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According to statistics from the Iowa Department of Transportation, there were 708 convictions for speeding and 109 convictions for seat belt violations in Des Moines, Iowa in 2018. In the state of Iowa, traffic violations can include speeding, drunk driving, driving with a suspended license, illegal U-turns, or reckless driving, among other violations. Committing any of these traffic offenses may result in traffic tickets, driving record points, fines, license suspension or revocation, and other penalties.

Receiving a ticket for a traffic violation in Iowa can affect your driving record and driving privileges. At Van Cleaf & McCormack Law Firm LLP, we have the resources and experience to help you fight your traffic tickets. Our experienced Iowa criminal defense attorneys will investigate every detail of your circumstances, help you understand your possible legal options, and represent you in traffic court. You can trust our attorneys to stand by your side and protect your rights.

Our team at Van Cleaf & McCormack Law Firm LLP proudly serves clients in Des Moines, Iowa, and throughout Polk County.

Traffic Violations

In Iowa, a motorist commits a traffic violation by violating any law regulating traffic or vehicle operation on roadways throughout the state. Some of the most common offenses that constitute a traffic violation in Iowa include:

  • Speeding

  • Drunk driving

  • Driving with a suspended license

  • Making an illegal U-turn

  • Reckless driving

  • Operating a non-registered vehicle

  • Use of an electronic communication device while driving

  • Fleeing the police

  • Hit-and-run accidents



Moving Violations
vs. Non-Moving Violations

In the state of Ohio, traffic violations are classified into two categories:

Moving Violations

A person who violates a traffic law while their vehicle is in motion is guilty of a moving violation. Examples include speeding, running a stop sign, failure to yield the right of way, hit-and-run accidents, improper lane changes, drunk driving, and more.

Non-Moving Violations

A traffic violation by a stationary motor vehicle is referred to as a non-moving violation. Common types of non-moving violations include:

  • Parking Violations: Parking violations include parking too close to the curb, parking at an expired parking meter, parking in a no-parking zone, and parking in front of a driveway or fire hydrant.

  • Paperwork Violations: Paperwork violations include operating a motor vehicle with an expired license, driving with expired tags, or driving without required paperwork or with no insurance.

  • Vehicle Safety Violations: These violations include excessive muffler noise, broken headlights, broken or missing mirrors, taped-up windows, overly tinted windows, or a vehicle having no license plate.

Moving violations put other motorists, pedestrians, and other road users at risk. For this reason, you can expect a harsher punishment than what you would receive if you were convicted of a non-moving violation.

Traffic Violation Fines & Penalties

A motorist convicted of a traffic violation in Iowa may receive a traffic ticket, fine, or other punishments. Potential penalties for various infractions include:


Speeding is a simple misdemeanor in Iowa. Possible penalties for most speeding violations include:

  • $30 for exceeding the speed limit by up to 5 MPH

  • $55 for exceeding the speed limit by 5-10 MPH

  • $105 for exceeding the speed limit by 10-15 MPH

  • $120 for exceeding the speed limit by 15-20 MPH

  • $135 plus $5 for every MPH in excess of 20 MPH over the limit

  • $100 for speeding violations around school zones and playgrounds

Reckless Driving

A reckless driving conviction in Iowa is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of between $25 and $625, or both.

Driving Record Points

When convicted of a traffic violation in Iowa, points will be added to your driving record. Your driver's license will be suspended by the Iowa Driver & Identification Services if you're:

  • Convicted of a serious traffic violation, such as going 25 MPH over the speed limit

  • A habitual traffic offender (committing up to three violations within 12 months)

Before your driver's license can be restored, you may need to complete a driver improvement course.

Fighting a Traffic Ticket

Fighting traffic violations can help you avoid severe punishment, convince the judge to reduce your fine, or eventually beat the ticket. Different ways to fight your traffic ticket include:

  • Disputing the officer's account of the incident

  • Disputing the evidence against you

  • Proving that your conduct was a mistake of fact

  • Establishing that your actions were justified

  • Proving that your actions were necessary to mitigate harm to others

Work with a Knowledgeable Attorney

Fighting your traffic tickets, fines, and other traffic violations on your own could leave you vulnerable to suffering maximum penalties. With demerit points added to your driving record, if convicted, you may risk losing your driving privileges, face massive fines, possible jail time, and increased auto insurance rates. When fighting your traffic ticket, retaining a knowledgeable traffic violations attorney is imperative to protect your rights and driving privileges.

At Van Cleaf & McCormack Law Firm, our attorneys are focused on helping clients fight their traffic violations. Our experienced attorneys will review and investigate every fact of your case and explore the possible ways to fight your Iowa traffic issues. As your legal counsel, we will fight diligently on your behalf to protect our rights and privileges. Having our team on your side can improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.


If you have received a ticket and you intend to fight it, contact us at Van Cleaf & McCormack Law Firm LLP today to schedule a consultation. Our experienced team of attorneys can offer you the detailed legal counsel and strong representation you need to fight your traffic ticket. We proudly serve clients in Des Moines and throughout Polk County.