What are Criminal Traffic Violations?
In Florida, a criminal traffic violation is when someone commits a criminal offense while operating a motor vehicle. Some common criminal traffic violations are:
- Reckless Driving
- Driving While License Suspended
- Driving Under the Influence
- Refusal to Submit to Breath Test
- Habitual Traffic Offender
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- No Valid Driver’s License
- Expired Driver’s License
- Racing on a Highway
- Attaching Tag Not Assigned
- Expired Vehicle Registration
- No Valid Registration
- Unlawful Use of an Identification Card
- No Motorcycle Endorsement
- Unlawful Display of a License
- Permitting an Unauthorized Person to Drive
Criminal traffic offenses carry heavier penalties than a moving violation ticket would. These violations also appear on your criminal record, meaning they will show up on a background check like any other criminal charge.
Penalties depend on the violation and can result in points on your record. Too many points can lead to your license being suspended.
When you are issued a criminal traffic violation ticket, you will be required to appear in court. If you do not appear in court, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Most Common Violations
Driving While License Suspended – Being charged with DWLS while you had knowledge of your suspension is a criminal matter and you will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense.
If you are charged with DWLS with knowledge and you have two prior convictions for the same thing, you will be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree with a minimum of 10 days in jail. If this was your third offense in 5 years, you may also become a Habitual Traffic Offender which brings an automatic 5-year revocation of your driver’s license.
Reckless Driving – Reckless driving (Florida Statute 316.192) is any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. In Florida, the penalties for reckless driving can vary from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the property damage and bodily harm.
For the first offense with no bodily harm or property damage, the penalty can be up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. A second offense can be punished by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
If there was property damage or injury, it is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, with up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If there is serious bodily injury, it is a third-degree felony with a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident – If you ever get into an accident, you should never leave the scene until you exchange information or are cleared to do so by law enforcement. Even if you are not at fault, you must still comply with the law and exchange information. If you are convicted of leaving the scene, it can result in either a misdemeanor or felony penalty, depending on if the accident caused bodily injury or death.
If you receive a criminal traffic citation in Orlando or anywhere in Central Florida, contact criminal traffic attorney Brandon Gans for a free consultation.