All motor vehicle drivers must abide by the rules of the road. If an individual fails to follow the rules of the road, they could face serious consequences such as fines, jail time, points on a license, and loss of driving privileges.
Following a ticket or charge for violating the rules of the road, you should retain the services of an experienced Greeley traffic lawyer. Our tenacious legal team at Nicol Gersch Petterson may be able to help you get your case dismissed or reduce the consequences of a conviction.
Traffic violations could occur in a variety of ways. The most common traffic violations include:
More information about a few of these types of offenses, are below. For more information about what may constitute a traffic violation, consult with an experienced traffic attorney. Keep in mind that any penalties are actually ranges and specific penalties will be unique to you.
Police may issue a driver a ticket for careless driving if the officer believes the motorist is driving in a manner without due regard to others on the road, the conditions of the roadway, or even the weather. The statutory language is vague, stating that it is an offense to drive in an imprudent manner inappropriate for the conditions, per Colorado Revised Statutes §42-4-1402. If a person drives in a careless manner and injures or kills another person, the possible penalties could be up to six months in the county jail, a fine, or probation if the court determines there are aggravating factors.
Another common criminal charge that may result from a traffic incident is reckless driving. According to CO Rev. Stat. §42-4-1401, this is a fairly open-ended offense where an officer can make an arrest if they believe that the driver exhibited a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of others. A conviction under reckless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.
It is always illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an accident where there is property damage or a physical injury. Under CO Rev. Stat. §42-4-1602, leaving the scene of property damage is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense. Similarly, CO Rev. Stat. §42-4-1601 describes leaving the scene of an accident that involves injuries. The severity of the penalties corresponds to the level of injury. Infractions may be a class 1 misdemeanor in the case of injury, a class 4 felony in the case of serious bodily injury, or a class 3 felony if the incident resulted in death.
Depending on the seriousness of the alleged conduct, the DMV may suspend a person’s driver’s license. This is a common course of action for numerous speeding tickets, unpaid fines, unpaid child support, reckless driving, or DUI. If the charged behavior was a danger to the public, the court might also sentence the alleged offender to jail time in addition to any penalties one might receive from the DMV.
Some traffic violations are not considered criminal offenses. Instead, they are considered civil infractions. If a person receives this type of ticket, they can avoid going to court and pay the fine by mail. However, they may earn points and increased insurance premiums by doing this. A diligent Greeley lawyer may be able to help a ticketed person understand their rights and help them avoid a conviction. If you receive any sort of civil infraction, you should contact Jenn or Justie prior to paying the ticket.
Other traffic tickets are misdemeanors offenses, which are criminal violations, as described in C.R.S. §42-4-1701. Some examples include driving without insurance, going more than 24 miles above the speed limit, and careless driving.
A driver may accumulate points on their driving record. Most infractions do not result in loss of driving privileges. For adults over the age of 21, if the driver has 12 points within any 12- month period, the court will suspend the driver’s right to drive. Also, if the driver receives 18 points in two years, the same result occurs. The point system becomes harsher as the age of the driver decreases. Drivers between 18 and 21 need only accumulate 9 points over a 12-month period to receive a suspension. This number drops to 6 for drivers under the age of 18. There are also many complexities within the DMV when a person has been charged with an alcohol related offense and thus consulting an attorney is important.
There are many different types of traffic offenses. Each carries its own consequences and the offers and penalties received in any given case are often unique to the case—a bad driving history will usually result in worse penalties. Some, but not all traffic violations will “fall off” of your record for insurance purposes, but rarely will any of them be removed from your law enforcement database in Colorado.
It is best to speak with a knowledgeable attorney who could advise you of the best plan to protect your interests and preserve your right to drive in Colorado. A Greeley traffic lawyer may be able to provide valuable advice, which may allow you to make the best decision for your situation. A legal representative’s help is no guarantee of a positive outcome, but at least you understand your rights and move forward with confidence. Let our attorneys at Nicol Gersh Law help you fight the charges. Call today to learn about what may be possible in your case.