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Criminal Traffic Violations Attorney in Tucson, AZ

If you are a little late going through an intersection and run the red light or only come to a rolling stop at a stop sign, a police officer might pull you over and give you a traffic ticket. While it’s probably enough to ruin your day, you can usually avoid the points as long as you pay the fine and go to traffic school.

A criminal traffic violation is different from common moving violations, however. If you don’t address the charges, the courts could issue a warrant for your arrest, suspend your license, and assess additional fines. Additionally, you will have a criminal record that will show up on cursory background checks.

Hernandez & Hamilton, PC has experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Tucson that can handle traffic charges for its clients, including criminal traffic violations. Call today to fight your criminal traffic violation. 

Red traffic light

What is a Criminal Traffic Violation?

The most common moving violations are civil traffic offenses (i.e., speeding, running a red light, etc.). A driver can pay a civil traffic ticket or opt for driving school, and when they do, there is no mandatory court appearance.

On the other hand, a criminal traffic offense is a misdemeanor or felony violation of Arizona traffic laws. The officer may arrest you on the scene or release you on your own recognizance with the issuance of a criminal traffic ticket. Unlike a civil traffic violation, an Arizona criminal traffic offense is a crime which carries potential criminal penalties just like any other crime. If you don’t show up or have an attorney appear on your behalf, a judge or magistrate will suspend your license and issue a bench warrant.

If you are convicted, the penalties can include jail or prison, fines, the cost of license reinstatement, and traffic school as a condition of reinstatement. You will also have a criminal record and will most likely experience increased insurance rates for your motor vehicle. 

That’s why it’s always better to have appropriate representation from a seasoned defense attorney who handles criminal and civil traffic violations.

Criminal Traffic Violations in Arizona

Under Arizona law, all of the following traffic violations are considered criminal misdemeanors or felonies:

  • Criminal Speeding (defined as going 20 mph over the speed limit, 85 mph in general or, approaching a school zone above 35 mph).
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run)
  • Careless Driving
  • Reckless Driving
  • Fleeing and Eluding a Police Officer 
  • Vehicular Manslaughter 
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Driving during a period of license suspension
  • Driving on a Suspended License
  • Being a Habitual Traffic Offender
  • Racing (often charged with other traffic violations, like speeding, illegal lane change, etc.)
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Certain DUI Ignition Interlock Device Violations

While a criminal conviction for these offenses does not normally lead to jail time, you could face driver’s license suspension, community service, and more.  

Possible Options & Defenses to Traffic Offenses in Phoenix, AZ

Unfortunately, many people treat criminal traffic violations, like reckless driving, in the same manner, they handle speeding tickets or other moving violations. They believe that they can forgo the expense of an attorney by representing themselves or using an Arizona traffic public defender, but that is a costly mistake. 

If you bring your misdemeanor or felony traffic case to our law firm, our defense attorneys can fight the case to the full extent of the law, and work to avoid penalties for you.  Contact our Tucson, Arizona law office for a free consultation. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Traffic Violations in AZ

These are some of the most common questions surrounding criminal traffic violations. Contact Hernandez & Hamilton, P.C. to talk to a lawyer about your case. 

How many points does a criminal violation add to my driving record?

This depends on the specific violation. In many cases, a criminal traffic violation will add eight points to your license. By comparison, a non-criminal speeding ticket will add three points in Arizona. For a non-speeding civil traffic violation, it’s usually two points. 

Can a lawyer help me avoid points?

If a lawyer wins your case, you should avoid all penalties, including points. In some cases, the state can reduce or dismiss points as part of a negotiated plea deal. 

Why did I receive multiple citations?

If you allegedly committed multiple offenses, the police may have issued you citations for the accompanying violations. For example, if you were speeding and your license was suspended, the officer can issue a speeding ticket and also charge you for the crime of driving on a suspended license. 

Tucson, Arizona Traffic Defense Attorney

Hernandez & Hamilton, PC is an Arizona criminal law firm with a proven track record of success. Do not take a criminal traffic arrest lightly. Contact us today for a free consultation.