Speeding and not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign rank among some of the most common forms of traffic offenses. While these types of tickets cost money and can make your insurance cost more, they don't usually merit much attention. Some offenses, though, cross the line and become criminal matters. Read on to find out more.
Serious Traffic Offenses
It's true that running a stop sign or speeding can cause harm to someone else, but the offenses that merit criminal charges are more likely to cause harm to others because of the degree. For example, reckless driving can refer to several different types of bad driving behavior. However, just exceeding the speed limit by a certain number of miles per hour can also cause you to be ticketed, and maybe arrested, for reckless driving. Reckless driving charges may also be in order when a driver is aggressively weaving in and out of traffic, street racing, passing illegally, and even distracted driving.
Other than reckless driving, don't forget that driving under the influence is also a traffic offense that usually results in an arrest. Though the laws vary from state to state, here are a few other traffic offenses that can merit serious criminal charges:
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Driving with a suspended (or no) driver's license.
What an Arrest Can Mean
You are not likely to get away with just paying a fine for serious traffic offenses. You should treat such issues more like a criminal matter than a ticket matter. The penalties for that level of traffic offenses are often harsh. That is probably because they are perceived to have put the lives of others in danger. Sentencing can vary, but being convicted of reckless driving or driving under the influence could mean these things:
- A loss of driving privileges.
- Very high fines.
- Higher rates or canceled auto insurance.
- Loss of employment for those who drive for their jobs.
What to Do
It's vital that you treat these offenses seriously. You could be facing jail time in some situations and that could be catastrophic for most people. Speak to a criminal defense attorney and find out how to fight against being convicted. Traffic violations can be fought just like any other criminal matter and your lawyer will know how to evaluate the evidence. If the evidence is weak, your lawyer could get your charges lowered or dropped entirely.
Speak to a criminal defense lawyer to find out more.