Major vs. Minor Traffic Convictions

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of immense dread when your call is pulled over. You have to worry about whether you’re about to face a minor or major conviction for your actions. Some offences will count as demerits and increase your insurance rates, while others will only involve a fine or the suspension of your license for some time. If you’re curious about which driving violations are major or minor offences, keep reading; we’ll also cover the most serious charges:

Minor Traffic Convictions

These tickets are the most common and the least impactful. They involve minor violations, like not wearing a seatbelt or running a red light. When you’re caught doing one of these acts, officers will issue a modest fine and a ticket. Speeding is another minor offence, but depending on how far over the speed limit you were going, it may be considered a major or criminal one. You will likely receive demerits, but you will not necessarily see an increase in your insurance rates. Other minor offences include:

  • Having more passengers than seatbelts
  • Not signalling at a turn
  • Your headlights are burned out
  • You were tailgating another vehicle

Major Traffic Convictions

When you receive a major traffic ticket, you can expect more demerits, a bigger fine, and insurance increases. Your license may be suspended for some time. These include situations like speeding in a school zone, not reporting a traffic accident, and driving without insurance. Distracted driving is another violation, which includes texting and driving. These offences are considered major because they endanger the lives of other drivers or pedestrians. It is possible to fight a major ticket; your odds of succeeding will increase if you consult with a criminal lawyer. Here are a few more examples of major traffic convictions:

  • Passing a school bus improperly (failing to stop or not leaving enough distance)
  • Going over the speed limit in a construction area
  • Failure to change lanes and stop the vehicle when an ambulance approaches

Criminal Offences

A serious traffic offence carries major implications for the driver. If you violate one of these traffic laws, you can expect to be criminally charged and have your license suspended. The first example is driving while impaired, which includes blood alcohol concentration and THC blood concentration. Driving recklessly, which includes speeding and racing other vehicles, is another violation. Vehicular manslaughter is when an accident takes the life of someone else – another driver, passenger, or pedestrian. Another serious offence is fleeing the scene after an accident.

After a ticket is paid, it is considered a conviction. The more convictions that you have, the more you can expect to pay in insurance premiums (even for two minor offences). The insurance provider may decline coverage altogether if you have too many convictions. A driver has up to two weeks to decide whether they will pay or fight the ticket and attempt to have the charges dismissed. 

When you’re involved in a serious offence, you need a Winnipeg criminal lawyer. If you can contest a ticket, you can avoid serious penalties like demerits, increased insurance fees, and even jail time. With expert attorney, Matthew Gould, you will receive competent legal representation when you need it the most.