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Published on June 17th, 2014 | by Daniel Perlman


Felony Traffic Offenses

In California, the largest number of traffic violations are considered to be minor infractions and result in a fine or a traffic ticket. A smaller number are more serious traffic violations and may be considered misdemeanors or even felonies. A traffic violation may result in a felony arrest when police take a person into custody on suspicion that they have committed a crime. Such an arrest can take place before or after a felony charge has been issued. Formal legal proceedings begin in court when a district attorney brings accusations (i.e., felony charges) against a defendant.

Great bodily injury or serious property damage

A felony traffic offense usually means that some type of great bodily injury or serious property damage has resulted from the traffic violation. Felonies are usually considered to be the most serious crimes, and most jurisdictions will consider the following offenses to be felonies:

– Vehicular homicide

– Other repeat offenses such as repeatedly driving without a license

– Certain types of “hit and run” traffic offenses

– Repeated violations of otherwise misdemeanor traffic crimes

– DUI-related charges, such as repeat, multiple, and some first-time offenses

By definition a felony means that the crime is punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year. For felonies, California lawmakers fix punishment on a crime-by-crime basis. Traffic felonies will almost always include the addition of a fine in addition to the prison sentence. The fine can be anywhere from $500 to several thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the case.

Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

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