What Are Traffic Misdemeanors?

Traffic offenses that are no dangerous and are nothing more than driving violations are called “infractions.” However, some traffic offenses can be seen as misdemeanors.

Such acts as (but not limited to):

Misdemeanors vary across the states, with some misdemeanors costing the violator around $10,000 plus some time in jail.

Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses

How Are Traffic Offenses Classified?

Depending on the traffic offense, it will vary. If the traffic offense is non-dangerous, than the likely outcome will be that the person will receive a ticket.
However, if the traffic offense has violated a serious offense such as seeing, switching lanes, or a hit and run, the person will then be taken in for that reckless and dangerous driving.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI & DWI) are also severe offenses that in some cases lead to time in prison.
The punishment for certain misdemeanors comes under the discretion of the court.

Are There Certain Times Where Traffic Offenses Are Provoked By Third-Parties?

What do we mean by this?

There are also situations where people may be FORCED or COERCED into certain traffic offenses, which they would not have done otherwise. For example, a person who is held by gunpoint to drive to a specific location at high speeds would not necessarily be in violation of the law.

In a situation like this, when a person is being forced to go over the speed limit, it is not uncommon for them to not be punished by the law as they were being forced to commit the offense under threat of injury.

 

Should A Person Hire a Lawyer if They Have Committed a Traffic Offense?

The idea of hiring a lawyer will be determinate upon the severity of the traffic offense. If it is a small offense that results in a ticket, you will be able to fight that yourself, however here at Road Justice, we pride ourselves on having a ticket dismissal rate of over 70%!
For best results you should definitely hire an Attorney. The benefits of doing so will be immediately visible and will outweigh the monetary repercussions you will potentially face in court.
Did you know that Road Justice offers Free Consultations? Get in contact with us and we’ll discuss your options, no matter the case.

 

The More You Know

It is essential to do as much research as you can in regards to the laws in YOUR state, as each state operates under their local laws which differ state to state.
The more knowledgeable you are about your state and the traffic laws, the better you will be able to follow them, and if need be, fight back for your Road Justice.

Accidents – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a misdemeanor?

In California, a misdemeanor is a non-indictable criminal offense, where the maximum sentence is no more than one year in jail. Misdemeanors in the US are as less serious than a felony, but more serious than an infraction.

What is my penalty?

Every case is different, however most cases can result in a fine between $900-$3,000 and run the risk of 6 months jail time, paired with up to 3 years of probation.

Why do I need an attorney to handle my Misdemeanor?

Misdemeanor cases are vastly different as there is a long list of crimes that are classed as misdemeanors. This means that every case is unique and will require an attorney to have the knowledge of what to do in your specific circumstances. Having an attorney can help with the various court proceedings that will follow being charged with a misdemeanor. An attorney can do things such as recall a warrant or represent you in court to negotiate with the prosecution to find the best resolution for you. 

Warrants Information Sheet

Warrants are signed by judges, and they give police the authority to search your home or arrest you when they see you.
There are three types of warrants that can be issued against you in California: an arrest warrant, bench warrant, and search warrant. While they have some similarities, they are used for different reasons.


In California specifically, arrest, bench, and search warrants are court orders issued by a court or judge.
Once a warrant is issued police officers must promptly search for the defendant. If found, the officers may or may not display the warrant to the defendant or if unavailable, advise the defendant of its existence and display the original or certified copy to the defendant at a later time if requested, usually by the defendant’s attorney.

A California arrest warrant authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest and detain you if they suspect you of committing a crime outside of an officer's presence.

Judges issue arrest warrants based on:

  •         evidence presented to them by a peace officer and/or a District Attorney, or
  •         following a grand jury indictment.

 

In order to be valid, a California arrest warrant must include:

  •         name of the defendant,
  •         crime which he/she is accused of committing,
  •         time of issuance,
  •         city or county of issuance,
  •         signature and title of the judge, and
  •         name of the court.

 

While in many cases, warrants are issued for the arrest of criminal suspects, the majority of warrants in California are issued as a result of an individual's noncompliance. An attorney is always recommended to ensure a prompt and efficient outcome.

California Warrants – Frequently Asked Questions

I missed my court date and I have a warrant, what should I do?

Depending on the kind of case you have, generally the warrants are there so that the police can take you to court so that a judge can make a decision in regards to your case.
Before this happens, you should seek legal council to represent you during this process.

How do I know if I have a warrant?

If you miss your court date for any misdemeanor or felony a warrant for your arrest will be issued. 

How important is it to have representation in the event I am issued a warrant?

In the event of any arrest in which you do not appear for a court hearing date the court will issue an arrest warrant.

You are advised to have an experienced attorney to recall your warrant and resolve your case in your favor. Without representation this might result in severe consequences. 

Once you or your attorney appear in court the warrant will be recalled and quashed afterwards there would be a new hearing for a future date in which the case can be settled. 

California Suspended License – Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my license get suspended?

There are four categories of offenses that result in a license suspension.

  1. Excessive Points (4 or more points within 1 calendar year.)
  2. DUI
  3. Medical Reexamination
  4. Lack of Knowledge (In regards to traffic laws)

How do I get my license unsuspended?

By contacting the Driver Safety section of the DMV to request a hearing within a limited period of time.

Why do I need an Attorney to handle my suspended license?

There are many reasons why your license can be suspended. For things like failure to appear, excessive points/negligent operator, DUI or others. It is advised to seek legal council for these proceedings so that you have proper guidance. An attorney can appear in court for you or contact the DMV to resolve these problems as quickly as possible.

California Misdemeanors – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a misdemeanor?

In California, a misdemeanor is a non-indictable criminal offense, where the maximum sentence is no more than one year in jail. Misdemeanors in the US are as less serious than a felony, but more serious than an infraction.

What is my penalty?

Every case is different, however most cases can result in a fine between $900-$3,000 and run the risk of 6 months jail time, paired with up to 3 years of probation.

Why do I need an attorney to handle my Misdemeanor?

Misdemeanor cases are vastly different as there is a long list of crimes that are classed as misdemeanors. This means that every case is unique and will require an attorney to have the knowledge of what to do in your specific circumstances. Having an attorney can help with the various court proceedings that will follow being charged with a misdemeanor. An attorney can do things such as recall a warrant or represent you in court to negotiate with the prosecution to find the best resolution for you. 

California DUI – Frequently Asked Questions

Being charged with a DUI in the state of California can be a tiresome process where you must fight for your right to drive.
In California, all DUI cases have a set of processes split into two segments. Those segments go through the DMV and court systems.
During the court process you have until your court date to start the various necessary proceedings to figure out how you will structure your case and whether or not you should seek legal council.

What happens now that I've been charged with a DUI in California?

For the DMV system you have 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing to prevent the suspension of your drivers license. This will place a stay on your suspension until your hearing proceeding is completed.
Following this, a hearing officer will make a decision based on the findings of your case.

Am I going to jail?

After the initial processing following the charge of DUI there is no jail time until the case has been fully adjudicated. The various factors in each individual case will determine the severity of your sentencing.
With the proper representation, you may end up not having to serve any jail time.

How much will my fine be?

The initial fine is $390, with the penalty assessment going up to $1,600.

How will this affect my driving record and ability to drive?

Following a DUI, you may receive a notice of suspension for a period up to 4 months mandatory suspension, followed by 3 months of restricted driving.

To be granted the ability to be a restricted driver, you must process an appeal with the DMV showing the following:
1. Proof of enrollment in alcohol rehabilitation classes.
2. SR22 form (Financial Responsibility/Insurance). These can be acquired by contacting an insurance agent.
3. $125 DMV fee for a restricted license
4. Have an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) installed in your car. You may also be required to keep the IID installed in your car for a period of time that exceeds the original period of being a restricted driver.

How important is it to have representation for DUI's?

DUI cases are advisable to have an attorney by your side because the arresting officer may not follow protocol of arrest. In these situations the attorney can help you navigate the legal procedures to result in less severe penalty.

How long is the court process?

The duration of these cases in court may take up to one year due to the specific issues involved surrounding the arrest. The normal procedure for DUI is around 4 months.

DUI Information Sheet

A first-time DUI in California can result in consequences ranging from misdemeanor probation to time in jail.
Defendants may be able to continue driving if they are granted an "IID restricted license," which requires them to keep an
ignition interlock device (IID) in their car for four months.
But first-time DUI defendants who do not get an IID restricted license may endure up to a 6-month's
driver's license suspension unless; the driver requests a California DMV hearing and wins, or if the driver is not convicted of a DUI in court.

All in all, consequences of a first-time DUI conviction in California can include:

  • 3 to 5 years of informal probation (typically 3 years)
  • DUI school ranging from 3 to 9 months
  • Fines and penalty assessments totaling between $1,500 and $2,000 (depending on the county)
  • A 6-month driver's license suspension (though people may be able to get a restricted license or drive immediately with an IID restricted license)
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for six months (unless the defendant chooses not to drive);
  • Up to 6 months in jail (depending on the county)
  • In some counties, work release
  • Indirect consequences (such as increased car insurance premiums and harsher penalties if the defendant gets convicted of a subsequent DUI).

 

A DUI arrest triggers two types of legal proceedings

Being arrested for driving under the influence subjects the driver to two sets of proceedings:

  1. A jury trial or a bench trial in a California criminal court, and
  2. A California DMV license suspension hearing.

The California DMV cannot find a defendant or put him or her in jail. It can only suspend the defendant's license. It will suspend a license automatically unless the defendant timely requests – and then prevails at a hearing but getting a DMV hearing is not automatic. The defendant must request one within 10 days of being arrested.

However if  you hire an attorney, it's typically to represent you in the DMV proceedings and criminal court. Having the same attorney work on both aspects of your case can lead to better outcomes, including a shorter license-suspension period.

 

Suspended License in California

Any driver that drives with a suspended license is committing a crime according to the laws in the state of California. Some drivers are aware of the fact that their license has been suspended and some are not aware. In any case, the laws are written for immediate enforcement and a license suspension notice from the DMV is a serious matter that should be immediately addressed.
There are four common types of license suspensions in California. They are negligent operation, failure to appear, DUI and reexamination suspension. Each of these types of suspensions will eliminate your ability to drive for a predetermined amount of time.

 

Under negligent operation suspension, any driver that accumulates excessive points in the time period permitted under law will receive a license suspension. Points that are added to a license by the DMV will remain until cleared or dismissed. The addition of four points within 12 months, six points in 24 months, or eight points in a 36 month period will cause your license to be suspended.

A failure to appear suspension, known as an FTA, can be due to a missed court date, unpaid tickets or child support arrears. This information is immediately reported to the DMV by the court and a hold is placed on your license. This hold is a form of a suspension and will take away your privilege to drive.

An arrest for suspicion of a DUI requires an immediate suspension of your drivers license. After the arrest is made, the arresting officer will confiscate your license and submit it to the DMV for a notice of suspension.

A suspension by reexamination can be enforced by your lack of knowledge of driving laws, prior convictions for DUI or traffic violations or your inability to operate a vehicle safety in the opinion of a police officer.
You have the legal right to request a DMV hearing for review and determination of your ability to legally drive. Knowing the law is not enough to make a defense on your own behalf. The information, facts and opinions that will be presented at a DMV hearing require the experience of a legal professional to understand.