All states, including California, have laws that govern the behavior of drivers. If you break these laws, you may be charged with a traffic offense. While many of these offenses are minor, some of the more serious offenses carry severe penalties. For this reason, people who have been charged with traffic offenses in California should consider seeking counsel from a qualified attorney.
California Traffic Law Basics
Some of the most common minor traffic offenses in California include:
- Running a stop sign
- Seatbelt violations
- Car seat law violations
- Driving with expired tags
Non-moving violations, such as parking in a handicapped zone, are also considered minor in this state. However, all of these offenses can still carry significant fines.
Some of the more serious traffic offenses you can commit in California include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to stop and/or submit to law enforcement instructions
- Reckless driving
- Hit and run
- Fleeing from a police officer
- Driving with a suspended or invalid license
- Open container violations
- Participating in a race on a public highway
These crimes typically carry heavier penalties, such as larger fines, time in jail or mandatory enrollment in a substance abuse treatment program.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Some minor traffic offenses may not be worth the fight. For example, if you received a speeding ticket and you agree with the charge, it’s usually in your best interest to pay the ticket and move on with your life. However, if you are facing more serious charges, or if you believe that you have been treated unfairly, it is wise to seek counsel from an experienced attorney. An attorney who understands California traffic laws can review your case, explain the applicable laws and help you decide whether or not you should fight the charge. If you choose to fight the charge, a skilled attorney can also help you prepare your case and defend yourself in court.
Here at the Law Office of Patrick M. Coughlin, we have defended countless clients against all types of traffic charges in California.
If you are facing traffic charges in this state, please contact our office today to learn more about the services we provide or to schedule a consultation.