If you have traveled from state to state, you may have subjected yourself to the watchful eye of a traffic camera. Running red lights or violating traffic laws happens from time to time – that is just part of the driving process. However, when it comes to out of state violations, most drivers harbor the false belief that a speeding ticket earned in one state stays in that state.
If you were an unfortunate recipient of a traffic ticket issued in the state of Arizona, but live out of state, then keeping yourself informed and taking the proper action can easily remedy the situation.
The Driver License Agreement and Driver License Compact
The most pertinent resource relating to interstate traffic violations is the Driver License Agreement (DLA) and the Driver License Compact (DLC). Through the agreement and compact, participating states are required to respect licenses issued by member states, share information regarding traffic violations with member and non-member states, and updating traffic violations in a larger database. The purpose of the DLC is to exchange information relating to license suspensions and traffic violations performed by out of state drivers. Even if you live in a state that does not participate in the DLC, your state often confirms to the rules of the agreement.
Reporting Traffic Violations to Your Home State
Upon receiving a traffic violation in Arizona, your home state will likely be notified. Keep in mind though that some states do not report certain traffic violations and that the mode of notification can vary. For example, if you received a speeding ticket in Arizona for driving 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, your home state may choose not to apply the violation on your record. On the other hand, if you were speeding 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, your state will likely apply the violation. You may want to contact your home state MVD to find out the potential consequence of the violation before choosing to pay or fight the ticket.
Arizona Traffic Violation and the Effect on Your Driver’s Record at Home
While it may seem that getting a ticket in Arizona does not relate to the driving record in your home state, the opposite is true. A ticket in Arizona can affect the driving record that you have in your home state, but your home state decides the severity of each violation, typically using a points system. For example, Arizona gives 3 points for a speeding ticket, regardless of the alleged speed. A Colorado, resident may receive a higher number of points depending on how far over the speed limit you were driving. You may receive 3 points on your license in Arizona for going 9 miles over the speed limit. The same citation for a Colorado-licensed driver would result in 1 point on their license.
Handle the Citation Correctly
Any driver in Arizona knows the state has a number of photo radar traffic cameras that lead to red light and speeding tickets. These cameras do have a rate of error. Many drivers loathe these cameras as being unconstitutional. One reason is that an officer that pulled you over to issue a ticket has the discretion whether to cite you or not given the circumstances and conditions that exist at the time he or she pulled you over. If you received a traffic ticket during your time in Arizona, it is imperative that you take the right action.
When receiving a traffic ticket in Arizona, there are three actions that you can take: pay the ticket, complete defensive driving school, if eligible, or fight the ticket.
While paying the ticket may seem like the easier option to avoid fines and points against your record, there are many other negative repercussions. For example, not only could your state treat the foreign traffic violation as if it occurred in your state, but you will also need to pay a hefty traffic fine, pay higher insurance rates, and you may even need to attend a driving program in your home state.
Another option is to contest the traffic ticket. If you are interested in fighting the ticket and believe that you are not guilty of the traffic violation, then do not pay the ticket. Most fail to realize that paying the ticket is an admission of guilt and a waiver of service. Once you decide to contest the traffic ticket, you will be summoned to contest the ticket during a hearing. Instead of dealing with the hassle of a hearing and the many challenges that come with pro per representation, it is in your best interest to hire a traffic lawyer.
Hiring an Arizona Traffic Lawyer
Hiring the right Arizona traffic lawyer is one of the surest ways to protect your interests in the matter of a traffic violation that took place in Arizona. For the best results, you contact an experienced attorney that knows the nuances of traffic violations.
There are three actions that your Arizona traffic lawyer should attempt:
- Get the charges dismissed by showing you were not responsible
- Get the charges reduced or amended to lessen the impact on your driving record
- Negotiate for a plea deal
Ultimately, the best outcome is to get the charges dismissed. To attain dismissal, the attorney can assert a few defenses. For example, your traffic attorney may argue that the camera erred or that the officer did not have the requisite suspicion to pull you over. Either way, with a knowledgeable attorney who understands Arizona traffic laws, you can ensure that you receive an outcome that fully protects you and your rights.
At Tyler Allen Law Firm, we provide clients with the best defense possible. Our traffic violations team can protect your interests in an Arizona traffic violation case. If you think that you have been unfairly issued an Arizona traffic ticket and you live in a foreign jurisdiction, then call us at 602-456-0545 or fill out our contact form today. We will ensure that you get the high-quality and attentive representation that you deserve.