WHAT ARE TRAFFIC CRIME PENALTIES IN FLORIDA?
First of all: What is a Traffic Crime in Florida?
Traffic crimes are not the same as traffic infractions. Infractions could be things like a ticket for non-felony speeding, a ticket for failing to use a blinker, or even a parking ticket.
While we can also represent you on traffic infractions, we're especially suited to represent people facing traffic crimes in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Sunrise and the surrounding South Florida Area.
Traffic Crimes include things like DUIs, driving with a suspended license, being involved in a hit and run car accident, vehicular homicide and fleeing and eluding police or cops in your car.
Traffic crimes differ from traffic infractions in the sense that not only do they stay on your permanent record, they can also be presented as a felony. Felonies carry far heavier penalties than infractions. They also can create life-long difficulties when it comes to finding a job or getting a loan or mortgage.
COMMON TRAFFIC CRIMES & TRAFFIC CRIME PENALTIES IN SOUTH FLORIDA
Traffic Crimes penalties and consequences vary greatly in Florida. For reckless driving, as an example, the criminal charges can either be a misdemeanor or a felony and can result in up to 5 years in prison, 5 years on probation and up to $5,000 in fines.
In more dramatic cases of Florida Traffic Crimes - such as Fleeing and Eluding cops or police - the penalties can be a first-degree felony with consequences of up to 30 years in prison or probation and up to $10,000 in fines.
In less dramatic cases, such as driving with a suspended driver's license, the penalties can be much less severe - such as up to 60 days in the county jail and up to a $500 fine.
- Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License:
- When someone drives on a Florida Highway with knowledge that their license is suspended, canceled, or revoked.
- Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License in Florida
- If it's your first offense you can be charged with an infraction and face up to 60 Days in county jail, and minimal fines. If it's your second offense, you can be charged with a second degree misdemeanor and face up to one year in prison and more significant fines. Finally, if it's your third offense, you can be charged with a felony and face up to 5 years in prison and severe fines.
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident:
- Involves a person’s unlawful exit from the scene of a car crash.
- Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Leaving the Scene of an Accident: in Florida
- If you leave the scene of a traffic accident where a person was injured you can face up to 5 years in prison or on probation. If there was only property damage, you can be charged with a second degree misdemeanor, and you would be facing up to 60 days in county jail and minimal fines.
- Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding:
- General Fleeing and Eluding occurs when a driver has been lawfully ordered to stop their vehicle by a law enforcement officer, and the defendant knowingly refuses to stop, or has stopped and willfully fled in an attempt to elude police.
- Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding in Florida
- A mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and up to a 15 year maximum prison sentence.
- No valid Driver’s License:
- A criminal charge in Florida for operating a car on a public highway without a Driver’s License.
- Minimum & Maximum Penalty for No valid Driver’s License in Florida
- If you are convicted of driving without a valid driver’s license in the state of Florida, you face a second-degree misdemeanor that could result in up to 60 days in jail, although if you have no prior criminal record, it is unlikely you will be sentenced to jail.
- Racing on Highways:
- When someone competitively drives a vehicle in a speed or acceleration contest, or engages in drag racing, or participates as a passenger or race facilitator.
- Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Racing on Highways in Florida
- Racing on highways can cause a revocation of your driver's license, vehicle impoundment or revocation, possible vehicle forfeiture, and it may stay on your permanent criminal record.
- Reckless Driving:
- Operating a car in a manner demonstrating a willful disregard for safety.
- Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Reckless Driving in Florida
- If it is your first offense, it can be penalized as a traffic infraction with punishments of up to 60 days in jail. If it is your second offense, it's still a traffic infraction but it can hold punishments of up to 6 months in jail. Finally, if you cause property damage it can become a third degree misdemeanor and if you harm another person, it can become a second degree felony.
FINES & FEES ASSOCIATED WITH TRAFFIC CRIME CONVICTIONS IN SOUTH FLORIDA
Driving with a suspended Driver’s License:
- Up to $500, $1,000, or $5,000 in fines and fees depending on the number of offenses.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident:
- Up to $500 in fines and fees
Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding:
- Up to $10,000 in fines and fees
No valid Driver’s License:
- Up to $500 in fines and fees
Racing on Highways:
- Up to $1,000-$3,000 in fines and fees
- At least $25 and up to $500 in fines and fees
CONCLUSION: Florida has Tough Traffic Crime Penalties and Consequences
Traffic crimes in the state of Florida include Driving with a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, Aggravated fleeing and eluding, Driving without a valid license, racing on highways and possibly reckless driving. These crimes carry penalties and fines which range from up to 60 days in jail to up to 15 years in prison, and $50 to $500 respectively depending on the severity of the crime and how many offenses you have had in the past.
If you or someone you know is facing Traffic crimes charges in South Florida, you'll want to get in touch with a local criminal defense law firm that has plenty of experience in this specific field. Rossen Law Firm has two offices in Broward County, and one in Palm Beach County and has a wealth of experience working on traffic crime cases in all of South Florida. We will work diligently to get you a favorable outcome.
Adam, Manny, David, Susan and our entire award-winning legal team are ready to hear all about your case and tell you how they’d defend your rights in a free strategy session.
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