Understanding Criminal Traffic Offenses
Most of the time, your traffic ticket will likely only be a civil matter. However, some driving-related offenses are considered criminal – even if you are not arrested. You may, instead, receive a citation or sanctions that requires a court appearance. These charges can carry hefty fines, possible jail or prison time, and the loss of your driving privileges.
Whether your traffic offense is a criminal offense or a civil one, you are still entitled to fight the violation in order to protect your driving history, ability to drive, reduce or eliminate fines due, and reduce or eliminate the risk of incarceration.
Common Criminal Traffic Violations
In most instances, a traffic offense is considered a criminal violation if it results in bodily injury, damage to property, or is a threat to bodily injury or property damage. Some of the more well-known criminal traffic offenses a driver in Florida may face include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)
- Driving while the license is denied, suspended, or revoked (DWLS)
- Reckless driving
- Driving while intoxicated which results in serious death or impairment
- Driving while intoxicated with a minor inside the vehicle
- No vehicle insurance
- No operator’s license
- Failure to stop at an accident scene
- Escaping and fleeing a police officer
- No motorcycle endorsement
- Illegal use of a vehicle
- Unlawful use of an identification card
- Allowing an unlicensed person to drive
- Violating a traffic law and resulting in injury
- Leaving the scene of a property damaged accident
Possible Penalties of a Suspected Offender
Depending on the conviction, criminal traffic offenses can lead to an extensive array of penalties including:
- Loss of driver’s license
- Seizure and forfeiture of the vehicle
- Community service
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Counseling and/or drug or alcohol prevention or rehab programs
- An increase in insurance rate
- Court costs and fines
In addition to these penalties, committing a criminal traffic violation also means damaging your personal driving record and your personal criminal record – and they cannot be expunged. This can likely result in a loss of job or complicating finding a new job.
Criminal Traffic Violation Defenses
The good news is that you do not need to think too hard about your criminal traffic offense – there are various ways you can resolve the issue. One of the crucial ways to provide hire a traffic lawyer and argue a defense. For example, if you have no knowledge that you were committing a crime, like operating on an expired license, operating on an expired registration, or driving carelessly but not irresponsibly.
Most of the criminal traffic offenses are based on the eyewitness account of the accusing officer. Many times, the officer doesn’t have enough valid evidence to support the case.
Common Civil Traffic Violations
Although the below traffic violations are only civil violations, you are still eligible to fight the charges and hire a traffic defense attorney to help you do so.
- Failure to yield
- Careless driving
- Drag racing
- Failure to signal
- Improper U-turn
- Improper usage of the lane
- Faulty equipment
- Blocked vision
- Taking no notice of the traffic control system
Fight the Traffic Violation Charges
It is crucial to address the issue as soon as possible if you receive a traffic ticket. Together with an experienced traffic defense lawyer, you can defend against the consequences of a traffic offense. A traffic defense attorney can give you the advice on when to plead to a lesser charges and when to take your case all the way through trial.
The traffic ticket lawyers can handle a whole slate of traffic offenses, which include careless driving, reckless driving, speeding tickets, vehicular assault, DUI, DWI, OMVI, OVI, hit skip, driving under suspension, driving without insurance, and many more.
A qualified criminal defense attorney specializing in traffic tickets may also help you in the following ways:
- Ensure your constitutional rights are protected and seek evidence suppression or charges dismissal for breach of constitutional rights when necessary
- Get a reasonable bond
- Attempt to eliminate or reduce points when possible
- Seek the return of your vehicle and its contents when it is held or confiscated for evidence
Should your case is acceptable, the attorney will find out if there are any factors that can result in charges being dismissed or reduced. They will discuss with the prosecutors and seek to reach the best result that will have a minimal impact on your life and driving record.
No matter how minor or severe the criminal traffic violation is, always make sure to have an attorney on your side to help you along the way. These driving offenses often cause traffic citations and financial fees. Do not let yourself face the battle on your own. With a legal support, you can have a guarantee that your case is in good hands. Not to mention, your rights abs interests are being protected.