When Is a Traffic Violation Considered a Felony?

Most traffic violations, such as speeding, running a red light, or driving without a license plate, are usually classified as lesser offenses. Usually you get a ticket, pay it off and you can move on. However, when a driver commits a particularly egregious crime in traffic or on the road, it can become a felony—which brings with it the potential of imprisonment.

What Traffic Violations Can Be Considered Felonies?

A traffic offense can be considered a felony due to the following actions:

  • Vehicular homicide
  • Multiple DUI convictions
  • Other repeat offenses such as driving without a license
  • Certain hit and run traffic offenses

In some states, serious traffic offenses may be labeled as “aggravated” or “gross” misdemeanors. This means that, although they are considered misdemeanors, they may result in severe penalties similar to felony punishments.

Consequences of Being Convicted of a Traffic Felony

A felony is usually punishable by a prison sentence of more than a year and a fine anywhere from $500 to several thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the case. Traffic felonies can also impact a person in the following ways:

  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Loss of citizen’s privileges such as voting
  • Impounded or towed car
  • Firearm prohibition
  • Permanent criminal record
  • Life sentence in prison for “three strikes” felony rule

Also, some traffic crimes that start out as misdemeanors can result in felony charges, especially when the offense is repeated.

Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Felony Traffic Offense?

A felony charge is very serious and should not be taken lightly. If you are involved in a traffic offense, it is advisable you contact our experienced Riverside County criminal defense lawyer at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich. We specialize in traffic offenses and can look at the facts of the case to understand all aspects of evidence and testimony and provide you with a strong legal defense. Our goal is to reduce penalties, fines and potential jail or prison time.

Call (951) 687-6003 or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.


Request Your Consultation Today

Premier Legal Services for Criminal & Family Law Matters
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.