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Traffic Violations That Can Lead to Criminal Charges

In the United States, some traffic violations can lead to criminal charges. Many traffic violations are considered civil infractions (minor offenses) or misdemeanors (repeated or slightly major offenses). While most traffic violations fall under these categories, there are a select few that can be classified as criminal offenses (felonies).


Below is a list of traffic violations that can lead to criminal charges.


Types of Traffic Violations That Can Lead to Criminal Charges in North Carolina


  • Being a recidivist: Being a recidivist is defined as having a prior conviction for the same offense. In North Carolina, a traffic violation can lead to criminal charges if the individual has been convicted of one or several traffic violations in the past. This is known as recidivism, and it may lead to felony charges if the individual is convicted of another traffic violation, especially if they have had their license suspended.

  • Hit-and-run: A hit-and-run accident causing injury is a Class H felony in North Carolina. A driver who hits another vehicle or pedestrian and then leaves the scene can be charged with this crime, as well as other offenses such as driving while impaired. In addition to criminal penalties, a conviction for a hit-and-run accident can also lead to civil penalties such as damages awarded to the victim(s).

  • Causing a Death: In North Carolina, vehicular manslaughter can be charged as a Class D felony. This charge applies when a person is killed as a result of another person's reckless driving. The penalty for conviction of vehicular manslaughter can include imprisonment, fines, and community service.


Other traffic violations that can lead to criminal charges include DUI, hit and run, and illegal street racing. In addition to the criminal penalties that may be imposed, these offenses can also lead to license suspensions and increased insurance rates.


What Should You Do if You Have Been Accused of a Traffic Violation?


If you have been accused of a traffic violation, there are a few things you should do.


First, you should contact an attorney. Traffic violations can result in hefty fines and/or other forms of punishment, and an experienced attorney can help you minimize the penalties. The attorney could help gather all of the evidence that supports your case. This may include photos of the scene, witness statements, and copies of any relevant tickets or other documentation.


Second, you should always be polite and respectful when dealing with law enforcement officials. Even if you believe you are innocent, it is important to cooperate with their requests to avoid being slapped with additional charges.


Finally, if you have any questions, ask them before you sign anything.


Coastal South Law


In conclusion, there are many traffic violations that can lead to criminal charges. Some of these violations include repeat offenses, hit and runs, and vehicular manslaughter. If you are charged with any of these or with any other types of traffic violations in North Carolina, it is important to speak with an attorney at Coastal South Law to learn about your rights and defenses. We will fight for you to make sure that your charges are either dropped or dismissed.



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