Many traffic offenses that are non-dangerous or are just driving violations are called infractions. However, in some cases, traffic violations become misdemeanors because of the seriousness of the violation. In most states, a traffic violation becomes a misdemeanor if it:
Misdemeanor traffic offenses also differ from traffic infractions because they carry harsher penalties. Some misdemeanor traffic offenses can carry fines of up to $10,000 and could also involve jail time depending on the severity of the crime and the amount of damage or injury involved.
Traffic offenses are usually considered minor offenses in most states. Simple traffic violations usually lead to a traffic ticket and are considered infractions. However, if traffic offense is more serious than the offense can lead to misdemeanor or even felony charges. These are considered criminal offenses and usually involve a trial and other prolonged legal consequences.
Many states may take additional steps when penalizing for a misdemeanor traffic offense. These can include the loss or suspension of driving privileges, and the towing or confiscation of the defendant’s motor vehicle. The court may also impose additional penalties such as enrollment in a substance abuse treatment program if alcohol was involved in the violation.
Some violations that begin as traffic misdemeanors may be escalated to the level of a felony charge. This can be the case if the violation involved repeat offenses, or if it resulted in death, great bodily injury or serious property damage. Felony charges involve higher fines and possible sentencing in a state prison facility.
Last Modified: 02-21-2018 10:04 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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