Criminal Traffic Violations
A criminal traffic ticket alleges that you have committed a criminal violation. Common examples of criminal traffic violations include:
- Driving while intoxicated / Driving under the influence (DWI / DUI)
- Driving without your drivers license physically on your person
- Driving without proof of automobile insurance
- Reckless driving
- Vehicular homicide
The majority of traffic violations are classified as infractions and typically include:
- Failure to signal
- Failure to stop or yield
- Operating a vehicle without proper lighting
- Seat belt violations
Traffic infractions are typically levied with a fine and points on your driving record which can affect your auto insurance rates. They can also result in being ordered to attend driving school and license suspension, but cannot result in jail time.
Misdemeanor or Felony?
Whether a traffic violation is a misdemeanor or felony varies by jurisdiction as well as if it’s a repeat offense or if the offense includes damage to property and/or death. For example, a DUI can typically be charged as a misdemeanor, but can be escalated to felony if the offender has had prior DUI violations or the offense caused injury/death.
Is it worth it to just pay my ticket without fighting it?
It is almost always more financially beneficial to contest your ticket rather than just pay it, even for minor traffic infractions for $200 or less. This is because, accepting your infraction can be used against you in the future by:
- Employers who may restrict you from using company cars
- Auto insurance companies who will charge you higher rates for 3-5 years
- Future judges who will be less lenient
- Gun boards may restrict you from obtaining a CPL
It always makes sense to do the cost-benefit analysis of fighting the traffic matter vs just accepting and paying the fine. Contact FM Law to get the best possible traffic violation defense for your situation.