Most traffic infractions are minor violations that result in small fines and written citations. However, serious violations are classed as misdemeanors, and the most significant offenses are given felony status. Felony traffic offenses typically mean that grievous bodily injury or severe property damage has occurred. The most common felony traffic offenses are related to DUI cases. Here, drivers can learn how an attorney can help those accused of traffic offenses in Virginia.
Which Traffic Violations Are Classed As Felonies?
Felonies are the most severe crimes in all jurisdictions, and a traffic lawyer in Orange, VA can handle all traffic offenses that are considered to be felonies. However, most locations give felony status to the following actions:
* Vehicular homicide.
* Repeated DUI convictions.
* Repeatedly driving on a suspended or revoked license.
* Certain hit-and-run offenses.
Some jurisdictions label the most egregious acts as gross or aggravated misdemeanors. This simply means that although the offense is a misdemeanor, it may result in penalties similar to those given in felony cases.
Consequences of a Felony Traffic Conviction
According to the legal definition, a felony is punishable by a year or more in prison. Most traffic felonies include fines in addition to prison time, and fines can range from several hundred to thousands of dollars depending on the nature of the case. A traffic felony can have the following negative effects:
* Loss or revocation of one’s driver’s license.
* Loss of privileges such as the right to vote or to teach.
* Impounding of the car used to commit the felony.
* Prohibition of firearms ownership.
* A permanent criminal record.
* A possible life sentence in jurisdictions with “three strikes” felony rules.
Some traffic offenses start as misdemeanors but can lead to felony-level charges, especially where repeat offenders are concerned.
Should a Defendant Hire an Attorney for a Felony Traffic Crime?
Felony charges are severe and should be taken seriously. If one commits a traffic offense, it’s best to consult a traffic lawyer in Orange, VA. Many lawyers deal with traffic crimes, and they can help clients assemble a case. These attorneys can also help clients get more information on changes to state traffic laws.