A criminal traffic violation can have a huge impact on both your immediate and distant future. Steve Schanker is a highly respected Kansas City criminal defense attorney who spends his days helping clients in both Kansas and Missouri, and according to him, there are certain traffic violations that are considered to be criminal in nature.
For anyone who drives a car on a regular daily basis, every trip out on the road presents him with a brand new opportunity to – technically – break the law. After all, the average person is bound to bend the rules in one way or another as he hits the road en route to work, school, or whatever his usual destinations happen to be. From failing to signal before making a turn to driving your car just a few miles per hour above the posted speed limit, although your regular road-related transgressions may seem pretty minor, a police officer would probably be justified in giving you a ticket for one of them – that is, if he happens to catch you at the right moment.
Even if violating a traffic regulation is technically against the law, there are plenty of folks who, by all normal standards, would be considered “good people” regardless of such consistent breaches. However, there comes a point where one’s decisions on the road can easily propel him into the “criminal” category – regardless of how good a person he may otherwise be.
Criminal Traffic Offenses
If you’re charged with a run-of-the-mill traffic offense that may result in a fine, a couple of points on your driver’s license, or a combination of both, then you may not need a lawyer to argue your case on your behalf, as such transgressions, though illegal, are certainly not criminal. In addition, if you’re facing a $200 fine and four points on an otherwise clean license, then it’s probably not worth the money to hire an attorney just to end up paying more in legal fees than you would between your fine and a slightly increased auto insurance premium (if it even ends up coming to that).
On the other hand, a criminal traffic violation is a very different story. In my experience, the majority of criminal traffic offenses I see have to do with driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal narcotics, and even prescription drugs. While first and second-time DUI offenses in Kansas and Missouri are generally classified as misdemeanors, a third offense in either state gets propelled to felony status – which, in turn, will carry much harsher consequences for the offending party.
Large Impact on Your Life
If you’re charged with a criminal traffic offense such as DUI, then you could end up facing a license suspension, jail time, or both in the event that you wind up getting convicted. Since the stakes are much higher for criminal traffic violations, it’s important that you consult with a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged with this type of crime.
Obviously, a criminal conviction can affect your life greatly. Let’s say you decide to apply for a new job years after getting convicted of a road-related crime. You can bet that your prospective employer’s application is going to have a line item asking about whether or not you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. And while you may be given a chance to explain the circumstances of what happened in an attempt to differentiate between someone such as yourself and an actual serial killer, after all is said and done, that criminal conviction is likely to serve as a glaring mark on your perhaps otherwise spotless reputation. For this reason, I recommend that anyone charged with a road-related crime hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience with the similar situations.
Finally, I do like to stress the fact that although criminal traffic offenses such as DUI convictions can come with some very serious repercussions, just because a person made one major road-related mistake does not mean that he deserves to be classified as a career criminal. Rather than run the risk of having one incident haunt you for the rest of your life, if you’re charged with a criminal traffic violation, then you should get in touch with a seasoned attorney who has the experience you need. Considering how much is at stake, your criminal defense lawyer’s fee will end up becoming a very wise investment in your reputation and your future.
This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Neither publication of this article nor your receipt of this article create an attorney-client relationship.