Many drivers get distracted by other events besides driving and wind up going the wrong way on the highway. That can be deadly. It also could be a misdemeanor crime when injury or death occurs.
What Is Going the Wrong Way on the Highway
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 21651, Driving on Right Side Paragraph (b) says, “It is unlawful to drive any vehicle upon a highway, except to the right of an intermittent barrier or a dividing section which separates two or more opposing lanes of traffic.”
Driving a car, truck, or van, particularly on the freeway, is an activity that requires your full attention. You should not engage in other activities such as using the cell phone, eating or drinking when driving.
When you wind up driving the wrong way on highway I-5 or even a less busy divided highway, bad things can happen. Not the least of which is being cited with a traffic ticket. Driving the wrong way on the highway is a wobbler; it could be either a misdemeanor or an infraction depending on the circumstances of your stop. Your best option is to consult a traffic attorney and give them the details and a copy of your citation.
When it is a simple mistake, and no harm is done, a law enforcement officer (LEO) could write the ticket as an infraction, but when there is injury or death due to your distracted driving, you could be facing up to six months in county jail and a fine.
Going the Wrong Way on a divided road or highway
Although most traffic violations are infractions, this one could be either. An infraction cannot involve jail time. However, if the LEO saw the situation as dangerous and/or reckless, they could write it up as a misdemeanor. If the “M” on your citation is circled, it is a misdemeanor, and you should invoke “your right to remain silent.” Then, call Bigger & Harman in Bakersfield, 349-9300 for advice.
A misdemeanor is not as severe as a felony, but anything that involves jail time is serious. You should consider the warning that “everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law,” because they will be.
Do not attempt to talk your way out of the ticket. Sign the ticket, which is a release on your own recognizance with a promise to appear in court, not an admission of guilt. If you do not sign, LEO has the option to take you to the station until you post bail or bond. Therefore, you should take your ticket and call Bigger & Harman.
Consult a Bakersfield, CA, Traffic Attorney for Your Wrong Way Ticket in Lamont Traffic Court
We are Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300.
We are Bakersfield Traffic Defense attorneys who have experience defending misdemeanor tickets in Lamont Superior Court. Give us a call or email to discuss your situation.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
CVC Section 21651, Driving on Right Side.