If you have been charged with a traffic offence, what will happen? Much depends on how serious the charge is. A good criminal lawyer will tell you that minimum penalties for various offences have been pre-set and the court must apply these at the very least. They can also give a higher penalty if they think it is deserved, but not one that is lower than the minimum.
If your traffic offence is a serious one the best thing to do is contact a criminal lawyer and ask his or her advice. If you are not sure how serious it is you can find out by going online to a traffic authority website, but it is better to consult a lawyer because there could be extenuating circumstances that may reduce the penalty in your case. Each case is different and will be judged accordingly.
You can be sure that your offence is serious if you were breaking a traffic law and someone died or was seriously injured as a result. However, there are other serious offences too, which is why a lawyer is needed. A lawyer will know the likely outcome of your offence and will be able to gather evidence you need to help your case in court. They will also represent you in court if you wish.
Penalties for less serious offences include: –
- Losing points off your driver’s license
- Losing your license altogether which means disqualification from driving for a certain time and resitting the exam to get a new one after the time is up
- A fine – plus the court costs that may be even more than the fine
- Community service or intensive supervision
- Participation in a rehab programme (drugs or alcohol, or anger management counselling)
It is possible that two or more penalties could apply to your offence, however if this is the first conviction you’ve had for a traffic offence and it is a minor one, you are more likely to get off lightly, such as with community service.
More serious offences attract more serious penalties that may be: –
- A heavy fine
- Gaol time
- Impounding or confiscation of your vehicle
If you have to stand trial for your offence, it is essential to dress neatly, show up on time and be respectful to those in charge. This will give a good impression to the judge and jury and help you when it comes time for the penalty to be decided. Having a lawyer is also the best way forward because they know how to present things to make a favourable impression.
Don’t forget that a judge will take into account any previous convictions when ordering the penalty, so it is an even better idea to take care and avoid any traffic infringements or offences.