Almost every driver has had the experience of looking in the rearview mirror and seeing the flashing red lights of a Highway Patrol car. In some cases, drivers know exactly what they did wrong. In others, there is a moment of surprise wondering why they are being stopped. If the person had a drink or two with dinner, the surprise may turn into fear, hoping this is not a stop for allegedly driving under the influence.
If this happened to you and you received a citation for any violation, or were arrested for drunk driving, you need the assistance of John Hamilton, Esq., an Orange County traffic law attorney. You have rights that need to be protected and possible defenses. You may want to challenge even minor traffic violations that seem insignificant at the time, but may result in high fines and add points to your driving record that will affect you in the future.
Infractions and misdemeanors
Minor traffic violations may be either infractions or misdemeanors. The differences depend on the potential penalties that may be imposed.
- Infractions: Many minor traffic violations are considered infractions. They come with financial penalties and possible points on your driving record, but no jail time will be imposed. Infractions include fix-it tickets and non-moving violations. Some minor moving violations are also charged as infractions, like an unsafe left or u-turn or certain speeding tickets.
- Misdemeanors: There are a number traffic violations that are misdemeanors like driving the wrong way on a one-way road, possession of an open container of alcohol and driving without a license. If convicted, you may face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. You may also have your license suspended.
Driving under the influence (DUI): Misdemeanor or felony
Depending on the circumstances of an arrest for DUI, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. The more times you are charged with a DUI, the more severe the penalties become. If anyone was injured, you may be charged with a felony and spend time in jail or prison. You may be ordered to attend a rehabilitation program, install an ignition interlock system on your car. High fines may be imposed.
There are defenses you can raise. Your constitutional rights may have been violated or the evidence obtained against you may be unreliable. John Hamilton Esq. in Irvine CA can help have charges dismissed or reduced in order to mitigate the consequences.
Driver’s license suspensions
The DMV may suspend your driver’s license for a number of reasons ranging from a failure to appear in court, failure to pay a fine, as a penalty for drunk driving or a myriad of other reasons. Attorney John Hamilton can assist you will all license suspension issues and help you have your driving privileges restored.