The majority of traffic violations are small, infractions which are punishable by fines, but which do not involve jail time. In extenuating circumstances, these small infractions might be escalated to misdemeanor traffic offenses, which aren’t quite as serious as felony traffic tickets, but which are still serious and expensive enough to cause a lot of stress.
Here are a few of the most common misdemeanor traffic violations and some important points about each that you should keep in mind:
- Driving without insurance: This is one of the most neglected, but important, traffic violations to keep in mind. It’s illegal to drive a car without any insurance, and if you get pulled over and you can’t show proof of insurance, you may face a misdemeanor charge simply for not having insurance.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: This one is tricky because DWI and DUI charges depend quite a bit on the circumstances surrounding each particular arrest. The majority of first-time DWI offenses are considered misdemeanors and may not require jail time, but only so long as there was no property damage or injury to another person. On the other hand, a driver may face serious punishments for DWI or DUI if he/she has been caught on a similar charge before.
- Driving without a license: This misdemeanor traffic violation is definitely one of the more serious ones, because in most cases, the person is driving without a license because a) they are too young to be driving alone; b) they are in the country illegally; and c) they have been ticketed before and lost their license either temporarily or permanently.
These misdemeanor traffic offenses usually end with a fine, ranging from $100 to several hundred dollars, and they may require a short amount of jail time or an amount of time, set by the court, to be spent volunteering and/or taking a drivers safety course.