the posted speed limit or drives too fast for road conditions. It is essential to adhere to posted speed limits and adjust your speed according to weather conditions and road hazards to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
Speeding in Las Vegas costs on average $205 for the first violation. Repeat offenders may face increased fines, and excessive speed can result in license suspension or revocation.
In addition, expect demerit points on your driving record which can result in a suspension of your license if you accumulate too many points.
Reckless driving is a more severe offense than speeding and carries criminal charges in Nevada. It occurs when a driver operates their vehicle with willful disregard for the safety of others or property. Examples include swerving, weaving between lanes, excessive speeding, and aggressive driving behaviors.
Penalties for reckless driving in Las Vegas include fines up to $1,000, potential imprisonment, and suspension of your driver’s license. Additionally, you may face increased insurance premiums and a permanent criminal record.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence is a serious traffic offense that carries severe consequences, including potential jail time, hefty fines, license suspension or revocation, and a criminal record if convicted.
Nevada’s DUI laws have multiple tiers, with penalties increasing for each subsequent DUI offense. For instance, a first-time DUI offender can face up to $2,000 in fines, jail time for up to 6 months, and a license suspension of 90 days. If you have a clean record, you might be eligible for DUI probation instead of incarceration.
The penalties become more severe for repeat offenders with convictions leading to felony charges, which means longer jail time and increased fines.
Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
Disregarding traffic signals, such as running red lights or failing to stop at stop signs, is a dangerous violation that can lead to severe accidents and injuries. In Las Vegas, Nevada, running red lights and stop signs is considered a traffic violation, and offenders may face fines and potential points on their driver’s license. It is crucial to always obey traffic signals and come to a complete stop when required.
It occurs when a driver enters an intersection after the signal has turned red or fails to stop completely at a designated stop sign. The fine for running a red light in Las Vegas is on average $300+, and repeat offenders may face increased penalties.
Seatbelt and Child Car Seat Violations
Not wearing a seatbelt is one of the primary reasons for traffic fatalities, so it is vital to buckle up every time you get behind the wheel.
A first-time citation may result in fines ranging from $100 to $500 or require 10 to 50 community service hours. As with other laws, penalties increase for subsequent offenses.
It is also important to ensure that children are properly restrained in appropriate car seats or booster seats according to their age and size to avoid potential fines and demerit points on your record.
Distracted Driving: Cell Phone Usage
Distracted driving, particularly cell phone usage while driving, poses a significant risk on the roads. Nevada drivers caught texting or handling a cell phone while operating a vehicle may face fines and demerit points on their driver’s license. It is crucial to prioritize your safety and the safety of others by refraining from using a cell phone while behind the wheel. Remember, using a hands-free device is legally permissible and can help you stay connected without compromising safety.
Expect civil penalties of $50 for a first offense and up to $250 for repeat offenders. In some cases, you can also face criminal charges, especially if the use of a cell phone contributed to an accident or resulted in injury or death.
Nevada Driver’s License Point System
The Nevada driver’s license point system is an important component of the state’s approach to traffic violations. Points are assigned to each traffic offense, and accumulating too many points within a specific timeframe can lead to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. We covered this in more detail in the article, but here’s a quick rundown of the point system:
How the Point System Works
Under Nevada’s point system, each traffic offense carries a specific point value. The severity of the offense determines the number of points assigned. For example, a minor speeding violation may result in one point, while more serious offenses like reckless driving can lead to eight points.
License Suspension Threshold
If you accumulate 12 or more points on your driver’s license within a one-year period, your license may be suspended for six months. It is important to note that points remain on your driving record for one year from the date of the offense. Therefore, safe and responsible driving is essential to maintain a clean driving record and avoid license suspension.
Seeking Legal Assistance for Traffic Violations
Understanding the most common traffic violations in Las Vegas, Nevada, is essential for all drivers. Whether it’s speeding, distracted driving, or more severe offenses like DUI or reckless driving, adhering to traffic laws is crucial for your safety and the safety of others on the road.
By staying informed about recent changes in traffic laws, knowing the consequences of violations, and seeking legal assistance when needed, you can navigate the legal process effectively and protect your driving record. Remember, responsible driving is not only a legal obligation but also a commitment to the well-being of yourself and your community.
If you find yourself facing a traffic violation in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is crucial to understand your rights and explore your legal options—such as fighting your ticket.
Working with a knowledgeable traffic ticket attorney can provide valuable guidance and advocacy throughout the legal process.
A skilled traffic ticket attorney can review the specifics of your case, assess the evidence against you, and develop a strong defense strategy. They can navigate the complexities of the legal system, negotiate with prosecutors, and potentially reduce or dismiss the charges you face. With their expertise, they can protect your rights, minimize the impact on your driving record, and guide you towards the best possible outcome.
Ticket Busters can help.
Our experienced traffic ticket attorneys have a deep understanding of Nevada’s traffic laws and can provide the legal support you need. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn how we can help you fight your traffic violation.