Are Traffic Violations Considered Criminal Offenses?
Most drivers wouldn’t get a lawyer to fight a routine traffic ticket like a citation for speeding or running a stop sign. Run-of-the-mill “moving violations” involve points on your driver’s license and a fine. With these civil traffic violations, you can generally pay your ticket and move on with your life.
But criminal traffic violations are a more serious matter. They are not handled in traffic court, but in criminal court, and no one should face criminal charges of any kind without at least consulting a criminal defense lawyer. For some traffic crimes, such as drunk driving (DUI) or Driving with a Suspended License, police can arrest you on the spot. The police will issue a summons with a court date for lesser infractions, such as Driving with an Expired License.
These criminal charges can lead to revocation of your driver’s license, heavy fines, jail time, probation, and a criminal record that will haunt you for life. If you’ve been charged with a criminal traffic offense, don’t just take your chances and hope for the best. Talk with an experienced and aggressive Orlando traffic violations lawyer at the Rivas Law Firm. Call (407) 349-4211 for a free consultation.
Is a Traffic Ticket a Misdemeanor in Florida?
The following traffic violations are criminal misdemeanors and a conviction can bring thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, and a criminal record:
- Driving with an Expired license
- Illegal Street Racing
- Driving with an Expired Tag or Registration
- Reckless Driving
- Driving with an Unassigned Tag
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- Driving without a Valid Driver’s license
- Driving an Unregistered vehicle
- Driving with a Suspended License
When you are charged with a criminal traffic violation, you become first and foremost a source of revenue for the state. According to the Miami Herald, every time you “pay a court fine or fee, the money helps keep government operations afloat. The revenue — especially from traffic tickets — helps pay for everything from wildlife and environmental conservation, compensation for crime victims and even treatments for people with brain and spinal injuries.”
A report from the Brennan Center notes that “for example, one convicted of a misdemeanor in Florida is charged a $20 court cost fee, a $3 Court Cost Clearing Trust Fund fee, a $60 Fine and Forfeiture Fund fee, a $20 Crime Stoppers Program fee, a $50 prosecution fee, a $50 crime compensation fee, and a $20 Crime Prevention Fund fee, and potentially others.”
An Orlando Criminal Traffic Violations Attorney Can Help
Aside from the possible loss of your license and potential jail time, the punishing amount of the fines involved makes it worth your while to hire a criminaltrafficviolationslawyer. If you win your case and get the charges dismissed or reduced, your attorney’s fees will likely wind up being less than the accumulated fines and court costs would have been.
Your best shot at a good outcome in your case is with a dedicated criminal defense attorneywho will challenge to prosecutor’s case at every stage. To get a conviction, police have rules and procedures that they must follow. Your lawyer will fight to protect your rights and exclude improperly collected evidence or testimony. The experienced and aggressive Orlandocriminaldefense lawyers at the Rivas Law will let the prosecutors know that they have a fight on their hands. Call (407) 349-4211 for a free consultation.