Can You Go to Jail for Running a Red Light?

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Nearly every traffic violation carries potential fines and most accrue points on your license. What few people realize, though, is that even the smallest traffic violations, like running a red light, disobeying a stop sign, or failure to yield right of way, carry the potential for jail time. Each of these violations, for example, can lead to a possible 15-day sentence. Does that mean you could actually do jail time for running a red light?

The vast majority of drivers will not end up in jail for minor violations; the possibility is only associated with traffic violations to provide judges with leverage when aggravating circumstances arise. This can include a situation where a person has a long history of traffic violations, when multiple violations led to the traffic stop, or where the violations were particularly egregious, such as running a stop sign at an excessive rate of speed.

Jail time is common for more serious offenses like driving without a valid license, drunk driving, or even reckless driving. These types of violations are more than a traffic citation – they are crimes and can lead to a permanent a criminal record.

If you’ve received a ticket for one or two minor traffic violations, such as running a red light and/or failure to yield right of way, you likely don’t have to worry about going to jail. Instead, you should concern yourself with the fines and the points on your license. A conviction for running a red light can cost up to $150, plus up a surcharge of up to $93, and carries two points on your license. Failure to yield right of way also costs up to $150 in fines ($275 if you failed to yield to an emergency vehicle), and carries three points on your license.

Even for minor traffic violations, you would be well advised to hire an attorney to avoid the consequences associated with a conviction. A conviction can significantly impact your auto insurance premiums, and accruing too many points on your license could result in a suspension. If you or a loved one has been ticked for a moving violation in New York, contact the Rosenblum Law right away. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.

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This post was written by Adam H. Rosenblum Esq.

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