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Do Traffic Violations Go on My Criminal Record?

  • Whether a traffic violation goes on your criminal record will depend on whether it’s a criminal or civil violation. Civil traffic violations don’t carry criminal penalties, but you can still get points on your license. Criminal violations, however, are more serious and could carry jail time.


    Civil Traffic Violations

    A civil traffic violation may require you to appear in court, or it may allow you to avoid going to court by instead paying a fine online or by check through the mail. If you are given a civil traffic citation, you may be assessed points on your license or be required to attend traffic school—but the offense will ultimately not go on your criminal record.

    If you receive a civil traffic citation, you can challenge the citation in court. You’ll have the chance to appear before a judge and give your side of the story, while the officer who issued your citation will appear to give his or hers. You can either request an informal hearing, where you will represent yourself, or a formal hearing, where you may retain an attorney and the prosecution must present evidence.


    Criminal Traffic Violations

    A criminal traffic citation alleges that you have committed a criminal traffic offense. These offenses include the following:

    • Driving with a suspended license or without a license
    • Reckless driving
    • Hit-and-run
    • Vehicular homicide or manslaughter
    • Being a habitual traffic offender (HTO)
    • Leaving the scene of an accident
    • Careless driving
    • Attempting to escape or elude law enforcement

    Most criminal traffic violations are misdemeanors, at least for the first offense, but you can be charged with a felony for these offenses. Penalties include prison time, suspension or revocation of your license, traffic school, fines, home confinement, community service, probation, or vehicle impoundment.


    Experienced Traffic Lawyers in NYC Can Help 

    Although traffic tickets aren’t always added to your criminal record, they still have the potential to affect you for the rest of your life. To find out if you can fight your ticket for a better outcome, contact the Law Office of James Medows at 917-856-1247 or visit us online for a confidential consultation.