There is certainly nothing unusual about seeing vehicles pulled over on the roadside with the lights of a police cruiser shining brightly behind. Minor traffic offenses such as speeding, running stop signs or impeding traffic typically yield little more than tickets, fines and in rarer cases, license restrictions for those stopped by law enforcement.
The Florida legislature, however, has seen fit to categorize certain types of driving offenses as far more serious in nature and able to result in serious criminal sanctions for those found guilty of committing them.
If you are facing a charge within this classification, the experienced guidance of a Ft. Lauderdale traffic lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your matter. To get started on your defense, schedule a consultation with an experienced defense attorney today. En Español.
Criminal Driving Offenses
Drivers in Florida may be surprised to learn that the list of driving violations considered to be criminal offenses is lengthy. Commonly-charged traffic-related offenses that warrant attention from a Ft Lauderdale traffic attorney include:
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene of an automobile accident
- Driving on a suspended, revoked, expired or otherwise invalid license
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drag racing or racing on highways
- Expired registration or missing license plate tags
- Failure to submit to breath test when requested by law enforcement
- Allowing an unauthorized driver to operate a vehicle
Process and Penalties
Minor traffic offenses generally result in the driver receiving a ticket on which an accompanying fine is noted. Once the fine is paid and any applicable points are added to their driver’s license pursuant to Fla. Stat. §322.27, the matter is essentially concluded.
However, criminal traffic violations such as those listed above involve court appearances and actual pleas of guilty, no contest or not guilty on charges which may be misdemeanors or felonies in nature depending on the facts at issue.
Those accused of criminal traffic violations in Florida need to bear in mind that based on the specifics of the charges, they may be facing anywhere from 60 days in jail and a fine of $500 all the way up to 30 years in prison and upwards of $10,000 in fines for offenses designated as first-degree felonies.
In addition to the obvious ramifications of these types of convictions, there are ancillary consequences certain to follow, including job loss, social stigma, financial strain, potential revocation or suspension of driver’s licenses, suspension, revocation of professional licenses and more, making it imperative that those accused consult with a Ft. Lauderdale traffic lawyer as soon as possible.
Though defendants in criminal driving cases may initially believe that they have little hope of defeating or reducing the charges lodged against them, defense strategies may indeed exist which can greatly benefit their cause.
The fact is that in many instances, the law enforcement officer responsible for the initial traffic stop may simply lack the necessary proof to establish the driver’s fault in a given matter, allowing for a dismissal or substantial reduction of the allegations and/or the sanctions imposed.
Ultimately, the most prudent thing for a defendant to do is to contact a Ft Lauderdale traffic offense attorney as soon as possible so that any and all vulnerabilities in the state’s case may be explored.
Contact a Criminal Traffic Attorney Today
Criminal driving offenses in Florida are nothing to take lightly, and it is vital that anyone facing such a charge receive the most aggressive available legal defense through the help of a traffic attorney.
A Ft. Lauderdale traffic lawyer can help immediately to examine the facts and work diligently to mitigate the negative effects a conviction could wreak on your life and livelihood.