A traffic citation can seem like a minor offense, but many people sacrifice their rights over a traffic stop and fail to understand how those offenses can still impact them in the long run.

Insurance can be affected greatly, and it can even disrupt the outcome of a child custody case. The buildup of multiple traffic offenses over time can also have consequences, so it’s important to defend your rights after each occurrence.

And although they can seem minor when taken individually, in some cases, police either fabricate them completely or use them erroneously as a way to try to bust people for drug possession or alcohol-related offenses.

Considering the different problems that can come from a traffic citation, being aware of the different potential scenarios can make you a more alert driver. Some of the most common traffic citations include:

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light
  • Failing to stop for a school bus
  • Not using turn signals
  • Driving without a seat belt
  • Using the carpool lane
  • Tailgating

There are many other possible situations police can determine on the spot, including driving with a broken headlight or taillight, expired license plates or registration, and even using high beams.

Protect your rights if you’re pulled over

It’s important to comply with an officer when a stop is being made, but you do not have to speak to them beyond requisite requests for identification and any other information you’re required by law to provide.

If a traffic stop turns into an opportunity for police to overstep your rights in order to leverage additional charges against you, you’ll want to find an attorney right away. However, even with a minor citation that doesn’t escalate, you should seek legal counsel to find out the best way to protect your rights and fight a possible blemish on your record.