Following too closely is considered a moving violation, and individuals can receive fines and penalties if they are found guilty of it. Drivers should stay at least two car-lengths from the vehicle in front of them to avoid being guilty of following too closely. First offenders will receive a fine, while second and third offenders could receive heavy fines, and even jail time. Following too closely is a major cause of accidents in the US.
In most states, the fine for following too closely is approximately $125 for the first offense. The individual found guilty of following too closely could technically be put in jail for 15 days as well, however, most of the time with a first offense, jail time is unlikely. If an individual is found guilty more than once for following too closely, the jail time and fines become harsher, and jail time may be more likely. Also, if the violation caused accidents or injuries, the penalties may be harsher with the added chance for a lawsuit from the victims.
Following too closely usually results in 2 demerit points being placed on the driving record of the individual found guilty. When an individual accumulates too many driving points in a particularly short amount of time, he or she could face having their driver's licenses suspended temporarily. Depending upon the number of times an individual has been found guilty of following too closely, more points could be placed on the record. This typically means that individuals will have to pay increased car insurance premiums, as car insurance companies want to protect themselves when insuring unsafe drivers.
Individuals who have been accused of following too closely should consider hiring an attorney to defend them in court. In some cases, individuals truly are not guilty of the violation and an attorney can work with them to prove that to the court. Attorneys are also more likely to receive reduced charges and fines on behalf of their clients. Since attorneys know the traffic laws in-depth, they're able to find weak points in the case and help their clients receive the lightest possible fines and penalties. Most attorneys offer free consultations where individuals can learn about their rights and options under the law.