At Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C., our criminal defense attorneys help people throughout the Denver metropolitan area who have been issued traffic citations. Given the potential for serious and long-lasting consequences, any arrest or citation for a traffic offense should be taken seriously and vigorously defended.
Our skilled lawyers handle all types of tickets, including speeding, failing to obey traffic signals, texting while driving, and equipment and emissions violations. Through traffic school and other sentencing alternatives, we help our clients in retaining their driver's licenses and keep points off their record, which helps in maintaining low insurance rates. We also seek acquittals or dismissals wherever possible, often based on the inadequacy of evidence presented by the police or prosecutor.
Most traffic violations are considered infractions. Since they are not considered criminal offenses, individuals are not granted the full constitutional protections afforded to criminal defendants, yet neither are they subject to the same penalties. Some violations are considered misdemeanors from the outset, while other infractions may become misdemeanors depending upon the severity of the violation.
Speeding is a good example of this, as penalties increase depending upon how fast one was driving. Travelling up to 24 miles per hour over the speed limit is a Class A traffic infraction, but driving 25 miles per hour or more over the speed limit is a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense - Class 1 if the violation occurs in a construction zone.
Reckless Driving involves driving with a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property. It is a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense, and a second conviction can land the person in jail for up to six months along with a fine of up to $1,000. The misdemeanor offense of Careless Driving involves driving in a careless and impudent manner, without due regard to the road conditions.
A misdemeanor conviction, even one arising out of a traffic violation, can have serious long-term consequences. The person who is convicted will carry a criminal record, which can disqualify him or her from certain employment, not to mention damage to one's reputation. Also, if a person is later charged with another crime, the existence of a criminal record can result in enhanced penalties, or disqualify him or her from deferred sentencing, expungement, and other options available to first time offenders.
Some traffic offenses are even classified as felonies, including aggravated driving with a revoked license, vehicular assault, hit and run resulting in serious bodilyinjury, and vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide and hit and run resulting in death can both be class 3 felonies, which is particularly significant, since Colorado's Three Strikes Law considers Class 3 felonies to be "strike" offenses.
If you have been ticketed with any traffic citation, contact Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C. for a free consultation regarding your options.