For the most part, traffic tickets are a simple nuisance that most would prefer to live without.
These infractions usually do not expose the offending individual to punishments and judgments associated with more serious criminal offenses. However, there are situations where traffic offenses can be extremely serious, possibly resulting even in misdemeanor or felony convictions.
There are times when the commission of a traffic offense can result in an individual being taken into police custody. When this happens, it becomes necessary for the arrested individual to secure the services of a trusted bail bondsman to regain his or her freedom.
Once bail is made the individual will be allowed to remain free from the threat of incarceration as long as all court proceedings related to the offense are attended. This will allow the individual to continue living a life that is close to normal while awaiting the final judgment for the offense.
In most instances, two things must take place for traffic tickets to become misdemeanor or felony offenses. These are:
• Injury or threat of injury to individuals
• Destruction or threat of destruction to property
Individuals facing misdemeanor or felony traffic offenses are entitled to all due process laws and constitutional protections afforded all criminal defendants in United States courts of law. This includes the right to counsel appointed by the court at no cost to the offender and the right to a trial by a jury composed of the individual’s peers.
Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses
Misdemeanors are crimes that are not very serious and therefore have less severe consequences. These offenses are usually punished with fines and in some cases can be adjudicated with short terms of incarceration in city or county jails. Each state sets their own standards for misdemeanor traffic laws but similarities from state to state exist. Some examples are:
• Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Failure to stop and/or render aid at the scene of an accident
• Operating a motor vehicle when not properly licensed
• Operating a motor vehicle without proper insurance
• Driving in a manner that demonstrates reckless disregard for safety of self or others
Felony Traffic Offenses
Felonies are considered to be the most serious offenses in the American legal system. This is also true for felony traffic offenses. Generally speaking, felonies are crimes that can result in being sentenced to a year or more in a state prison system.
There are times when an offense that is normally a misdemeanor can earn the tag of gross or aggravated thereby increasing the punishment to a felony range. A good example of this is persons committing multiple driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol offenses.
Persons convicted of felonies will have many more restrictions placed on them than persons convicted of misdemeanors. Many of these restrictions can greatly alter the life of the offender:
• Offenders can in some states face the loss of voting privileges
• Offenders can be denied the right to work in certain professions
• Offenders can be disqualified for service on juries
• Offenders may be denied from exercising 2nd amendment rights
Additionally, in some states, three felony convictions can result in sentences of life imprisonment.
Traffic charges are usually simple matters but when traffic offenses become misdemeanors or felonies the situation can bring with it harsh consequences. When facing charges that can result in misdemeanor or felony traffic convictions it is important to address this issue in the most responsible manner possible. This usually begins with finding a trusted bail bondsman to secure freedom so that the individual can concentrate on preparing a defense for the charges levied against them.