Tickets & Violations in New Mexico
If you've received a New Mexico traffic ticket, don't panic: you're certainly not the first. Depending on the violation, the consequences may not be too serious, but nonetheless, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you keep a clean driving record or deal properly with the fallout. Tackling this kind of sticky situation head-on is the best way to avoid trouble down the line.
Moving and Non-Moving Violations
Moving violations are generally more serious than non-moving violations, and fall into a separate category of enforcement. A non-moving violation can be as simple as a parking ticket, meaning the citation won't be treated with the force of law accorded to a DUI, for example. Non-moving violations can be more serious - leaving your car unattended on the freeway could mean points on your record and a hefty fine. But generally it's the more innocuous category, and won't require hiring a traffic attorney or appearing in court.
Types of Moving and Non-Moving Violations
Moving violations include:
- Running a red light
- Not wearing a seat belt
Non-moving violations include:
- Illegal parking
- Driving without registration
- Driving with missing license plates
- Leaving a running vehicle unattended
Paying Your Traffic Ticket
Most simple New Mexico moving violations can be settled by simply paying the fine. However, you should make sure that you're comfortable with the consequences of doing so. Paying the fine means you're pleading guilty to the violation and agreeing to the punishment. One ticket may not seem like too much to worry about, but if you plead guilty to several over the course of your driving life, it could begin to add up on your record. You could find yourself accumulating points, which can lead to license suspension.
Fighting Your Traffic Ticket
Fighting the ticket can often mean a better outcome negotiated by you and, if you wish, your traffic attorney. (If you will be appearing in court, consider engaging someone who knows the law and can protect your interests.) It will mean a fair amount of preparation - gathering witnesses, developing your argument, and so forth - but it can ultimately help you maintain a clean driving record.
New Mexico Point System
Depending on the severity of the violation, getting a New Mexico traffic ticket can result in points being added to your record. In addition to eventual license suspension, you can find yourself paying sharply increased insurance premiums. Here are a few examples to give you an idea of the system:
- Child restraint issues
- Improper turn signaling
- Not wearing your seat belt
- Failure to yield
- Illegal passing
- Speeding 16-25 mph over the posted limit
- Reckless driving
- Passing a school bus that's unloading children
- Speeding 26 mph or more over the posted limit
It can all add up pretty quickly, so do your best to avoid New Mexico traffic violations in the first place. You may also take a defensive driving course for ticket and point dismissal; check with your court to see if you're eligible.