Traffic Tickets Impose a Legal Duty
We all get traffic tickets. From failing to have proof of insurance, to an expired meter, traffic tickets, when issued, impose a duty upon us. In that sense, they are legal documents. Most of the time, a traffic ticket imposes a legal duty to pay a fine, but it can also impose a duty to take an affirmative action such fixing a tail light or showing proof of insurance to a judge.
Traffic Violations: Misdemeanor or Felony?
Usually, these are misdemeanor violations, typically called infractions. However, there are some traffic violations that result in felony convictions. When a traffic violation results in injury or the threat of immediate injury to a person or to property, that violation can be a felony.
Some traffic violations in Oklahoma are statutorily classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. For example, reckless driving, defined as driving carelessly or wantonly and without regard for the safety of persons or property around you, is classified as a misdemeanor. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 11-901.
However, a repeat DUI (driving under the influence), is charged as a felony if the prior DUI occurred within the prior 10 years.
Penalties Can Vary
Penalties vary quite a bit ad some can involve jail time. This is especially true with multiple violations. A first conviction for reckless driving is punishable by 5-90 days of jail time, a fine between $100 and $500, or both. The penalties become more harsh with subsequent convictions. A subsequent violation is punishable by a jail term of between 10 days and 6 months, or a fine from $100 to $1000, or both.
Likewise, penalties for a DUI increase with each conviction. While a first DUI conviction is punishable by jail time from 10 days to 1 year, or a fine up to $1000, or both, a second conviction could subject you to up to 5 years in prison. A third conviction can result in up to 10 years in prison in addition to fines. The court can also impose treatment, loss of license, and other losses of rights and privileges, at its discretion. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 11-902.
Points Add Up
Oklahoma is a state that uses a point system for driving infractions. Every moving violation has a point value. Too many points on your driving record over a period of time can result in increased auto insurance premiums and ultimately to the loss of driving privileges.
A Traffic Ticket Attorney Can Help
There are things you can do when facing jail time, a fine or loss of a license. When you pay the fine or go to jail, you are pleading guilty or no-contest to the charges against you. When you contest a ticket, a court appearance is required. Anytime you need to make a court appearance on a criminal matter, it is a good idea to have an attorney by your side.
Sometimes, the citation issued is unfair, or the penalty may be unfair or more than a person can handle. In all these cases, a traffic lawyer can argue on your behalf. In the case of a felony, you should always have an attorney with you.
Confidential Consultation: Muskogee Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Get help when you need it most. Work with an experienced traffic ticket lawyer in Muskogee, Oklahoma, to get a fair shake in court and to protect your freedom. Contact us today at (918) 884-7774.