Driving Wrong Way Down One-Way Road

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One Way driving is usually indicated by a sign with an arrow pointing the appropriate direction of travel for that street. Occasionally, by driver error or a sign that is not visible, a driver will travel the wrong direction on a one way street. This is an illegal traffic violation. At times, police officers will honk the horn or otherwise give you a warning that you are headed the wrong way. Other times, you may receive a ticket.

Fines and Penalties

Fines are generally in the area of $100-$120. However, the fines can be disputed if the sign was not visible or there was another logical reason for traveling the wrong way down a one way street. These fines could be increasingly inflated should there be other offenses involved such as intoxication. Assuming there is one charge, and that is driving the wrong way down a one way roadway, the above penalties are the norm.

Points and Impact on Driving Record/License

Some States add 2 points to a license for driving the wrong way down a one way roadway. There are normally fines involved which average in the area of $100. The court may impose one, or both penalties. Again, these penalties can be increased if there are other charges included. For instance, you could have a ticket for driving the wrong way down a one way roadway and one for reckless driving. Each will have its own penalty involved.

Hiring a Lawyer to Defend a Wrong-Way Violation

Many people consider hiring a lawyer for such a trivial matter a waste of time. However, It is not a trivial matter if points are added to your license or you are given a fine. Often, but not always, a lawyer can get the charges dropped and many times get the fines lowered. Most people go into the courtroom alone and are basically at the mercy of the prosecutor and the judge. It is always better to have someone who understands the law on your side.

State Fines and Penalties

Choose the first letter of your State

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State Avg. Fines Points Traffic School License Suspension Rate Jail
Alabama Up to $165 4 points on record, insurance rates expected to increase No, but judge and case specific circumstances allow for traffic school as means of dismissing ticket Case Specific Exluded from point count after two (2) years, unstated officially regarding driving record, but typically, never more than three (3) years
Alaska Up to $100 2 points on record, expect negligible insurance rate increases Yes, more than 6 points in a year for provision license holders. Traffic school can be used once annually to reduce overall point total Two (2) suspensions based on points in two (2) years Point accumulating offenses on driving record for five (5) years
Arizona Law enforcement discretion 2 points on record, expect negligible insurance rate increases Not required, but voluntary attendance will dismiss ticket and avoid being placed on driving record Case Specific Point accumulating offenses on driving record for five (5) years
Arkansas Not more than $100 3 points on record, expect insurance rate increases Case specific, but potentially required License revocation on case specific basis Point accumulating offenses on driving record up to five (5) years
California Up to $100 1 point on record, expect premiums to increase Yes, case specific, but one offense per eighteen months may be masked from public view if completing traffic school License suspension reinstatement automatically requires adminstrative hearing One (1) point offenses remain on record for three (3) years, two (2) point offenses remain on record for seven (7) years
Colorado $80 to $120 3 points on record, expect insurance rate increases Yes, case specific, but will not dimiss points from record Hearing required to determine on case specific basis, 12 points accumulated equals mandatory suspension Point accumulating offenses on driving record no less than seven (7) years
Connecticut $168 1 point on record or more if illegal passing maneuver, expect premiums to increase May be required by clerk, dismissal of fines or points possible through clerk approved traffic school arrangement Ten (10) points accrued result in suspension, revocation case specific pending hearing Points remain on driver record for two (2) years
Delaware Officer Discretion 2 points on record, expect negligible insurance rate increases Yes, case specific and required, may be used to reduce overall point count Accumulation of fourteen (14) points means mandatory suspension for four (4) months Points offenses remain on record at least three (3) years and up to more than five (5) pending offense
DC Officer Discretion 2 to 3 points assessed on record Yes, may be required, and can be used as means of reducing point total 10 points accumulated requires 90-day suspension, 12 point accumulation requires revocation needing official reinstatement Points remain on driver's record for two (2) years
Florida Officer discretion 3 points on record, expect insurance rate increases Yes, and basic driver improvement courses are option for dimissing points Twelve (12) points in one (1) year requires mandatory suspension, revocation is case specific and determined by hearing Offenses resulting in points kept on driving record for seven (7) years
Georgia Court discretion, typically $150 to $325 3 points assessed, expect insurance premiums increase Yes, and potentially used for one violation reduction every five (5) years Accumulation of fifteen (15) points in two years results in suspension Offenses resulting in points kept on driving record for seven (7) years
Hawaii Officer discretion Point system not applicable in state Yes, may be mandated in event of serious offenses Case specific Offenses may remain on traffic abstract for no more than ten (10) years
Idaho Officer discretion $10 to $141.5 Up to 3 points assessed, expect insurance increases Yes, once every three (3) years, drivers may reduce point total by three points Risk of suspension after 11 points in one (1) year or 17 points in two (2) years Point accumulating offenses on driving record for three (3) years
Illinois $75 5 points assessed, expect insurance rates to increase Yes, required for some offenses, can be used as means of dismissing points in lieu of license suspension Mandatory suspension for accumulation of 15 points, revocations begin at 110 points Point accumulating offenses remain on record four (4) to five (5) years
Indiana Always in excess of $100, larger fines typically at officer discretion as well 6 point violation, expect significant rate increases Yes, driver safety program required in case specific situations and in lieu of point total nearing suspension levels Suspension based on hearing if driver accrues more than 18 points in two (2) years Point accumulating offenses remain on record for two (2) years
Iowa Case specific None, violation may increase insurance premium rates though Yes, courts may require driver improvement program Suspension required if three (3) or more violations assessed in one (1) year period Point and other violations remain on record for at least five (5) years
Kansas $116 up to $176 Does not adhere to point system Yes, may be required, and may be done every three (3) years to garner better insurance premiums Conviction of three (3) moving violations in one (1) year risks license suspension Violation convictions on record up to five (5) years
Kentucky $20 up to not more than $100 4 points on record, insurance rates expected to increase Yes, can elect to attend once per year if eligible to dismiss violation for given offense causing attendance Suspension hearing required if accumualted more than twelve (12) points in two (2) year period Points expire after two (2) years, but remain on driver record for five (5) years
Louisiana Not more than $175 for first offense No point system, reported to PDPS Yes, may be required, and can be used to suspend conviction of violation Specific violations result in suspension, including the vague wording of "excessive violations", number not noted Less than ten (10) years convictions remain on driving record
Maine No less than $25 and not more than $500 4 points on record, insurance rates expected to increase Yes, may be mandated, can be used to dimiss three (3) demerit points per one (1) year period License suspension for fifteen (15) days required for persons with more than 12 demerit points in 12 month period Violations remain on driving record for three (3) years up to no more than ten (10) years
Maryland Juridictional discretion, not more than $500 by state law 1 point assessed, 3 points assessed if cause of accident None License revoked for drivers with 12 points (19 if driver using vehicle for employment) in two (2) years Violations expunged from driving record every three (3) year cycle
Massachusetts Not more than $50 No surchargeable points assessed for first offense, 2 points for second Yes, required if driver accumulates five (5) surchargeable events in three (3) years License suspensions begin with three (3) speeding violations being recorded in a one (1) year period All driving records remain in affect from "mid-eighties" to present
Michigan Jurisdictional, not more than $250 in almost all cases 2 points assessed Yes, potentially mandated Accrual of 12 points on two (1) year period subject driver to license suspension of not more than one (1) year Points remain on driving record ever more than ten (10) years, affecting insurance rates for about three (3) years
Minnesota Not more than $200 None, violations may increase insurance premium rates though Yes, courts may require driver imporvement course in lieu of or on top of existing offenses Conviction of three (3) offenses in one (1) year results in license suspension, length determined via hearing Offense counts ended on yearly cycle
Mississippi Not more than $100 first offense, not more than $200 second offense in one (1) year No point system in state Yes, potentially mandated, but can be used to dimiss offenses Suspension or revocation at discretion of licensing agency Offenses maintained on active record for more than four (4) years
Missouri Not more than $200 2 points assessed Yes, either mandated or voluntarily undergone to reduce point total Driver subject to suspension for accumulation of more than 8 points in eighteen (18) months Moving violations maintained on record up to three (3) years, suspension on record for five (5) years
Montana $10 to $100 for first offense 2 points assessed, expect rates to increase Yes, potentially mandated as sanction, but will not reduce or dismiss points Accrual of 6 points in eighteen (18) months makes driver subject to sanctions, but accrual of 15 points in thirty-six (36) months mandates suspension Points applied to record for three (3) years, but traffic violations remain in state database permanently
Nebraska First offense not more than $100, second offense not more than $200 1 point assessed, expect negligible rate increases Yes, possibly mandated as sanction, but also, can be used to remove 2 points every five (5) years Accumulation of 12 points in two (2) years immediately revokes license for six (6) months Driver's record viewed as public record, and infractions remain visible indefinitely
Nevada Not more than $1,000 for any offense, generally significantly less 1 to 2 points assessed Yes, potentially required, but also, can be used once per one (1) year period to reduce points voluntarily Accrual of 12 points in twelve (12) months results in six (6) month license suspension Driver records maintained for three (3) years for private individuals, longer for commercial drivers
New Hampshire Not more than $1,000 4 points assessed, expect insurance premiums increase Yes, required in some instances and as possible means of reducing points Accrual of 12 points in twelve (12) months results in three (3) month license suspension Points remain on driving record for three (3) years using Jan.1 as effective start date of three year period
New Jersey No less than $50 and not more than $200 2 to 4 points incurred, expect rates to increase Yes, case pending may be required, otherwise can be used to remove 2 points from record Accrual of 12 points in two (2) year period requires 30 day suspension of license Driver history abstract available in complete form or within five (5) year period
New Mexico $10 to $200 3 points assessed Yes, may be mandated or voluntarily undergone for points reduction Accumulation of 7 to 10 points in one (1) year may result in three (3) month suspension, pending hearing Driving record offenses and violations remain on record for an average of five (5) years
New York Not more than $30 to $100 3 points added to driver record, expect rate increases Yes, potentially required in specific cases, and may be used to remove up to 4 points in some cases Accumulation of 11 points in eighteen (18) month period results in one (1) month license suspension Driving record points may be removed no later than four (4) years from offense, but potetnial to view last ten (10) years of record available
North Carolina Not more than $100 2 points assessed, expect rates to increase Yes, driver improvement clinics may be mandated, and can be used once every five (5) years for 3 point reduction Accumulation of more than 12 points in three (3) years makes license subject to suspension Driving record points counted against driver for up to three (3) years, and violations on record available for viewing up to seven (7) years
North Dakota Not more than $500 for infraction 2 point incurred, expect rates to increase Yes, and driver may elect to undergo driver improvement course once annually to reduce by 2 points Every point accumulated above 11 points requires seven (7) day license suspension Violations older than three (3) years do not remain on driving record
Ohio Not more than $100 for first offense 2 to 4 points incurred, expect rates to increase Yes, remedial dirving instruction may be legally required to reinstate driving priviledges Accumulation of more than 12 points in two (2) years makes drivers subject to six (6) month suspension Violtaions older than three (3) years are not included in current driving record
Oklahoma Not less than $20 not more than $500 2 points assessed Yes, potentially mandated, but also can be used to reduce 2 points Accumulation of more than 10 points subjects driver to license suspension of one (1) month Offenses in last three (3) years are recorded on driving records
Oregon Not more than $300 No point system Yes, if mandated, but not possible to reduce offense total Conviction of four (4) offenses in eighteen (18) month period requires hearing with driver improvement interview Offenses and convictions for traffic violations remain on record more than five (5) years
Pennsylvania Over $25 3 points assessed, expect increases Yes, if mandated as sanction, but not means of reducing violation or dismissing points Accumulation of more than 6 points requires examination, accumulation of 6 more points requires hearing of potential suspension Violations remain on record for three (3) years, and for employment checks only, ten (10) year records can be obtained
Rhode Island $50 fine No point system Yes, if mandated by licensing authority Incurring three or more major violations in three year period results in one to five year suspension of license Records of violations and offenses kept for three (3) years
South Carolina Not more than $200 for first offense 4 points assessed, expect insurance premiums increase Yes, potentially mandated and means of removing 4 points Accumulation of 12 points in twelve months results in suspension, points older than one (1) year counted at half value Driving records are available in three (3) and ten (10) year increments
South Dakota Not more than $200 for first offense 4 points assessed, expect insurance premiums increase No Accumulating 15 more points in one (1) year, or 22 points in two (2) year period results in suspension of 60 days Driving records of offenses and violations maintained indefintitely, points remain on record for three (3) years
Tennessee Not more than $50 for first offense 4 points assessed, expect insurance premiums increase Yes, may be mandated, and drivers may reduce points through course once every five (5) years Accumulation of more than 12 points in one (1) year period results in license suspension Driving records maintained for three (3) years
Texas $1 to $200 per state statutes 2 points assessed Yes, potentially required, and may be used to dismiss violation Incurring four (4) or more violations in one (1) year runs risk of suspension Driving record offenses and violations remain on record for no more than five (5) years
Utah Officer and court authority discretion 60 points assessed Yes, possibly court mandated, and if necessary, can be used once every three (3) years to remove 50 points Accumulating more than 200 points on license, if over 21 years old, in three (3) year period results in mandatory suspension of three (3) months Moving violations remain on driving record for three (3) years
Vermont Not more than $175 for first offense 2 to 3 points assessed on record Yes, possibly required as part of license reinstatement Incuring 10 or more points in two (2) year period results in license suspension Violations remain on record for no more than three (3) years
Virginia Not more than $200 3 point violation assessed Yes, driver improvement clinic may be required, and possibly used to offset 5 demerit points Accumulating more than 18 points in one (1) year, or more than 24 points in two (2) years results in license suspension Moving violations remain on driving record for three (3) years and speeding violations remain on record for five (5) years in state
Washington Not more than $250 State does not adhere to point system Yes, potentially required by court authority Accruing four (4) offenses in one (1) year or five (5) offenses in two (2) years leaves potential for authority to suspend license as desired Moving violations and accidents remain on driving record for five (5) years
West Virginia Not more than $100 3 point violation assessed Yes, drivers may be legally bound to attend, and attendance may reduce points as well Accumulating more than 12 points results in license suspension for no more than one (1) year at discretion of authority Driving record offenses and violations remain on record for an average of five (5) years
Wisconsin $40 to $300 for first offense, fine double for second offense 4 points incurred Yes, sometimes required, but voluntarily taken can reduce points by 3 every five (5) years Incurring 12 or more points in one (1) year makes driver subject to suspension at discretion of authority Violations, suspensions, and revocations remain on record for five (5) years from date of conviction
Wyoming No more than $200 State does not adhere to point system No Conviction of four (4) violations in one (1) year period results in 90 day suspension Violations remain on driver's record for no more than three (3) years
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