The least serious traffic infractions are not considered misdemeanors. These offenses may include simple moving violations such as speeding or a problem with registration. The DMV typically handles traffic infractions and they do not result in jail time. Only offenses that carry jail time could be considered a misdemeanor, and these cases are handled in the DC superior court.
There are no specific traffic offenses that are felonious in nature, but there could be related felony charges. For instance, if law enforcement charges someone with a misdemeanor of driving while under the influence and they have an illegal gun in their car, they could receive an additional felony gun charge related to the driving charge.
Alternatively, if an individual intentionally runs someone over with their car, the police may charge this person with vehicular homicide. However, this offense is the standard criminal code as opposed to the transportation code. These varying levels of traffic offenses have different accompanying consequences. A skilled attorney could review an individual’s charges and determine which DC traffic offense penalties they may be facing.
For fine-only traffic violations, an individual may only have to make a ticket payment if they are found guilty in addition to receiving points on their license. However, there is no jail penalty for these offenses. On the other hand, driving while under the influence with a prior offense or a blood alcohol limit over a certain level may bring a mandatory jail sentence.
For example, a conviction for a second DUI offense means an individual may have to go to jail for at least ten days, with the maximum being up to a year of incarceration. If police charge a driver with a third or fourth offense, the mandatory minimum period could go up to a month or longer. Other traffic offenses also could lead to probation, loss of driving privileges, and other with-standing consequences.
One of the most common types of punishments that an individual could receive for a traffic offense in DC are demerit points added to their license. A person may receive points when they are found guilty of a traffic offense, not when the ticket is issued. If a person pays a ticket, that is an admission of guilt, so once a payment is processed, the points are imposed. If the superior court system handles a case, such as reckless driving, at the point of conviction, the court notifies the DMV to impose those points. This process is not always automatic. There is a broad range of timeframes that demerits are added to a license.
Under the DC transportation code, various traffic offenses carry points. These points go on a driver’s license and provide a running total. Points may stay on an individual’s record for two years, depending on their offense and the accompanying consequences. For example, if someone has 10 points, the court may suspend their license for 90 days.
If a driver has 12 or more points on their license, this individual may lose their driving privileges until the DMV reinstates the license. Reinstatement of a license may take at least six months.
Points accumulate for a variety of offenses. If someone is convicted of speeding, this offense adds 3 points to a license. If someone receives a guilty verdict of reckless driving, this has a six-point consequence. Some offenses automatically revoke a license because they carry 12 points. This may occur if law enforcement charges a driver with committing a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle, such as driving under the influence and aggravated reckless driving.
Even if it is just for a minor traffic infraction, a person should contact an attorney if they are concerned about having points on their record. An attorney could advise them on whether the offense carries points. Multiple minor traffic violations could result in significant points, and a lawyer could advise an individual about the DC traffic consequences.
Anytime a person has an open case or pending traffic charges, they should talk to a lawyer. An attorney could explain the varying DC traffic offense penalties they may be facing and advise them on their legal options. Even if someone receives a ticket during a routine traffic stop, it still may be worth it for this individual to fight these charges. For help fighting your traffic offenses, call today.
David Benowitz and his firm are the best strategic and compassionate teams you will work with. Mr. Benowitz and his team are diligent and proactive, which is further enhanced by David’s methodic and strategic approach to law. My case was a very complicated and emotionally charged case involving classified information, where I was facing three indictments, two carrying life sentences and one carrying 20 years. Mr. Benowitz utilized a network of lawyers coupled with his own strategy to navigate the case to success! I sincerely recommend David Benowitz quite literally with my life.
I found David to be very dedicated to fighting for your loved one’s rights. I also highly appreciated the fact that David kept us informed and empowered throughout the whole process.
Mr. Benowitz is an incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated professional. His commitments to social justice and community outreach are exemplary. I wholeheartedly recommend him for any matter.