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California Traffic Tickets: Are They Considered a Misdemeanor?

If you’ve been driving in California, chances are you\’ve been pulled over and given a traffic ticket. But what exactly are these tickets? Are they considered a misdemeanor?

The answer is: it depends. Traffic tickets can be either a misdemeanor or an infraction, depending on the severity of the offense. For example, a ticket for speeding is an infraction, while a ticket for DUI is a misdemeanor.

So, if you’re ever pulled over and given a traffic ticket in California, make sure you know whether it’s a misdemeanor or an infraction. Otherwise, you could be in for a big surprise!

Understanding the Two Types of Traffic Tickets in California

There are two types of traffic tickets in California: infractions and misdemeanors. Infractions are less serious than misdemeanors and usually result in a fine. Misdemeanors are more serious and can result in a jail sentence.


Infractions are the less serious of the two types of traffic tickets. They are usually punishable by a fine, and sometimes by one or two points on your driving record. Infractions are not punishable by jail time.

Some examples of infractions include:


Running a stop sign

Failure to signal

Illegal U-turn


Misdemeanors are more serious than infractions and can be punishable by a jail sentence, in addition to a fine. Misdemeanors can also result in two points on your driving record, also one to five years of probation. For misdemeanors, you must be represented by an attorney in court.

Some examples of misdemeanors include:

  • DUI
  • Reckless driving
  • Street racing
  • Driving on a suspended/without a license
  • Running from an officer
  • Disability placard misuse
  • Hit-and-run

If you receive a traffic ticket, it will be either an infraction or a misdemeanor. Be sure to read the ticket carefully so that you know what you’re being charged with and what the potential penalties are.

What are the Punishments for Misdemeanors?

The punishment for a misdemeanor in California can vary depending on the severity of the offense. For example, a first-time offender convicted of a DUI will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail, a $2,000 fine or more, and a six-month license suspension.

However, if the offender commits a misdemeanor traffic offense, such as running from an officer, then the mandatory minimum sentence increases to 365 days in jail, a $2,000 fine, and a six-month license suspension.

In the state of California, hit-and-run is a serious offense that can result in severe penalties. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, you could be facing felony charges. The penalties for a hit-and-run can include three to four years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and a one-year suspended driver\’s license.

For misdemeanor charges, the only difference is that the imprisonment is up to 364 days.

The Bottom Line: The Importance of Having a Traffic Attorney by Your Side

It\’s no secret that traffic violations can result in serious consequences. In addition to the possibility of expensive fines, you may also be facing points on your driver\’s license, an increase in your insurance rates, and even the loss of your driving privileges.

While the consequences of a traffic violation may be severe, you don\’t have to face them alone. A qualified traffic attorney can help you navigate the legal system, negotiate with prosecutors, and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. In all infractions and some misdemeanor, You don’t have to go to the court, our attorney will do that for you.

Looking for a Los Angeles traffic lawyer? Look no further than Mr. Ticket. Our experienced and knowledgeable team can help you with any traffic-related issue you may be facing, from tickets and fines to license suspensions and more.

We understand the ins and outs of California traffic laws, and we\’re here to help you navigate the often complicated legal system. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you get back on the road.

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