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Can traffic offenses land you in jail?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

When you think about common traffic offenses like speeding or reckless driving, you probably don’t think about those actions leading to time in jail or prison. It’s not particularly common for a first traffic offense to lead to jail time or imprisonment in most cases, though there may be heavy fines and other penalties.

Still, in some cases, such as when a driver caused a crash or was caught driving without a license, imprisonment could be a possibility.

Is it possible to go to jail for traffic offenses?

Sometimes, traffic offenses can result in prison time. Some issues that could result in a jail or prison sentence include:

  • Speeding in a restricted zone, such as a school zone
  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding without a license
  • Having multiple speeding tickets
  • Failing to pay your tickets or come to court
  • Excessive speeding

It is more likely for a ticket to result in a jail sentence if it’s shown that you were being reckless or intentionally acting dangerously. Speeding at high rates, cutting off other drivers and causing dangerous situations or crashes could also lead to significant penalties.

For example, if you are caught driving without a license when it was suspended for a DUI drug violation, then you could go to prison for up to 12 months.

In most cases, traffic offenses will lead to license suspensions, but that’s not always the case. You could be asked to pay fines or be given other penalties as a result of one or more tickets on your record.

What should you do if imprisonment could be a possibility in your case?

Any time you face tickets or have been accused of traffic offenses, it’s a good idea to talk to your attorney about what you can do to mitigate the penalties. It may be possible to have the charge dismissed if there isn’t enough evidence to support it, for example, or you may be able to defend yourself in a way that minimizes the penalties you face.

Your attorney will need to look at the specific situation you are in and the traffic offenses that the prosecution says you committed. From there, they will be able to help you develop a defense.