Not all traffic offenses are civil infractions where the only penalty is a ticket. Florida law provides for many traffic offenses that have far harsher consequences than a simple monetary fine. Criminal traffic offenses may be punishable by misdemeanors or felonies and may even require jail time.
Under certain circumstances, you can be charged with a misdemeanor criminal traffic offense, but the officer may just issue a notice to appear in court instead of arresting you. Even though you avoided a formal arrest, make no mistake, you are charged with a crime. A criminal traffic offense comes with the possibility of jail time or high monetary fines, or a lengthy term of probation.
In addition to the penalties the court may impose in a criminal traffic case, other collateral consequences can include points on your driver’s license, a driver's license suspension, or a steep increase in your insurance rates.
If you were accused of a traffic offense that is more serious than a ticket, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight by your side and possibly reduce fines or jail time.
With offices located in Pensacola, Florida, Attorney John Terrezza can help you understand any criminal charges pending against you and the potential penalties associated with that charge.
John Terrezza takes cases throughout the Florida panhandle particularly in Escambia County and Santa Rosa County in Milton. Terrezza also takes federal criminal cases and is admitted to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
Call (850) 764-5291 today for a free consultation to discuss your case.
The most common criminal traffic offenses prosecuted in Pensacola and Milton, FL include:
A person may find themselves subject to criminal penalties, rather than a civil traffic citation, for driving offenses.
Florida Statute §316.192 provides that reckless driving occurs when a person drives their vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety of others and the surrounding property. When the conviction is a first offense, the penalty for reckless driving is up to ninety (90) days in jail and up to a $500 fine. Upon a second conviction of reckless driving, the sentence is up to six (6) months in jail and up to $1,000 fines.
Driving With License Suspended
Under Florida Statute §322.34(2), a person who drives when their license has been revoked, suspended, or canceled, and who knows that their driving privileges have been canceled, revoked, or suspended yet drives on the Florida highways is in violation of Florida law.
Hit and Run
Florida Statute §316.027 requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident, whether it occurred on public or private property, to immediately stop the vehicle at, or near the scene of the crash, and remain at the scene until the parties involved exchange names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, and driver’s licenses and, if needed, render reasonable assistance to those injured in the crash.
If any of the individuals involved in the crash are not in a condition received the required information and no police officer is present, then the driver of any vehicles involved in the crash must report the accident to the nearest police station.
“Hit and Run – Bad To Worse” - Visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website for more information about the 2015 statistics for motor vehicle hit and run accidents and other facts about leaving the scene.
Florida Chapter 318– Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language contained in the Florida statute for hit and run, driving with a suspended licenses, and other traffic offenses that may result in criminal charges.
If you were arrested or given a notice to appear for a criminal traffic offense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help. John Terrezza represents clients in reckless driving, hit and run, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer, and other criminal traffic offense cases throughout Pensacola, Florida, and in the surrounding area in the Panhandle.
John Terrezza takes cases in Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, and federal cases in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
You do not have to face the judge alone. With offices located in Pensacola, Florida, let John Terrezza put his experience to work for you. Call (850) 764-5291.
This article was last updated on Thursday, December 29, 2016.