While some traffic tickets may leave you with points on your record and a fine to pay, others can result in long-term, legal and personal consequences. Due to the potential for severe ramifications, traffic tickets should never be just be ignored.
It may be critical to consult with a Phoenix traffic ticket lawyer if you have been issued a citation by law enforcement for an alleged violation. Many typical criminal defense attorneys are unfamiliar with the process of disputing traffic tickets. We suggest reaching out to traffic ticket attorneys, like us who could help assess the potential challenges that may arise in your case. A well-practiced traffic lawyer could also evaluate the most effective strategies for pursuing a reduction of your charges, avoid license points, or even getting them dropped, in some cases.
Phoenix Penalties for Various Traffic Violations
Many traffic violations in Phoenix are misdemeanors. While some traffic violations may be mitigated by attending driving school or paying a fine, other offenses carry much harsher penalties.
Excessive Speeding aka “Criminal Speed”
Excessive speeding is a common criminal traffic violation and is a Class 3 misdemeanor. Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-701.02 defines excessive speeding as driving over 35 miles per hour in the vicinity of a school crosswalk or above 85 miles per hour on any road. Driving 20 miles per hour above the limit in a residential or business area, or more than 45 miles per hour in a residential or business area with no speed sign, also constitutes excessive speeding. If convicted of this offense, an individual can face a range of penalties, including license points, suspension of their driver’s license, a month in jail, fines, and more.
Az. Rev. Stat. § 28-693 defines reckless driving, which is operating a motor vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety of others. Reckless driving is usually a Class 2 misdemeanor crime in Arizona, punishable by license revocation or suspension, four months’ incarceration, license points, and fines.
Driving Under the Influence
While most DUI charges are misdemeanor offenses that carry a prison sentence of a few days to several months, a person who is driving under the influence and seriously injures or worse, kills someone, could face additional felony charges for manslaughter or even second-degree murder. These charges carry harsh maximum prison terms and other legal punishments that may be assessed for the DUI portion. Multiple DUI convictions in short succession to one another can also result in felony charges.
Even for lesser traffic charges such as driving on a suspended license or failure to appear in court for a traffic hearing can result in severe penalties include license points, suspension, and fines, and in some cases, jail or prison time.
In fact, let’s use a common example of criminal speed. Let’s say a driver was issued a criminal speed ticket by police and released with a ticket and court date listed at the bottom of their ticket. The driver then fails appear in Court on their assigned day or fails to hire an attorney to appear on their behalf. When this occurs, in most cases a Judge will then issue a bench arrest warrant for that driver and add an additional criminal misdemeanor charge of “Failure to Appear.”
This doesn’t have to happen. Yet another possible reason to enlist the help of a Phoenix lawyer who can help someone fight a traffic ticket and defend against other related charges.
Possible Defenses to a Traffic Ticket
There are numerous potential options for someone issued a traffic ticket in Phoenix. For example, if a person receives a civil traffic ticket and the violation is a moving violation, most drivers can opt to complete an online defensive driving course (DDS) through an authorized MVD approved vendor. (You can visit www.azdrive.com for a list of MVD authorized traffic schools) If a person chooses this option, they pay for and successfully complete the course no later than 14 days before their ticket deadline then notify the court and prove they completed the course, in most cases that violation will be dismissed.
If traffic school is not an option OR if a driver feels they want to dispute the violation a traffic attorney may also be possible to get the individual’s traffic charges downgraded to a lesser offense, which can reduce the impact on their driving record, insurance, driver’s license, and other privileges that may otherwise be affected by a conviction. A local attorney could review a driver’s traffic violation to determine what defenses are available.
Contact a Phoenix Traffic Ticket Attorney for Guidance
A Phoenix, Arizona traffic ticket lawyer could help with your case if you have been charged with a civil or criminal traffic violation. If you have questions about your case, set up a consultation to discuss your charges with an experienced traffic lawyer. Call today to receive a free confidential case evaluation and learn more about how our attorneys could help with your defense.