There is a difference between being charged with misdemeanor traffic offenses and felony type offenses. Simple violations are called infractions where the accused is given a ticket to appear in court to pay the fine. Misdemeanor offenses are usually more serious, involving an appearance in court to answer for the charges.
The accused can be subject to paying a higher fine for the charge, sentenced to probation for 6 to 12 months and having points against them on their license. Some violations that are included in misdemeanor violations are:
- Driving in a reckless manner
- Driving without any insurance coverage
- Driving without license on person
- Failing to stop for an accident
- Driving while intoxicated with alcohol or under the influence of drugs
Increased Penalties For Misdemeanor Violations
Those accused of repeat misdemeanor traffic charges usually see increased penalties for violations. They can include suspension of driving privileges for a year or more, increased fines with court cost, probation and probationary fees, community service and alcohol and drug counseling classes that they must pay for.
The judge in court has sole discretion on what he might place upon the accused as punishment for their violations. Some states have strict policies about punishing repeat offenders severely for returning to court on similar charges.
Felony Traffic Violations
These violations are the most serious ones that people can be accused of. They involve higher penalties across the board. Most people charged with felony traffic offenses must serve time for the offense. Some of the offenses that fall under felony traffic violation are:
- Multiple driving under the influence convictions
- Repeat offenses of driving under suspension of licenseVehicular manslaughter
- Driving under the influence causing vehicular death of occupants or other drivers
- Use of vehicle in commission of a serious crime
- Hit and run accidents
Felony Traffic Violation Consequences
Everyone convicted of a felony traffic offense and misdemeanor traffic offenses should retain the services of a reputable attorney. Any charges filed will be on a criminal record under the violator’s name. Traffic felony charges are the most serious crimes committed behind the wheel of a vehicle. Fines can be high, usually into thousands of dollars with jail and prison time for the accused.
Misdemeanor traffic charges can be prosecuted as felonies with repeat violations. An attorney must be hired to represent the violator in any felony traffic violation case. Some of the repercussions of felony traffic charges are:
- Losing the right to vote in elections
- Losing the privilege to drive a motor vehicle
- Difficulty in finding employment due to a criminal driving record
- Loss of financial gains
- Losing ownership of a vehicle
- Permanent criminal driving record
- Unable to own firearmsLong jail or prison sentence
Driving Records Affect Driving Privileges Everywhere
There is no such thing as having a bad driving record in one state and moving to another state to drive freely without penalty. Driving records follow bad drivers from state to state through the enactment of the Driver License Compact (DLC). Violations in one state are reported to the driver’s home state where they live. Moving to another state to acquire a license will show up on a national computer base that the person has past criminal driving activity in another state.
Most of the states will act upon finding this information on a driver to apply it in their state against the driver. Basically, if a driver is showing suspension of driving privileges in one state, the state they have relocating to will uphold the suspension and place them under that in their state also. Some states may reduce the severity of the punishment, but won’t issue a driver under restriction of driving privileges a license.
Going To Court
People accused of either felony or misdemeanor traffic violations better retain the services of a lawyer to represent them. The privilege to drive is at stake and possible financial livelihood. It makes little difference in how they act upon entering a courtroom. Most people accused of traffic violations are guilty of those charges. The best action for someone accused of serious traffic violations is allowing their attorney to handle the case in court while they remain silent. An attorney is the only option for getting a fair decision on the outcome of the case in a court of law.