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 Iowa, traffic violations are classified into two categories:

Non-Moving Violations

Non-moving traffic violations happen when your vehicle isn't moving. It doesn't matter if you're in the car or not, as long as the vehicle isn't in motion when the violation happens.

Some of the common non-moving violations you might come across in Iowa:

  • Parking by a Fire Hydrant

  • Parking in a No Parking Zone

  • Expired Parking Meter

  • Parking in a Handicap Spot without a Permit

Even though Iowa doesn't use a points system for these violations, don't think you're off the hook completely. If you rack up three or more violations within a year, you might find your license suspended, canceled, revoked, or barred.

Moving Violations

Moving violations occur while your vehicle is in motion. Some common moving violations in Iowa include:

  • Speeding

  • Running a Red Light or Stop Sign

  • Driving with an Unrestrained Minor

  • Distracted Driving

Rather than measuring speeding by points, Iowa law enforcement hands out fines based on a schedule of fines and violations. So, the faster you're going, the higher the fine you're likely to face. And just like with non-moving violations, if you're a habitual offender with three or more violations in 12 months, you could be looking at some serious consequences for your driver’s license.

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 Penalties

If you're caught going 25 MPH or more over the limit, you can face serious penalties. Such as paying fines, points on your driving record, potentially having your license suspended or revoked, and you might even have to attend driver improvement school. You can also run across the possible increase in your auto insurance rates. This is why it is essential to speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can fight your speeding tickets using a strategic defense.

Driving Record Points Penalties

If you rack up a certain number of points, you could be looking at penalties like license suspension, revocation, or even cancellation. These include:

  • If you're hitting the 6 to 7 points mark within 2 years, you're looking at a 2-year license suspension.

  • If you accumulate 8 to 9 points within 3 years, they'll suspend your license for 3 years.

  • If you receive 10 to 11 points within 4 years, you're in for a 4-year license suspension.

  • 12 to 13 points within 5 years will be a suspension of your license for 5 years.

  • Lastly, if you manage to get 16 points or more within 6 years, you're looking at a 6-year license suspension.

If you are facing a license suspension because of points on your record, contact a skilled attorney immediately to discover your options.

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.