Many traffic violations aren’t dangerous and are referred to as infractions. However, in certain instances, a violation may become a misdemeanor because of its severity. In most areas, a traffic offense is a misdemeanor if it causes injury or property damage, or if it causes the threat thereof. Read on to learn how these traffic offenses are handled, and how a Roanoke VA Traffic Lawyer can help one accused of such an offense.

Classifying Misdemeanor Traffic Crimes

Traffic infractions are regarded as minor crimes in most areas. A simple violation typically leads to a written citation, but if the offense is more serious, it can bring misdemeanor or felony charges. These are criminal offenses, and they often involve trials and other severe legal consequences. Anyone facing misdemeanor charges for a traffic infraction should consult a Roanoke Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible to protect their legal rights and learn about possible defense strategies.

Actions Considered to be Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses

The rules on traffic infractions vary by jurisdiction. Traffic misdemeanors usually create risk to property or to human life, and most areas consider the following offenses to meet that standard.

Reckless driving

Driving without enough insurance, or with none at all

Driving on a suspended or revoked license

Hit and run


Some actions are regarded as misdemeanors even though no vehicle operation is involved. These are classed as disorderly conduct, and include offenses such as playing a car stereo too loudly or blocking traffic.

Misdemeanor Traffic Offense Penalties

Facing misdemeanor charges for a traffic offense typically results in a fine or a jail sentence. Fines can be several hundred dollars, while jail sentences are usually less than one year. Many jurisdictions take extra steps when penalizing these offenses, such as taking the driver’s license or confiscating their vehicle. Courts may impose other penalties such as mandatory substance abuse counseling.

Does a Driver Need an Attorney for a Misdemeanor Traffic Offense?

Traffic misdemeanors are serious offenses, and they can remain on one’s criminal record for life. Hiring a local criminal defense attorney may be advisable if the violation requires a trial or court appearance. A Roanoke Traffic Lawyer can explain the state’s traffic laws in detail, and they can help a client present their case in court if necessary. By hiring a Robert F. Rider PLC., a client can learn how the state’s laws apply to their situation, and they can possibly present a defense that may lessen penalties.