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Q&A: Criminal Traffic Violations


What is a criminal traffic violation?

Most people in their lives have received at least one or two traffic tickets, whether it be the result of speeding, running a stop light, or making an illegal turn. However, unlike a civil traffic infraction, a criminal traffic violation alleges that you have committed a criminal traffic violation. It is important to know the different violations and infractions and what they signify in the sense of a legal proceeding.


Traffic violations can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. In Michigan, a traffic violation becomes a misdemeanor or felony if it causes injury to a person or property, or creates a real threat of injury to a person or property.


Traffic Misdemeanors

Q: What are they?

A: Consequently, those that are categorized as misdemeanors can be punishable by a fine, a jail sentence, or both. Some of the most commonly prosecuted misdemeanor offenses include:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license

  • Speeding of 40 mph or more in excess of the speed limit

  • Drag racing

  • Reckless driving

  • Leaving the scene of an accident

Q: What can a traffic misdemeanor conviction result in?

A: For many of these violations, you will be taken into custody and required to post bail. Individuals accused of these more serious traffic violations are entitled to all the protections allowed under the constitution.


Traffic Felonies

Q: What are They?

A: Traffic felonies are significantly more serious. You can be charged with a felony if you commit a traffic offense, which results in extensive property damage, serious injury, or the death of another person. A list of traffic felonies may include the following violations but are not limited to:

  • Repeat or aggravated DUI convictions

  • Vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter

  • Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident

  • Striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk

  • Repeatedly using a revoked license

Q: What can a felony traffic conviction result in?

A: Felony traffic convictions can result in sentences including expensive fines, community service, a criminal felony record, and substantial jail time.

If you are convicted, you may lose the right to vote, own a gun, serve in the military and may be prohibited from practicing certain professions.


Stay in the Know

It is imperative to understand the differences between traffic violations that are misdemeanors and those that are felonies, and especially the examples of each. Knowing what your situation consists of and may lead to can help us here at The Gracey Law Firm offer you the best legal representation with optimal results.

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