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Traffic Tickets in Texas

If you have just received a traffic ticket in Texas, it can be a confusing experience. Sometimes we’re so shocked and distressed at receiving the ticket – that what the police officer says about handling the ticket just does not register. Listed below are some traffic ticket basics to help you understand the process better.

Traffic laws and regulations are an important and sizeable part of the Texas law code. These codes are enforced quite stringently as they serve the purpose of deterring unsafe driving and educating and reforming bad drivers. Habitual traffic offenders, drunk drivers (DWI) and most often teen drivers in Texas are in a habit of amassing traffic violations, while the majority of drivers on the road obey the laws at all times.

People continue to comply with the traffic rules and regulations when they believe they will be caught and penalized. Making a conscious and continuing effort to follow the traffic regulations is for your own safety as well as of others on the road – and it will help reduce your auto insurance costs in the long run.

Texas traffic ticket offenses

In the state of Texas, the majority of traffic tickets are issued for “strict-liability” offenses. In other words, your intent in committing the offense is not considered. You are in the wrong just by committing the traffic violation and no particular criminal intent is required to convict you of the offense. There are no such procedures of investigation and finding proof for conviction, as the only proof needed is that the offender flouted the prohibited traffic norm.

These strict-liability traffic offenses usually include:

- Speeding on state highways and city roads
- Failure to use turn signals
- Failure to yield
- Turning into the wrong lane
- Driving a car with burned-out headlights
- Parking in a spot without the required sticker
- Long overdue parking meters

Moving vs. non-moving Texas traffic violations

These instances apart, you must know about moving violations as well as non-moving violations. A vehicle that is in motion when it violates a traffic law, is a moving violation. This means that when people speed, or run a stop sign or a red light, and are responsible for drunk driving, they commit moving violations.

As opposed to this, a non-moving violation is about a car or vehicle which is stationery. The non-moving violations are usually related to parking or faulty equipment. So, if you have parked in a no-parking zone, in front of a fire hydrant, parked in front of an expired meter, have excessive muffler noise, you have committed non-moving traffic violations.

Traffic Violation Court

In Texas, there are a number of courts at the county and municipal levels, which can be confusing for people, as they wouldn’t know where to go with the ticket. Remember that in Texas, being issued a ticket from the Texas Department of Public Safety (Highway Patrol), a county sheriff, or a city policeman, your case is normally falls under the jurisdiction of the Justice of the Peace Court in that County.

As you may know, quite a few counties in the state are large and they may have a number of Justice of the Peace precinct courts. This means that the law enforcement agency which issued the ticket will be instrumental in determining the precinct court handling your ticket. So, your ticket will be handled by the Municipal Court in the city or County where you received the ticket. Because of the increased confusion about what court to appear in, instructions are now often printed on the traffic violation ticket.

Remember that many a time, good, safety-focused drivers can also get speeding tickets in Texas. So be careful every time you get on the road and follow rules to avoid being charged with a traffic violation.

InTexasAutoInsurance.com is the leading online auto insurance quote comparison resource in Texas. We offer quote comparisons for all drivers in Texas and can help you get the lowest premiums, even with speeding tickets on your record.