Traffic Violation or Misdemeanor Crime?

 Posted on February 06,2024 in Traffic Violations

IL traffic lawyerThe distinction between a traffic violation and a misdemeanor offense can be confusing for people who do not work in the criminal law field. If you were pulled over by the police and given notice that you broke a law, you may wonder how serious the situation is. Traffic violations are generally somewhat minor, although they can ultimately result in a suspended license or other issues if you have enough of them. A misdemeanor traffic-related crime is a fair bit more serious. While you cannot go to jail for a simple violation, you could face some jail time for a misdemeanor offense. There are even some driving-related offenses that are considered felonies in Illinois, such as an aggravated DUI charge. Misdemeanors can carry up to a year in jail, whereas a felony can carry multiple years in prison. If you are facing any type of traffic charge, it is best to consult a qualified Arlington Heights, IL, traffic crimes attorney

Common Cook County Traffic Offenses and Their Status

If you are not sure whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor crime or a traffic violation, it is best to speak with a lawyer who can clarify what type of charge you are facing. A few common types of traffic offenses and their legal status include:

  • Speeding - A simple speeding ticket is a violation. However, if you were going far, far over the speed limit, you might be charged instead with reckless driving, which is a misdemeanor offense. 
  • DUI - Driving while intoxicated is always at least a misdemeanor charge. You will need to appear in court and could be sent to jail, even if you were not immediately taken into custody. Aggravated DUIs can be charged as felony offenses. Your DUI might be considered aggravated if your B.A.C. was very high, you had a child passenger, or you caused an accident that hurt someone. 
  • Causing an accident - Depending on the circumstances, you could be issued a violation, charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, or not charged with anything at all. If the accident was your fault for insurance purposes only, but you were not doing anything illegal or driving recklessly, you might not be charged. If you failed to yield, merged without signaling, or otherwise broke a traffic regulation, you could be ticketed. However, if you caused the accident because you were drunk or driving recklessly - especially if you injured someone or fled the scene - you might face more serious charges.

It is important to ask an attorney to explain the gravity of your traffic charges if you are unsure. 

Contact a Cook County, IL, Traffic Crimes Attorney

Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law provides high-quality representation to those facing charges due to a traffic incident. Scott Anderson, an experienced Arlington Heights, IL, traffic crimes lawyer, will do all he can to minimize the impact of your charge. Contact us at 847-253-3400 for a free consultation. 

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