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Azcourts.gov

Arizona Judicial Branch

     

    Traffic Law

    Traffic violations are generally divided into two categories: parking violations and moving violations. Moving violations are the more serious of the two and carry stiffer consequences. Moving violations are either civil traffic violations or criminal traffic violations. Examples of civil traffic violations are unlawful lane change, or running a red light. Criminal traffic violations include felony or misdemeanor driving under the influence (DUI), speeding in a school zone, reckless endangerment, vehicular manslaughter, driving without insurance, and driving on a suspended license.
     
    • The Arizona Department of Transportation provides real-time traffic information, freeway camera images, statewide weather forecasts and an overview of the freeway management system. This site also provides information about road restrictions throughout the entire state.
    • The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division web site provides information about licensing drivers and vehicles for operation on Arizona's roads. The site contains downloadable manuals, customer service information and sample tests for getting licenses.
    • The Defensive Driving School Information web site is for individuals who have received a traffic citation and wish to have the citation dismissed through the completion of a class.
    • Maricopa County Justice Courts web page gives descriptions of what a person's rights are and what the court process is when dealing with traffic violations.
     
        You have the following rights as a civil traffic defendant:
    • The right to have a civil traffic hearing before a judge or a civil traffic hearing officer.
    • The right to be represented by counsel at the hearing. If you choose to be represented by counsel you must notify the court in writing at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing date, otherwise you waive your right to be represented by an attorney. The court does not appoint attorneys for civil traffic violations.
    • The right to question witnesses testifying against you and cross-examine them as to the truthfulness of their testimony.
    • The right to present evidence on your behalf and the right to have subpoenas issued by the court at no cost to you to compel the attendance of witnesses.
    • The right to appeal the outcome of the civil traffic hearing. There is however, no right to appeal a judgment entered by default as a result of your failure to appear.
      You also have the following rights for defendants with misdemeanor or criminal traffic violations:
    • The right to a trial before a judge, and in some cases, before a jury.
    • The right to be represented by an attorney at all stages of the case. In some cases, if you are unable to pay for an attorney, the court may appoint an attorney for you. You will have to provide evidence that you are indigent or are unable to afford an attorney. The court may require that you contribute a reasonable amount towards attorney fees.
    • The right to confront witnesses and cross-examine them as to the truthfulness of their testimony.
    • The right to have subpoenas issued by the court at no cost to you to compel the attendance of witnesses.
    • The right to remain silent and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
    • The right to appeal. There is no right to appeal a guilty plea.