When most people get behind the wheel of their car, they have no intentions of doing anything that will require them to need a criminal attorney, but unfortunately some relatively simple driving offenses can cause this to be a reality. Traffic offenses that may routinely be addressed with a simple citation and fine, can blossom into something you will have to take care of in criminal court if you do not handle them correctly to begin with. Depending on what the charge is you can find yourself punished by the criminal justice system, as well as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Being aware of these offenses may make you rethink your actions when you are behind the wheel.
When Driving Charges Cross The Line Into Criminal Court
While most law abiding citizens does not set out to do anything as heinous as driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license, or vehicular manslaughter, there are other types of traffic offenses that you may commit without even realizing that it is a criminal act.
For example, if you are driving in the state of Virginia, as well as several other states, and you are speeding, you can be charged more than once. You may be simply running with the flow of traffic out on the interstate, but if you are stopped going more than 15 miles over the posted speed limit of 55, not only will you be charged with speeding, you will also be charged with reckless driving.
The plot may thicken even more. If you are from North Carolina, which is a state that requires an automatic license suspension if you are convicted of running more than 15 miles over 55, and you do not fight the ticket in Virginia to have it reduce, you may find yourself having to give up your licenses even after the ticket is paid. The only way to get around this is to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you on the original ticket, to have the mileage reduced or changed to another offense.
Forgetting Or Ignoring A Traffic Ticket Is Not A Good Idea
While addressing a traffic ticket that you get in your home state can be a real pain, it can be even more painful if you receive it in another state when you are traveling, but the last thing that you want to do is to ignore, or forget to take the necessary steps to address the ticket that you received.
Even failing to pay your ticket on time may cause your ticket to increase substantially in cost. The fine will often double, triple, or cause you to incur additional charges such as the cost of court, and surcharges.
There are several states in which you will have your driving privileges suspended if you fail to pay a ticket in that state, but it can also happen if you are not in your home state. All states are entered into an agreement that is called a driver's compact. This means that when you receive a ticket in one state, that state will notify your home state of your failure to pay, and ask your home state to suspend your driving license.
Not only will this cause you not to have legal driving privileges, but after you resolve the ticket, you will have to go through the expensive process of having your driving privileges reinstated. A license suspension will also often result in you having to pay an increase in your auto insurance for up to three years following the suspension.
A warrant can also be issued for your arrest if you fail to appear in court for a ticket that you have received. This can cause you to be arrested and charged with additional offenses.
The easiest way to address a speeding ticket that you have received away from home is to simply go to websites and hire a criminal attorney who practices law in that area. They will be able to attend court for you, and address the ticket that you have received. They will probably be able to get a better outcome than you could on your own.