As an Arizona traffic defense attorney, I receive dozens of calls each month from good people who just happen to be on the wrong end of a traffic ticket. Many of these citations are civil in nature and carry no possibility of jail time. That does not mean, however, that they can be ignored. Failure to respond to a civil traffic violation can still result in a fine and suspension of your license.
Under previous Arizona law, a driver can remove a civil traffic violation from his or her driving record once every two years by paying for – and successfully completing – a defensive driving course. The benefit of the defensive driving diversion program is that the traffic ticket is dismissed by the court as if it never happened. No points are assessed by the Motor Vehicle Division, and the driver’s auto insurance company is not advised of the ticket.
The Arizona legislature recently amended Section 28-3392 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. This change took effect in July 2015, and will allow drivers to attend a defensive driving course – and have a ticket removed from their driving record – once every twelve months.
Although the waiting period has been dramatically reduced, many of the eligibility requirements remain the same:
- Most criminal traffic violations (such as DUI, reckless driving, and driving on a suspended license) cannot be resolved through defensive driving school.
- The eligibility period is still based on the date between your citations – not the date you completed defensive driving school.
- If you were cited for multiple traffic violations during a single stop, only one can be dismissed by attending defensive driving school.
- Photo radar and photo red light tickets are generally traffic school eligible.
- If your citation involved either a serious injury or a fatal accident, defensive driving school is not an option.
- Court approval is required for certain serious speeding violations, as well as a violation by any driver under age eighteen.
- A person with a commercial driver’s license is ineligible for the defensive driving diversion program – even if the traffic violation occurred in a personal vehicle.
Unless a judge orders you to attend a defensive driving class in person, online classes are available. Additional information about Arizona’s defensive driving diversion program can be obtained by visiting: http://www.azcourts.gov/driveschoolinfo/Home.aspx.
Should you need assistance in getting court approval for a serious speeding violation, or if you have other questions regarding Arizona traffic citations, we have experienced traffic defense attorneys here to help you. Call us today at (480) 833-2341, we can help you.