Although many traffic offenses may not carry the same stigma and penalties as other, more serious crimes, even the lower-level offenses can result in significant fines, the loss of your driving privileges, and increased insurance rates. Additionally, the more serious offenses, or even some less serious violations if they are part of a series of violations by the same offender, can result in imprisonment. For these reasons, traffic charges should not be taken lightly. Our experienced attorneys can explain the possible consequences of the various violations and represent those charged with traffic offenses throughout the resolution of the matter, taking some of the mystery out of the process and increasing the chances of the best possible outcome.
In Florida, no particular criminal intent is required to convict a person of a minor traffic offense. This concept is referred to as strict liability. The only proof needed is evidence that the person charged actually committed the prohibited act. For example, if there is reliable evidence of speeding, it need not also be proven that the driver intended to exceed the speed limit; it rarely matters for liability purposes if the speeding was inadvertent or purposeful.
Strict-liability traffic offenses most commonly include:
Failure to comply with traffic control device;
Failure to use turn signals;
Failure to yield;
Failure to use due care;
Improper lane change;
Parking in a fire lane;
Parking in a handicap spot without permit.
Almost every traffic violation becomes a misdemeanor or felony if it involves injury to a person or destruction of property. A person who changes lanes without signaling and hits another car can be charged with the misdemeanor crime of reckless driving or even vehicular homicide if the lane-changer was attempting to inflict serious bodily injury and the other driver is killed. In addition, some traffic offenses are legally defined as misdemeanors or felonies, such as driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident. A person accused of these more serious traffic offenses is entitled to all criminal procedures and a jury trial.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a traffic law violation, a criminal defense attorney with experience in handling traffic violations, like those at McGowan and Clarke can explain the procedures and possible penalties that you face, and can work with you to ensure the best possible outcome.
At McGowan and Clarke we represent clients in Collier and Lee counties and throughout Southwest Florida who have been charged with criminal traffic violations. Whether you have received multiple speeding tickets, had your license suspended, or have been charged with DUI, you can count on us to vigorously defend your rights, and fight for you.
We have a great deal of experience representing repeat offenders, and can help you keep your license and retain your valuable driving privileges. If you have been charged with reckless driving, or any other traffic offense, it is imperative to speak with an attorney who is experienced in the area of criminal traffic offenses such as:
No Valid Driver License;
Driving on License Suspended or Revoked;
Willful Wanton Reckless Driving;
Or any other Criminal Traffic Offense.
Contact us at McGowan and Clarke immediately to make sure your privilege to drive is protected.