Criminal Traffic Violation Defense Lawyer in Lakeland
Get an experienced attorney to protect your rights
Not all traffic offenses are created equal. While many violations behind the wheel are resolved with a fine and perhaps a surcharge on your insurance, some things carry much more severe penalties. The consequences of a criminal traffic violation can ripple across your career, your life, and your future.
If you’ve been charged with a crime behind the wheel, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney who knows Florida law and knows the legal system in Polk County. You need to talk to Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law right away.
What’s the difference between a moving violation and a criminal traffic violation?
A moving violation, such as speeding or running a stop sign, is a civil infraction. If you’re charged with one of these violations, you’ll get a ticket with a fine to pay and some points on your license that will increase the price you pay for car insurance (and put you at risk for a license suspension if you accumulate too many). Those consequences are frustrating, but usually not life-altering.
Criminal traffic violations, however, are much more serious. You’ll get a misdemeanor or felony charge on your criminal record, a significantly bigger fine, and possibly jail time depending on the offense. Examples of criminal traffic violations include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run)
- Racing on a highway
- Driving without a license or with a suspended or expired license
- Driving without a valid registration or with an expired registration
- Riding a motorcycle without a motorcycle endorsement
- Unlawful display or use of your driver’s license
- Permitting an unauthorized person to drive
If you’re charged with a criminal traffic violation, your driver’s license may be immediately suspended, and you may be arrested and thrown in county jail. A conviction will remain on your criminal record for life, with all the implications a criminal record can have for your career, your ability to rent a home, and your reputation in the community.
How an attorney can help defend criminal traffic violations
There are two aspects of a criminal traffic violation that your attorney needs to address: the effects on your driving privilege, and the actual criminal charge. Your driver’s license suspension or revocation is an administrative matter that can be fought through the Formal Review process. Depending on the circumstances, it may be in your interest to fight the suspension or apply for a restricted license that will allow you to drive to work, school, church, and medical appointments.
On the criminal side, there are multiple defense strategies that can be used. One defense is that you had no knowledge you were committing a crime; for instance, if you didn’t know your license was suspended or expired, that can be part of your defense. In addition, your attorney may be able to question whether the police officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over or probable cause to search your vehicle and get evidence thrown out if it was obtained in an illegal search. Often, this is enough to get charges dropped or dismissed.
Get an experienced defense attorney to fight your criminal traffic violation
The key is to act fast. There are tight deadlines for criminal traffic violations, especially on the administrative side, and the clock starts ticking at the moment of your arrest. An attorney who knows the system can help you stay on top of those deadlines and make sure your legal options stay open. Depending on the situation, it may be possible to get your charges dropped or reduced, or fight or a Not Guilty verdict in court.
Don’t face criminal traffic violation charges alone. Get a Lakeland criminal defense lawyer on your side who knows how to defend these complex cases. Call or use the online contact form today to get your free consultation.