When changing lanes, it is necessary for a driver to signal what he is doing; either with the signal lights on his car or by hand and arm signals. Failing to do so can result in being pulled over by a police officer and being found guilty of a moving violation. Being found guilty brings serious consequences with it such as fines and penalties, especially for second or third offenses.
Fines and Penalties
Individuals found guilty of failing to signal a lane change can expect to pay a fine of up to $150, and could even spend up to 15 days in jail. Jail time is unlikely for first-time offenders, though. For second and third offenses, the amount of fines increases to between $250 and $400, and individuals could spend between 45 and 90 days in jail. If the result of the failure to signal lane change is an accident or injury, the fines and penalties will be more serious – including both fines and jail time.
Traffic Points and Impact on Driving Record
The traffic points for failure to signal a lane change are the same for most other moving violations, which is 2 points. Each offense receives 2 points and these points, when accumulated quickly, can result in a suspended driver’s license. These points can also make an individual’s insurance premiums rise, so that even after the initial fine is paid, one is still paying for the moving violation. For these reasons, individuals who feel they are not guilty of the moving violation may decide to fight the charge in court.
Hiring an Attorney
Individuals who decide to fight a failure to signal lane change charge should consider hiring an attorney to represent them in court. Attorneys are able to look at the details of a case and determine whether the individual has a chance of winning the court case or not. They can clearly represent exactly what happened to the court, increasing their client’s chances of receiving a lesser fine or penalties. In some cases, attorneys are able to have all charges against their clients dropped, as well. It’s a wise decision to hire an attorney to represent you if you’ve been charged with a moving violation like failure to signal a lane change.