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What Are Traffic Violations And Infractions In Nevada?

Traffic violations and infractions are offenses that are contrary to the civil or safe use of public roads in Nevada, as specified by the Nevada Traffic Law. These violations and infraction result in civil or criminal liability imposed by Nevada Judiciary on the erring driver or road user. Every driver in the state will have a chronological record of traffic violations and infractions maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV). In keeping with Nevada’s Open Government practices, the DMV makes non-confidential driving records publicly available to requesters. Likewise, is an independent repository for records related to traffic violations and infractions in the state.

What Are Felony & Misdemeanor Traffic Violations In Nevada?

Traffic violations are offenses that result in criminal liability for the offender. These violations are further classified as felonies or misdemeanors to demonstrate the severity of the crime. Felony traffic violations are traffic offenses committed with criminal intent directly or resulted in serious damage to life and property, directly or indirectly. The statutory punishment for a traffic felony is jail time and fines.

Furthermore, Nevada has a three-strike law that imposes severe penalties such as jail time and heavy fines on habitual offenders per NRS 207.010. Nevada also organizes felonies into five categories (A to E). In descending order, the felonies and their statutory punishment are viz:

  • Category A—Life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty
  • Category B—Eight (8) to twenty (20) years in prison and fines
  • Category C—Two (2) to five (5) years and up to $10,000 in fines
  • Category D—19 months to four (4) years and up to $5,000 in fines
  • Category E—Sentence may be suspended and the individual serves 1-year probation or 1 to 4 years imprisonment

Examples of Felony Traffic Violations in Nevada

The following are examples of traffic violations considered felonies:

  • Vehicular homicide
  • DUI resulting in debilitating injury or death
  • Third DUI offense in 7 years
  • DUI and previous conviction of felony DUI
  • Unlawful transportation of a material that can cause bodily harm
  • Willful and malicious destruction or obstruction of railroad tracks
  • Negligent vehicular overloading resulting in death
  • Conscientious possession of fraudulent driving documents

What are Traffic Misdemeanors in Nevada?

To put it into perspective on the traffic offense scale, traffic misdemeanors are higher than infractions but lower than felonies. Thus, the erring driver may incur criminal liability in addition to civil sanctions. Traffic misdemeanors in Nevada are punishable by community service, probation, fines, or jail time up to 1 year.

Examples of Traffic Misdemeanors in Nevada

Per the Nevada Traffic Laws, here are some examples of traffic misdemeanors:

  • Reckless driving
  • Jaywalking
  • First or second DUI with no injuries
  • Participating in or organzing unathorized street racing
  • Occupying a mobile home deemed unsafe to health

What Constitutes a Traffic Infraction in Nevada?

Nevada traffic infractions are the least serious of traffic offenses because the consequence is a civil liability in the form of a traffic citation, penalty points, and completing a defensive driving course. However, the DMV or court will suspend the license of erring drivers who commit several infractions within a short period. The Department of Motor Vehicles assesses penalty points with a point system and records demerit points against the driver’s license.

Examples of Traffic Infractions in Nevada

Some of the traffic infractions in Nevada include:

  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Violating a traffic signal or stop sign
  • Violating the Nevada cell phone law
  • Following too closely
  • Failure to dim headlights

How Does a Traffic Ticket Work In Nevada? 

A traffic ticket or citation is an official notice of violating traffic laws and ordinances within a jurisdiction in Nevada. A peace officer or an authorized official of the DMV with cause may issue a ticket at the scene of an infraction. By law, the ticket must contain the following information:

  • The traffic citation number
  • The name and address of the accused
  • The state registration number of the vehicle, if applicable
  • Driver’s license number, if present
  • The offense(s) charged

Drivers who receive traffic tickets in Nevada must respond within 5 days. Generally, the erring driver has two options for resolving a ticket. On one hand, the driver may choose to pay the fines on the ticket, which is tantamount to an admission of guilt. On the other hand, the driver may choose to contest the ticket in court. Either way, this must be done within 5 days or the driver may face additional administrative sanctions and costs.

  • Paying: To pay a ticket, the individual may visit the local court in person or pay the ticket online. For offenders who cannot pay the full fine at once, they may petition the court for a payment plan.
  • Contesting: To contest a ticket, enter a not guilty plea at the presiding court. The court will schedule a hearing date when the driver will defend their actions or prove prejudice on the issuing officer’s part.
  • Not responding: Whether intentional or not, ignoring a traffic ticket or failing to respond with five (5) days can result in unsavory consequences. This can be more severe than the initial offense. To prevent this, the court often issues a notice to appear before the due date on the ticket. If a driver chooses to ignore, the court will provide an opportunity to perform community service to satisfy the entire amount due before issuing a warrant for arrest. Bear in mind that completing the court-imposed community service is also an admission of guilt.

There are service providers that offer to resolve traffic tickets on their client’s behalf. This service is often subscription-based and useful if the driver has multiple tickets in different jurisdictions.

Difference Between a Moving and Non-moving Violation

A moving violation refers to a traffic violation that occurred while the vehicle is in motion. Common examples are speeding and driving with an unrestrained minor. For the former, the officer will issue a speeding ticket. Nevada also awards demerit points for speeding.

Meanwhile, a non-moving violation occurs if the vehicle is not in motion, regardless of whether the driver is in the car or not. A common example is parking by a fire hydrant, which attracts a parking ticket. 

Nevada regards the first violation of the cell phone law as a non-moving violation and does not award a penalty point. A DUI does not attract a demerit point. Instead, it results in the automatic suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. Furthermore, the DMV issues a warning for accruing 3—11 points. The Department also notifies the driver of a suspension order upon the accumulation of more than 12 points in 12 months. Suspended drivers have the right to an administrative hearing before the suspension is final.

How to Get a Traffic Ticket Dismissed In Nevada

The individual must begin by filing a petition to contest in the local court. They must do this within 5 days. The court will schedule a hearing date if the driver enters a “not guilty” plea. The chances of dismissing a traffic ticket in Nevada increases if the driver demonstrates innocence, good cause for the violation, or prejudice by the issuing officer. If successful, the judge may dismiss the ticket outright or substitute the ticket with completing traffic safety course.

Are Driving Records Public In Nevada?

Yes, the Nevada Public Records Act permits access to driving records that do not contain personal identifying information. For detailed driving records, Nevada has restrictive privacy laws that prevent the release of driving records to third parties. Thus, the DMV will not disseminate any information on a specific driver’s license or registration to a third party without a notarized release from the person named on the record.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides in or was accused in. 

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How To Find Driving Records In Nevada?

A driving record also called a driving history, is a collection of law enforcement records of an individual’s driving activities. It contains information pertaining to the driver’s license suspension, past as well as outstanding penalty points, tickets, accidents, and their personal information. Requests for driving records are made in person, by mail, or online.

  • In-person request: Requesters may obtain a 3-year or 10-year history from self-service kiosks at the nearest DMV office. Requesters do not have to complete a form for in-person requests but they must provide their license.
  • Mail request: This involves completing and mailing an Application for Individual Record Information to the Records Section of the DMV. Third-party requesters must also attach a completed authorization letter from the driver and a notarized affidavit. Furthermore, individuals who wish to pay with a credit card must complete a payment authorization form. Requesters must enclose the forms, copy of their license, check, or money order payable to DMV in a self-addressed stamped envelope. The DMV charges $8.00 per request and $5.00 for certification. Self-service kiosks charge a $1.00 processing fee. You may consult the DMV’s fee schedule if you wish.

Direct requests to:

DMV Records Section

555 Wright Way

Carson City, NV 89711–0250

Phone: (775) 684–4590 - Carson City/Reno/Sparks

  • Online request: DMV offers online access to driving records. This is the fastest means to obtain a driving record. The fee is $8.00 and requesters can obtain a 3-year or 10-year driving history. To get started, visit the online request page and provide information requested on the online form. Requesters who use this method must print the driving record report at the time of the request.

Can Traffic Violations And Infractions Be Expunged/Sealed In Nevada?

It depends. Records on traffic felony convictions cannot be sealed or expunged in Nevada. For traffic misdemeanor, the court will weigh several factors such as the offender’s history against the public’s right to access the record. Demerit points from traffic infractions remain valid on the driver’s license for 12 months after conviction. The infractions remain part of the individual’s permanent driving record. Drivers who have 3—11 demerit points can apply for the removal of 3 points if they complete a certified traffic safety course.

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  • And More!