Typically traffic violations result in a citation being issued and not much more. These types of infractions can range from citations for problems with the mechanical function of the vehicle (such as a broken tail light) or from the registration date being expired to moving violations of a non-endangering or criminal nature. These situations are typically resolved without a court appearance and usually end with payment of the citation given. However, some traffic or vehicle-related violations can be considered misdemeanor traffic violation or even felonies, punishable by permanent loss of driving privileges and a term of imprisonment. These misdemeanors require a court appearance,
Misdemeanors are considered to be less serious in nature than felonies, but can include both traffic and criminal actions. In order for a traffic violation to be considered a misdemeanor, it must be designated as such by local or state ordinances, and carry a punishment of a fine or imprisonment for a period less than 364 days. These violations may also result in the loss of your driver's license, or revocation of driving privileges. The classifications for these various degrees of criminal infraction vary from state to state, but there are some common violations that fall into the misdemeanor class no matter the location. Some of these case include:
The most serious crimes are always considered felonies, and there are traffic violations that warrant a felony judgment. The general definition of a felony is an offense punishable by over 364 days imprisonment. In some cases where the misdemeanor offense is deemed "gross" or "aggravated", a felony punishment may be sought for a misdemeanor crime. Some of the most common felonies that come from moving violations include:
Both misdemeanor and felony charges are punishable by much stricter means than any local traffic violation. Anyone accused of any violation which requires immediate detainment or a court appearance should immediately consult a lawyer, or obtain one prior to their initial court appearance.