Making an illegal U-turn in Nevada carries the risk of receiving a traffic ticket, fine and 3 demerit points on your license for the moving violation. Improper U-turns are cited for ignoring a no U-turn sign, on a hill with limited visibility, divided highway, business district or school zone.
Introduction to Improper U-turns in Nevada
A U-turn is a move that a driver uses to change course on a road. In some cases, this is a traffic violation. If you make an illegal U-turn in Las Vegas or other parts in Nevada, you can get a traffic ticket. You can face fines and points against your driver’s license. You may want to talk with a skilled defense lawyer to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving violation.
When Is a U-turn Illegal in Nevada?
Making a U-turn can be against the law in Nevada, even if you are not in a large place like Las Vegas. In most cases, you can change course on a road when it is safe to do so. That is why you should always know the law before making a U-turn. There may be traffic signs posted that let you know it is an area where it is against the law to make a U-turn.
You may get a ticket for a U-turn on a divided highway. To avoid a ticket, you should only change course in proper breaks of the highway. This also applies to business districts. You can make a turn at road crossings. It is not legal to make a U-turn if you are on a hill or near a curve in the road. This is because it can be hard for you to see if there is any traffic coming. For most of the state, you must have 500 feet of clear vision. You must allow 1,000 feet in Clark County.
The rules are a little different in school zones or at school crossings. You can make a safe U-turn in a school zone or a school crossing when there are no children present. This includes times when school is not in session. You may also make a U-turn when there is a speed limit beacon that is not flashing at the time. If there is a sign that states when school speed limits are in effect, you can legally make a U-turn outside of these hours. Even in school zones or school crossings, you should not get a ticket for making an improper U-turn a half hour after the school zone speeds end. This time lasts until a half hour before the school speeds go into effect the next morning.
Nevada Penalties for Illegal U-turn
In the state of Nevada, an improper U-turn traffic violation is a misdemeanor offense. This means that you could face fines of up to $1,000. You could also face up to 6 months in jail. However, the Nevada courts will most likely only give you a fine in the case for an illegal U-turn. For your first charge, you can expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars. Each county or city like Las Vegas determines the cost. A second offense will cost closer to $300 in many cases. If you make an improper U-turn in a pedestrian or work zone, your fines might be double. A Nevada defense attorney may help to get the charge reduced to a non-moving violation.
How Many Demerit Points for an Improper U-turn?
If the judge finds you guilty of making an illegal U-turn in Las Vegas or another part of the state of Nevada, you can get three points on your driver’s license. While three points might not seem like a lot, these points can add up quickly. The DMV will suspend your driver’s license if you get 12 points within a 12-month time frame. The DMV may also suspend your driver’s license if you fail to appear to any court hearings. If this happens, you may want to consult with a Nevada defense attorney. You might be able to get the DMV to restore your driving privileges.
Can the Court Reduce an Illegal U-turn Traffic Ticket to a Non-moving Violation?
In some cases, the court can reduce an improper U-turn charge to a non-moving violation. This is especially true if you have a clean driving record. Reduction of this traffic violation can prevent you from receiving demerit points against your license. If you have a lot of traffic tickets, you might need the help of a defense attorney who is familiar with Nevada laws.
Does Illegal U-turn Affect Insurance Rates in Las Vegas, Nevada?
An illegal U-turn is a traffic violation in Nevada. This means that you may see an increase in your insurance premiums if the judge finds you guilty of this charge. This makes it important to seek out the counsel of a lawyer to get the charges dropped. If the judge lowers your illegal U-turn charge, it should not change your insurance rates.
Will Improper U-turn Affect My Commercial Driver’s License?
If you make an improper U-turn, you can get three demerit points against your CDL. The same as with a basic driver’s license, the DMV can suspend your commercial license if you get 12 points in 12 months. If you get any traffic tickets, you must tell your employer within 30 days. This is true while driving on your personal license or your CDL.
How Will Las Vegas Traffic Tickets Affect my Out-of-State License?
If you have a license from another state, you will still owe fines to the court where you received the ticket. When it comes to demerit points, you will receive the number of points that your state has for that traffic offense.
If I’m Found Guilty of Illegal U-turn, Will I Have to Go to Traffic School?
In most cases, traffic school is not a requirement for making an illegal U-turn. However, you may want to think about this option. You can get a demerit point removed from your driver’s license for completing all of the requirements of traffic school. Additionally, you may have the charge reduced to a non-moving violation if you complete traffic school within five days of the judge’s ruling. This means you will not get any demerit points at all.
Will I Get Deported for Illegal U-Turn?
If you are in the country legally, an improper U-turn is not a reason for law enforcement to make you leave the country. You do not have to break the law to face being deported if you are in the country as an illegal alien.
When Can I Seal My Charges?
You must wait a year to seal your records. You can begin the process once you complete your demands. Even for a reduced charge, you must wait a full year. You do not have to wait for a dropped or dismissed charge. You can start the process to seal your record right away.
Can You Fight Improper U-Turn Charges?
Whether you are in Las Vegas or any part in the state, you can fight illegal U-turn charges in court. In these cases, a defense attorney is an asset in your defense. If you have a good defense lawyer, you might get the charges dropped or at least reduced to a non-moving violation. This can keep points off of your driver’s license.
Some defense options include video proof or photos, the use of GPS records, or accounts from witnesses. If you receive a ticket in a school zone during a time when school speed limits are not in effect, you may get the ticket dismissed. The police officer who gave you the traffic ticket might only have proof from personal recall. In this case, it might be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you made a U-turn that was not legal.
Can I Ignore My Ticket?
You might face more costs if you ignore your ticket. The court will issue a bench warrant for failure to appear. This means that you face arrest if you commit another offense. The DMV will suspend your license if you do not pay your fines or show up for your court dates. If this is the case, you may want to hire a defense lawyer to speak for you in court. Your lawyer might be able to get the failure to appear warrant quashed, or removed so that you can deal with your ticket.
Should I Fight My Ticket?
Lawyers advise you to always fight your ticket. With the help of a lawyer, you may face lower fines or get the ticket thrown out to avoid fines or points.
Can I Go to Trial?
While you can go to trial, you do not have to for this charge. Also, you cannot have a jury trial. You will have a bench trial. A jury trial is only for those who face more than six months in jail if you are guilty.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
You do not have to get a lawyer for a traffic offense. However, a skilled defense lawyer knows the laws and may be able to reduce the impact of such charges on your driving record.
Common Moving Violations in Nevada
Learn more about the Nevada Demerit Point System
FREE Consultation for Traffic Tickets
Have you received a traffic citation while driving in Nevada? Our attorneys at Fix Your Tickets can help you get tickets reduced or even thrown out. For a FREE consultation contact Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Bennair Bateman at 702-605-0505. In many cases, we can get your traffic tickets reduced to a non-moving violation or dismissed with no need for traffic school, and zero demerit points on your driving record.
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