Being pulled over and receiving a traffic citation is a common experience, and most times, the violations are minor. However, there are instances when a traffic stop could lead to criminal charges carrying jail time and significant fines.
Regardless of the specific allegations you face, it is crucial to consult a knowledgeable attorney on the best course of action. At the Grand Canyon Law Group, a Tempe traffic lawyer can work to protect your rights and preserve your future against serious consequences.
Title 28 of the Arizona Revised Statutes outlines driving requirements, identifies prohibited behaviors, and establishes penalties. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 28-121 divides driving infractions into two categories: civil and criminal. Civil violations include acts such as running a stop sign or failing to maintain lanes.
However, Arizona criminalizes certain driving behaviors, including:
Motorists facing criminal allegations should consult a nearby traffic lawyer who knows the system and can advise them on all aspects of their case. Without help from the right attorney, a person will likely face harsher consequences and be less successful in combatting the charges against them.
All moving violations result in fines. Unlike regular traffic tickets, criminal charges may also involve jail time, community service, and license suspension or revocation. The length of sentencing and amount in fines depends on the classification of the offense and if it is a misdemeanor or a felony.
Most criminal traffic offenses fall into the misdemeanor category. For those convicted of a misdemeanor, Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-707 and 13-802 impose jail time of 30 days to six months and fines up to $2,500 (plus surcharges).
Felony charges attached to certain crimes, leading to stiffer punishments. Under Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-702 and 13-801, first-time offenders with mitigating factors face a minimum of four months to three years in jail. Aggravating circumstances will increase this range, and a person could face two to twelve and a half years of imprisonment.
For the most serious offenses, fines can rise to $150,000. A history of repetitive convictions is likely to increase the penalties a person faces for a traffic violation. Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-703 outlines how prior felony traffic convictions will add to incarceration times.
Certain moving violations require the recording of points on a person’s driving record. This puts a driver at risk of license suspension, revocation, and jacked-up insurance premiums. The Department of Transportation (DOT) assigns points based on the driver’s actions, and points increase as the behavior becomes riskier. For example, reckless driving and DUI each result in eight points on a driver’s record.
Upon reaching a certain threshold, the DOT will automatically suspend a motorist’s license. Accumulating eight or more points triggers a suspension. DOT license suspensions start at three months, but the timeframe will increase to one year if the driver earns 24 or more points within a three-year period. Some drivers at the lower end of the range (eight to 12) may avoid suspension if they complete traffic school.
These penalties could be devastating for a person and their livelihood, as many rely on their license to get to work. A motorist can fight to retain their rights and protect their freedom by working with an aggressive traffic attorney at our Tempe office.
For many, traffic tickets are their first interaction with law enforcement. However, these charges should not be taken lightly and can have a significant impact on your life. Let a Tempe traffic lawyer review your case and advise on mitigating or avoiding the consequences of a conviction.
At the Grand Canyon Law Group, our dedicated defense lawyers formerly worked as prosecutors, so we know how the other side operates. We are prepared to aggressively combat the case against you and fight for your freedoms. Call us today to get started.