A criminal charge in Ellensburg, Washington can be problematic and not just in terms of the financial impact. If you ignore or do not fight your charges, you could end up with a criminal record. For someone with a clean history, you do not want to make this mistake. All the same, for someone with a driving or criminal record, you do not want to add to it.
At Law Office of Tony Swartz, Tony is a DUI and misdemeanor defense attorney in Kittitas County. He can help you with either a civil or criminal traffic offense. He has seen how these seemingly inoffensive violations cause real problems for people. To make sure you minimize or avoid the consequences of a traffic ticket today, call Tony at 509-293-7593 to schedule a free consultation.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Ellensburg, Washington
Traffic offenses involve a motorist's unlawful conduct while they are in control or operating a vehicle. Also referred to as traffic violations, these offenses are prosecuted at the state or local level.
There is often a distinction made between traffic offenses committed while a vehicle is moving and while it's stationary. Moving traffic violations include speeding and running a red light. Some examples of non-moving traffic violations include illegal parking and displaying expired plates.
The term traffic offense describes a wide range of conduct from minor infractions to more serious crimes.
Criminal Traffic Offenses
Traffic crimes are more serious than infractions. They can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the relevant laws and circumstances. For example, you may be charged with a felony if you have any prior offenses or if the conduct resulted in injury or death.
Some common examples of traffic crimes often charged as a misdemeanor include:
- alcohol DUI
- marijuana or THC DUI
- reckless driving
- hit and run
- driving with a suspended or revoked license
- operating a vehicle while under the influence (DUI) of another chemical substance
- driving without title or registration to the vehicle
- driving without auto insurance
Potential penalties for traffic crimes include but are not limited to fines, probation, community service, rehabilitation, and/or incarceration. A conviction for a traffic crime can also result in the suspension or loss of your license.
Three Reasons to Fight Traffic Offenses
Whether a traffic offense is minor or major, civil or criminal, you want to fight it. Here are three good reasons why that's the case.
- Clean driving record. If you pay the fine, plead guilty, or ignore a traffic offense, you will destroy any clean driving record or you will add points to an already-existing driving record. The more points you obtain, the closer you are to license suspension. Further, with each traffic violation, you reset the clock used to erase old offenses from your record. It can take three to seven years to wipe a driving record clean – it all depends on the circumstances and seriousness of the offense.
- Limited evidence. If you fight a ticket, even a civil infraction, you can make the officer appear in court and show evidence to prove you committed the offense. Sometimes officers do not show up or they do not have the necessary evidence to show you violated a law while operating a vehicle.
- Increase options. To pay a traffic ticket is the same as declaring guilt. If you request a hearing, however, you have more options to plead to a lesser offense or may be able to get the ticket or criminal charge dismissed.
Contact a Defense Attorney in Ellensburg, Washington Today
The law can be technical and is also constantly evolving. Especially if you're considering challenging allegations, it pays to speak with an experienced traffic defense lawyer in Kittitas County who will review your case and explain your options.
For many people, the ability to drive is essential to their daily life. While some violations result in a small fine, if you are charged with a serious traffic violation, you are at risk of imprisonment and/or losing your license. Call Law Office of Tony Swartz at 509-293-7593 to schedule a free consultation with an Ellensburg criminal defense attorney today.