If you are like most Pennsylvania residents, when you hear about traffic tickets, chances are you think about violations such as speeding or having a broken taillight. They are infractions that often carry fines but are otherwise unremarkable. However, there are more severe traffic-related offenses that can not only be costly but also result in losing your license or receiving a jail sentence. At the Law Offices of Patrick F. Lauer, Jr. LLC, we often assist clients in reducing or eliminating charges that can affect the rest of their lives.

According to FindLaw, traffic violations move beyond minor offenses to misdemeanors or felonies if they create a threat or injury to a person, and if it destroys property or causes a real injury. For example, failing to stop at a red light may result in a traffic citation. However, if you hit another vehicle as a consequence of that failure to stop, the offense severity increases to a misdemeanor. If injuries or death results from the crash, the charges depend on specific factors.

If there is malice involved and the crash was purposeful, you may face felony charges. Some offenses are misdemeanors or felonies regardless of the outcome, such as the following:

  • Driving with a revoked or suspended license
  • Aggressive or reckless driving
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to stop at the scene of an accident.
  • Driving without insurance

Significant prison sentences and fines are not the only repercussions. Collateral consequences can include the loss of the right to vote, inability to serve in the military and own a gun. There are also restrictions on the types of jobs you can hold, which affects your ability to earn a living. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help ensure you understand the options and work for the best possible outcome. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.