Defending People throughout Florida including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter
Not all traffic violations are monitored solely by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Some violations are actually criminal offenses for which you may face administrative and criminal penalties, including the establishment of a criminal record. A person who commits multiple traffic offenses may face jail time, steep fines, and may even lose his or her driver’s license. Seeking the aid of an experienced traffic and criminal defense attorney is the key to preserving your rights and legal driving ability.
Fleeing and Eluding an Officer
All acts of Fleeing and Eluding a Police Officer are now treated at a minimum as third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in a Florida state prison and/or a $5,000.00 fine. Furthermore, Florida law requires a person found guilty of any fleeing and eluding offense to automatically be adjudicated guilty as a felon. This adjudication means a lifetime criminal record as a convicted felon. In addition, the person’s license is automatically suspended for a minimum of two years.
The Florida Legislature has imposed certain aggravating factors which can result in the punishment being drastically increased. For example, if a driver is accused of recklessly driving during the pursuit, then the charge is enhanced to a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in a Florida state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Furthermore, causing a car accident while attempting to escape law enforcement can enhance the criminal charge. Considering only several years ago that the most severe punishment for Fleeing and Eluding a Police Officer was just a year in a county jail, it is clear that the Florida Legislature intends to severely punish those who attempt to flee and elude law enforcement.
A person charged with Reckless Driving is initially looking at a hybrid misdemeanor offense, meaning that he or she will face both criminal and administrative penalties. The individual may also face a felony charge if anyone was hurt as a result of their reckless actions. The Florida Legislature has seen fit to elevate the potential for punishment if a person has a prior history of Reckless Driving or if an accident occurs during the offense of Reckless Driving. If a person driving recklessly injures another person, the defendant will face harsher charges and more severe punishment upon a conviction.
Racing on the Highway
Persons facing criminal charges for Racing on the Highway face a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of up to one year in the county jail. However, Florida Statutes now require an automatic revocation of a person’s driver’s license for one year for a first offense and up to two years for a second or repeat offense. The revocation of your driver’s license is the most severe administrative penalty possible because it permanently suspends your driving privilege. Long-term consequences include the loss of your mobility and in some cases, the loss of your job.
The State Attorney’s Office will aggressively pursue a charge of Racing on the Highway while considering the possible ramifications that could have occurred during these offenses, meaning that you will face severe punishment if you are found guilty of this crime, even if no one was injured at the time of the offense.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Individuals facing a charge of Leaving Scene of Accident or Hit and Run Accident should know this is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail. If anyone endured a serious personal injury, they may face a third-degree felony charge. Additionally, being involved in any type of automobile accident brings about numerous other issues that need to thoroughly be investigated. Issues involving insurance, restitution, and the value of any personal injuries which occurred as a result of the accident are all factors that arise when defending these cases.
Criminal Defense for Serious Traffic Violations
The Law Firm of Gabriel & Gabriel has over 30 years of experience defending individuals facing criminal charges for serious traffic offenses in West Palm Beach. Contact Brian Gabriel or call (561) 622-5575 for a free consultation to discuss your serious traffic offense with a competent criminal defense lawyer.