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Traffic Crimes

If you are accused of violating the law while driving a motor vehicle, the violation can be civil or criminal. Civil violations include running a red light or speeding. These violations come with a fine, but no potential of incarceration.

On the other hand, criminal traffic crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Those offenses come with the possibility of stiff fines, lengthy terms of probation, or even incarceration in jail or prison. Any criminal traffic misdemeanor or felony requires a court appearance unless your appearance is waived by an attorney appearing in court on your behalf.

In either civil or criminal traffic cases, the officer can issue a traffic citation. Both civil and criminal traffic citations can result in a notation on the driving record or points being assessed. In many of these cases, the court can order that the license is suspended for a specified period of time.

A criminal traffic ticket is issued in a case in which a person is suspected of committing a traffic violation which is punishable as a misdemeanor offense. A driver can be arrested when charged with a criminal traffic offense, although for less serious offenses, the officer might issue a "notice to appear" in court.

The most commonly prosecuted traffic crimes in Florida include:

  • Attaching Tag Not Assigned;
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI);
  • Driving While License Suspended or Revoked (DWLS or DWLSR);
  • Expired Driver's License;
  • Expired Vehicle Registration;
  • Habitual Traffic Offender;
  • Hit and Run Crash;
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident;
  • Permitting an Unauthorized Person to Drive;
  • Racing on a Highway;
  • Reckless Driving;
  • Refusal to Submit to Breath Test;
  • No Motorcycle Endorsement;
  • No Valid Driver's License;
  • No Valid Registration;
  • Unlawful Display of a License; and
  • Unlawful Use of an Identification Card.

If you receive a citation for a criminal traffic offense, you must appear in court. The clerk of court will notify you by mail of your upcoming court date. Failure to appear in court could result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.

If you have a criminal defense attorney representing you in the case, then your appearance can be waived, especially during all of the initial court dates.

Attorney for Traffic Crimes in Tampa, FL

If you were accused of a traffic crime (either a felony or a misdemeanor), then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. With offices in Tampa in Hillsborough County and New Port Richey in Pasco County, we can help you fight the accusation.

Contact us to find out more about the charges pending against you, the potential penalties for that offense, or the best defense to fight the chargees.

We also represent clients after a failure to appear in court on a criminal traffic violation. In some cases, we can file a motion to quash the failure to appear capias so that a new court date can be scheduled.

Call 813-250-0500.


This article was last updated on Friday, September 13, 2019.