What Counts as a Moving Violation in Florida?

The definition of a moving violation in Florida and the common penalties.

Normally, the term “moving violation” makes people think of speeding tickets, running stop signs, and the like. However, in Florida, a moving violation can include many violations that don’t even require a moving vehicle. Here is some information on what qualifies as a moving violation in Florida and the consequences of a moving violation ticket.

What Is a Moving Violation?

The term “moving violation” is simply a category for certain violations involving motor vehicles. Moving violations often involve driving behavior that could pose a risk to other drivers or pedestrians. From a driver’s perspective, the main difference between moving and non-moving violations is moving violations result in demerit points on the driver’s record and non-moving violations do not.

Among the more common moving violations are speeding, running red lights, and reckless driving. But a violation doesn’t necessarily have to involve the vehicle being actually in motion to be deemed a moving violation. For example, a driver can be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI)—which is considered a moving violation—without actually putting the vehicle in motion. So long as the driver is in “actual physical control” of the vehicle (for instance, by sitting in the driver’s seat while the vehicle is idling), a DUI conviction is possible. Similarly, a driver who’s stopped in the middle of the road impeding traffic could be ticketed for a moving violation.

But many vehicle violations related to equipment, such as broken headlights or no seatbelts, are considered nonmoving violations. The distinctions can be a bit confusing, so Florida law explicitly lists which violations are moving and non-moving.

What Are the Consequences of a Moving Violation Ticket?

A moving violation conviction typically carries a fine (often $50 to $200), court costs (usually $30), and traffic violation demerit points. However, moving violations that are misdemeanors and felonies carry much more serious penalties, including jail time.

Demerit points. Under Florida’s traffic violation point system, each moving violation is assigned a certain number of points. Generally, more serious violations result in a larger number of points. Acquiring too many points will result in license suspension as follows:

  • 12 points in 12 months will result in license suspension for up to 30 days
  • 18 points in 18 months will result in license suspension for up to three months, and
  • 24 points in 36 months will result in license suspension for up to one year.

Driving school. Certain moving violations are eligible for dismissal for drivers who are willing to complete a driver improvement course. Eligible drivers who complete the course can avoid the points normally assigned for a moving violation ticket. A driver can use this option once every 12 months.

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