Each state creates laws around what constitutes a vehicular infraction, when a driver’s license can be suspended and what happens if you drive on a suspended license. If you find yourself facing one or more vehicular infractions or charges for driving on a suspended license, it is important to find a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with handling defenses around these cases. Working with a criminal defense attorney helps you understand the charges you face in your jurisdiction.
State Laws About Vehicular Infractions
There are many types of vehicular infractions that you may be charged with. To understand the charges you face, you need to know what states define as a “vehicle.” In Ohio and most other states, a vehicle includes motorized bicycles, motorized scooters, construction equipment, farm equipment automobiles, motorcycle, emergency vehicles, trucks, trailers, trains, streetcars and trolleys. The types of infractions also vary somewhat from state to state.
States typically consider any violation of driving laws to be a vehicular infraction. Some examples of vehicular infractions in Nevada include driving on the wrong side of the road, not giving pedestrians in a crosswalk the right-of-way, failing to yield for an emergency vehicle with its lights activated, aggressive driving and manslaughter.
In some states, driving under the influence is a vehicular infraction. In others, it is handled under a separate law. California state laws around driving under the influence allow the arresting officer to immediately notify the DMV that your license is suspended or revoked if you fail the blood alcohol test.
State Laws About Driving On a Suspended License
In all states and United States territories, it is illegal to drive if you have a suspended or revoked driver’s license. New York’s state laws have several levels of suspended license. These include definite and indefinite suspensions. Revocation of a driver’s license is permanent until the end of the revocation period. States may impose a lifetime revocation if you have multiple or severe vehicular infractions. For example, a DUI that caused a death may result in a lifetime revocation.
Penalties for Vehicular Infractions and Driving On a Suspended License
States split vehicular infractions into civil and criminal cases. An example of a civil penalty is a speeding ticket. In Ohio, if you drive through a school zone at less than 6 miles per hour over the posted speed limit while the warning is engaged, you may receive a civil speeding ticket rather than a criminal summons. Tampering with a traffic control device is a misdemeanor in most states, while a hit-and-run traffic infraction is a felony if it causes bodily injury or death. States incur steeper penalties if you have a vehicular infraction at the same time as driving on a suspended license. You may also incur more severe penalties for a second or subsequent vehicular infraction.
Vehicular infractions and driving on a suspended license have lasting consequences if you are convicted of these crimes. Your ability to drive and secure auto insurance may be affected well into the future. Choosing the right criminal defense attorney to represent you in court helps you protect your rights and establish a solid defense for your case.