Have you ever had that dreaded sinking feeling when you notice a police car following you with its lights on? Suddenly, you look down at the speedometer and realize you were going over the speed limit. Could your conduct behind the wheel make you guilty of a crime rather than a simple traffic offense? Let’s look at a couple of possible scenarios.
1) You decide that you can probably outrun the officer, and you speed up to get out of range. Unfortunately, you have probably just committed the offense of reckless driving. A first conviction of reckless driving can land you in jail for 90 days. You have also committed the crime of “fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer,” which can have very serious consequences, including years in jail.
2) You are driving a large rental truck at the time. The officer pulls you over, but it is actually not the speeding she was worried about. She thinks your truck is too heavy for the road, and she tells you that you need to have the vehicle weighed. You refuse. You have just become guilty of a misdemeanor in the first degree by “obstructing an officer.” If you refuse by physically committing violence to the officer, you have upped your crime to a felony of the third degree.
3) You are under the influence of alcohol and have a blood alcohol level of .08 as you drive. These types of scenarios can permanently mar your record and future job or school prospects. See the articles and Florida law on DUIs.
4) After the police officer pulls you over, she asks you to step out of the vehicle. You refuse. Unless the officer’s request was unlawful, you have now disobeyed a police officer, which, under Florida law, is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
While speeding offenses can often be resolved by attending traffic school or paying a fine, they can not only leave points on your record but also lead to more serious crimes. Such crimes can affect your driving record as well as your general criminal record, making it more difficult to obtain certain jobs later.
Call a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been accused of a criminal traffic violation, you should call a qualified St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney right away for a free consultation. The Khonsari Law Group will carefully evaluate your case. We have the attorneys you need to protect your rights during the criminal justice process and secure the best possible result. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation online or at (727) 269-5300.