There is a big difference between a simple speeding ticket and a misdemeanor traffic offense. While no one wants to pay speeding ticket fines or have points added to their driving record, this is a simple infraction that will disappear with time. A traffic misdemeanor is considered a criminal offense and it can affect more than just your driving record.
Is Running a Red Light a Misdemeanor?
Under California law, there are three types of legal offenses: infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. All can be charged for traffic offenses, but infractions are the most common. Running a red light, for example, is considered a traffic infraction instead of a misdemeanor.
Common Traffic Infractions
Unlike misdemeanors and felonies, infractions are considered less serious and usually only affect your driving record. Some tickets for traffic infractions include:
· Speeding (within certain limits)
· Running a red light
· Not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign
· Using a cell phone or electronic device while driving
While these actions do break the law, they are considered less serious and are not criminal offenses. There are varying degrees of traffic infractions; however, most only result in one point being added to your driving record in California and a fine.
Traffic Misdemeanor Tickets
More serious offenses are categorized as misdemeanors and can result in jail time, suspension of your driving license and hefty fines. These traffic violations are considered criminal acts and can have a much bigger impact on your life. Some misdemeanor traffic offenses include:
· Hit and run accidents
· Driving without a license
· Driving with a suspended license
· Exhibition of Speed
· Reckless driving
These tickets have a mandatory court appearance – not appearing for court can lead to another misdemeanor and a warrant for your arrest.
While any traffic ticket should be taken seriously as it can affect your driving record, insurance premiums and lead to a possible driver license suspension, misdemeanor offenses are different. If you are found guilty of a traffic misdemeanor, you could spend up to a year in jail and have a permanent criminal offense on your record. Getting legal help for fighting a California misdemeanor traffic ticket can make a big difference in the outcome of your court appearance.
Legal Assistance for Fighting California Traffic Misdemeanors
If you are issued a traffic misdemeanor ticket, our attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC can help you fight to have your ticket dismissed or reduced to an infraction. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email email@example.com to discuss your case during a free consultation. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.