Remember that heart pounding feeling you experienced when you saw the blue lights rapidly approaching your vehicle? Chances are, most everyone you know has experienced this same feeling. More than 90% of people over the age of 16 are licensed to drive which means millions of traffic citations are issued each year. Traffic laws and regulations were put into effect in the early 1920s with the goal of protecting you and your loved ones on the roadways. Research has shown that most people obey traffic laws because they do not want to run the risk of receiving a traffic citation. Although most people obey traffic laws, there are always slip ups where someone loses focus and accidentally makes a left hand turn without a blinker, or even intentional acts where someone runs a red light because they think they can go unnoticed by law enforcement.
Most traffic tickets are issued for “strict liability offenses”, which means no particular criminal intent is needed to convict a person of the offense. Examples of strict liability offenses include: speeding, failure to yield, failure to use turn signals, turning into a wrong lane and driving a vehicle with burned out headlights or taillights. Most traffic tickets are also considered minor infractions and as such are handled in the lower courts. However, traffic tickets that involve injury to a person or a person’s property often do go through the criminal court system and allow the defendant to hire an attorney if she so chooses. Examples of traffic tickets that carry felony punishment include: a hit and run accident, driving under the influence of alcohol, and failure to stop a vehicle when signaled by law enforcement.
Traffic tickets can carry consequences including: license suspension, car insurance increases, fines, and even jail time. You can face license suspension where you have received multiple traffic tickets or where your offense was accompanied by bodily injury to another or involved drunk driving. Your attorney could present evidence that shows you have taken corrective measures such as taking a safe driving class or attending alcoholic anonymous meetings to address your behavior. If the judge is convinced he could opt not to suspend your license. The crime of a hit and run can carry jail time ranging from 30 days to 25 years depending on whether minor injury, serious injury or death results from the hit and run. You are entitled to put on a defense to explain your actions. Your defense could mean the difference between fines and jail time. For every traffic citation you receive, you receive points that reflect negatively on your driving record. In turn, the points could lead to higher insurance premiums. By hiring an attorney, you may be able to avoid points and higher insurance premiums.
Even careful safe drivers can make a mistake and receive a traffic ticket as a consequence. Contact attorney Daniel Selwa to assess your case and fight your traffic ticket.