Misdemeanor & Felony Traffic Offenses

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.

What is a PR Bond?

When Can Courts Deny Bail?

What is Bail?

Bail is considered money or property which is traded with a court in exchange for the release of a suspect from jail until court appearances. Bail is first addressed during arraignment of the defendant.

The purpose of bail is to insure the defendant will appear in court for all scheduled appearances. The bail will be returned without regards to the verdict of innocent or guilty, as long as the defendant appears at all scheduled court dates. Bail can be refused to the defendant by the court. There are several reasons why this can happen.

There are circumstances in which bail can be denied. Some circumstances guarantee the refusal of bail, unless some rare and special circumstance is considered. If bail is refused, it is possible, in some cases, to appeal bail to a higher court. Bail can be set at a wide range of values, from a few thousand to a few million dollars.

Why can bail be denied?

  • If the defendant is charged with murder, treason or a similarly severe crime
  • If a violent felony is the accusation, and the alleged commission of the crime was committed while the defendant was on parole, probation or was released while awaiting trial for another violent felony
  • If the defendant has escaped or attempted to escape from prison with or without using force or violence
  • If the crime in which the defendant is accused is so offensive that the defendant may pose a threat to society
  • If there is a possibility that the defendant could be a threat to the victim
  • If there is a likelihood of the defendant being a flight risk
  • If there is an unacceptable risk factor
  • If within 15 years of the alleged violent felony the defendant has been convicted of two or more violent felonies
  • If the accused, within the last 10 years, has been found guilty of threatening the use of violence or stalking
  • The court is satisfied that on a separate occasion, the accused, even if not charged or found guilty, used or threatened violence against the complainant
  • Within 10 years preceding the current accusation, the defendant has been convicted of an offense that involved threatening to use or did use violence against any person
  • There is strong evidence against the defendant
  • The offense is a stalking offense
  • Any crime is basis for bail denial if the accused used a firearm, explosive or any offensive weapon
  • The crime involves commercial trafficking of drugs

There are circumstances in which bail can be denied to the accused. These may involve past actions by the defendant that point to signs they will not appear at their scheduled court appearance.

  • The defendant has the means to flee the country
  • The defendant has past history of not appearing in court, if only to answer to traffic violations
  • The defendant has made comments to a court representative or an arresting officer to the effect that they will not appear in court
  • The defendant has a belligerent attitude with regards to the court system
  • The accused has a mental impairment and is without family or a friend to ensure the accused will appearance in court
  • The defendant is a foreigner that could return to their native country