Failure to signal, which is treated as a non-criminal traffic infraction in certain states, while a criminal misdemeanor in others, is generally a low-level violation of traffic laws. If convicted, a driver will incur a pre-determined number of points to his or her license, which will vary in number by state and whether a given state utilizes a points system, as well as be required to pay a fine. In general, failure to signal offenses carry limited or low point total and fines, relatively and when compared to other traffic violations offenses, failure to signal offenses are typically minor offenses.
As relatively minor as the failure to signal offense may be in most states, the reality is that these offenses accrue points upon conviction, or in other words, place a demerit in driver's record. This information may be used to increase insurance premiums rates, factor into future administrative action based on point totals, or commence administrative action based on points totals. In general, save for cases where the citation of failure to signal is easily disputed, a driver will likely consider contesting a failure to signal citation in the event the citation will jeopardize the validity of a driver's license. For example, a driver may accrue sufficient enough points from the otherwise relatively minor failure to signal offense to warrant mandatory suspension of his or her license based on points totals.
Another scenario where the implications of a failure to yield conviction may present more complications than the fine and addition to one's driving record will stem from the conviction being used in civil actions. If a failure to signal citation stems from an accident, which ultimately may lead to litigation, a driver will not fare well from having a conviction for an offense or breach of traffic laws, which is being cited as the cause of the accident.
In practice, the only definitive method to defend against a failure to signal offense will be through carefully applying the applicable traffic or criminal statutes one is accused of violating and juxtaposing these statutes with the evidence and information present in the specific driver's case. In practice, having legal counsel advise and represent a driver during this process is highly beneficial and likely to produce more favorable outcomes than through pro se defenses. Consult with a traffic violations lawyer to learn more about your legal options and defense capabilities in light of a failure to signal citation today.