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Felony Traffic Offenses

The majority of traffic offenses are considered minor infractions resulting in a traffic ticket or maybe a small fine. More serious traffic violations are considered misdemeanors and others are classified as felonies. 

A felony traffic offense is usually a result if there is an injury to a person or the destruction of property. It may also occur if the traffic violation creates a threat of injury to a person or property. Usually, the most common felony traffic violations involve DUI-related charges.

What Types of Traffic Violations are Considered Felonies?

Felonies are typically considered to be the most serious crimes in any jurisdiction. The majority of jurisdictions will classify the following offenses to be felonies:

  • Vehicular homicide or manslaughter
  • Other repeat offenses such as repeatedly driving without a license
  • Some forms of reckless driving such as racing or other offenses that can cause injury or property damage
  • Hit and run. Especially involving bodily harm or property damage 
  • Fleeing law enforcement
  • Multiple DUI convictions

Some states have misdemeanors labeled as “aggravated” or “gross”. This means that, even though these violations are misdemeanors, they can result in harsher penalties that are comparable to felony penalties.

What are the Consequences of Being Convicted of a Traffic Felony?

A felony is punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year. Traffic felonies will typically involve fines as well as a prison sentence. The fine can range from $500 to several thousand dollars, depending on the severity of the case and jurisdiction. 

Traffic felonies can carry other negative consequences:

  • Suspension or loss of the driver’s license permanently
  • Points added to a driver’s license record
  • Increased insurance payments
  • Loss of citizen’s privileges (voting or being allowed to teach in a professionally)
  • Towing or impounding of the car 
  • Prohibition on the ownership of firearms
  • Permanent mark on the driver’s criminal record
  • A person may be required to install a breathalyzer in their vehicle in a DUI case
  • Life sentence in prison in jurisdictions that have a “three strikes” felony rule

If you are facing felony traffic violations, contact Mr. Ticket today!

Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses

Traffic violations can range from trivial to severe. Minor offenses are “fix it” tickets and citations for violations that are non-moving. On the more severe end of the spectrum are consequential matters like “hit and run” accidents, especially if someone is killed or injured.

The majority of minor traffic offenses are deemed infractions. They are not considered criminal violations of the law. These types of typically violations involve relatively minor punishments. Usually fines, and/or a point on your driving record. More grave traffic violations may be charged as criminal. Convictions can include penalties like significant fines, restitution, drug/alcohol treatment, revocation of the driver’s license, and incarceration.

There are two types of criminal offenses: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are the less severe of the two. Any violation that has a maximum of one year or less in the county jail is deemed a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor traffic offenses following California law include both “status” violations, including having illegal vehicle modifications, and moving violations. Here are a few more serious traffic misdemeanors:

  • Failure to stop and submit to law enforcement inspection of equipment, an unsafe condition, or other safety violations;
  • Fleeing from an officer which includes causing an injury while fleeing;
  • Driving without a valid license including driving with a suspended or revoked license including driving with a suspended or revoked license;
  • Refusing to provide a license when requested by police;
  • Causing bodily injury with a vehicle after a license has been suspended or revoked;
  • Hit and run causing property damage, injury, or death (can also be charged as a felony);
  • Driving the wrong way on a divided highway (can also be charged as a felony);
  • Reckless driving, including reckless driving leading to bodily injury;
  • Engaging in a race with another vehicle on a public highway, including racing which leads to bodily injury;
  • Throwing any substance at another vehicle or vehicle occupant on a public highway;
  • Possession of alcohol in a vehicle by anyone under 21;
  • Possession of an open container of alcohol in a vehicle (if third or subsequent violation);
  • For individuals required to use ignition interlock devices: failure to install such a device within 30 days, or driving a vehicle without the device installed;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (can also be charged as a felony). 

It is possible for misdemeanor traffic violations to carry weighty consequences. Violations can carry fines of up to $10,000 and potential jail time anywhere from a few days to a year. The court may also tack on other penalties, like enrollment in a substance abuse treatment program or another program, victim restitution, suspension of the driver’s license, and probation.

Felony traffic offenses are the most severe type of traffic offenses and can carry the most severe consequences, including years in state prison. 

Mr. Ticket Can Help You Can Fight a Misdemeanor Traffic Violation

If you are facing a misdemeanor traffic violation contact Mr. Ticket today to represent you!

What Happens if you Ignore a Ticket?

If you ignore your ticket, you are only asking for your situation to get worse. Your fine will likely increase and additional penalties can be added.

If you can show the court that you are unable to pay your fine or that it will cause your family financial hardship, you may ask them to reduce or drop the fine. If your case ends up in collections, you can contact your court to have them determine your ability to pay in case of financial hardship. After considering your financial circumstances, the court may decide to reduce the amount of the fine, put you on a payment plan, or order community service.

However, it is possible your court may not offer all of these options, not all fines may be eligible for ability-to-pay determinations, and the court may decide you owe the total amount either in full or on a payment plan. If you do not appear in court or pay your ticket your driver’s license is subject to suspension with the possibility of additional penalties being added.

What if you don’t go to court on your court date?

If you do not appear in court or pay your ticket your driver’s license is subject to suspension with the possibility of additional penalties being added.

Not showing up to court is referred to as “failure to appear”. If you violate the agreement to appear at court (that you signed when you got your ticket) you can be found guilty of a new crime.

You may not need to appear if you contacted the court prior to your court date to address your ticket and take action ahead of time. You can resolve your ticket before your court date by pleading guilty and paying the fine, requesting an arraignment date, posting bail and requesting trial without arraignment, or requesting rial by declaration. Make sure with the court that you do not need to appear.

In addition to a “failure to appear”, a “civil assessment” fee of up to $300 may be added to your fine amount, your case may be sent to collections, you may be found guilty in absentia, or the court may issue a warrant for your arrest.

The court can additionally charge you with a misdemeanor or an infraction for “failure to appear.” If you get a “civil assessment” but had “good cause” for not appearing in court or paying your fine, you may be able to ask the court to cancel it, if you ask in a timely manner.

What if you don’t pay your fine/fee?

If you do not pay your fine within the time the court gives you, your driver’s license will be subject to suspension. It is also possible you might not be able to renew your vehicle registration.

In addition to not paying your fine on time, a “civil assessment” fee of up to $300 could be added to your fine amount, your case may be sent to collections, or the court could issue a warrant for your arrest. The court can additionally charge you with a misdemeanor or infraction for “failure to pay.”

If you go to court and respond to your ticket you will be able to avoid additional penalties. It will give you an opportunity to present any financial hardship or ability to pay issues in order to make appropriate adjustments to your fines/payments if the court is able to. Don’t forget that you can request an ability-to-pay determination even if your case has been sent to collections.

If you are seeking legal representation to help you respond to a ticket, present financial hardship evidence, or have to present “good cause” due to a “civil assessment” for failure to appear, contact Mr. Ticket!

The Laws Surrounding Texting and Driving in California

We all know that texting and driving is dangerous, but is it actually illegal in California? The short answer is, yes.

Handheld Device Law

California Vehicle Code Sections 23123 and 23123.5  outline the laws surrounding texting and driving in California. The law states that no driver shall operate a handheld device while driving. It’s important to note that this law doesn’t apply to the passengers in the vehicle, only to the driver. This section applies specifically to adults, but CVC section 23124 outlines the same law for minors.

The law doesn’t apply to cell phones alone. It also applies to all “electronic wireless communications devices” including laptop computers, pagers, broadband personal communication devices and other handheld devices.

Exceptions to the Law

There are a few exceptions to the basic law regarding texting and driving and other uses of handheld devices. These exceptions are:

  • Manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in the vehicle
  • Hands-free devices, talk-to-text and other hands-free methods of operating devices
  • Emergency services professionals using handheld devices while operating an authorized emergency vehicle

Talking on a cell phone while driving also comes with other exceptions, including:

  • A person driving a school bus or transit vehicle
  • Anyone driving a vehicle on public property
  • Someone using a cell phone to call for emergency services

Penalties for Texting and Driving in California

The fine for texting and driving or operating a cell phone while driving is $20 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent offences. This is just the base fine. The actual amount of the ticket will likely be much greater once additional fees and assessments are added.

The good news is that receiving a traffic ticket for texting and driving will not add points to your driving record, nor does it require traffic school.

Do not ignore the ticket if you are cited for using a handheld device while driving. Ignoring the ticket can lead to further violations and even a misdemeanor. It’s in your best interest to seek legal advice right away to get your fines reduced or the ticket thrown out altogether.

Mr. Ticket Can Help

If you’ve been issued a ticket for texting and driving, you have rights. Mr. Ticket can help protect those rights. The law offices of Amir Soleimanian & Associates, Inc – Mr. Ticket – have over ten years of experience fighting traffic tickets in California. Don’t pay those costly fines and risk leaving a stain on your driving record. Call Mr. Ticket today for a free consultation regarding your case.

How Do I Transfer the Title of My Vehicle After It’s Sold in California?

Selling a vehicle on your own might seem like a great option, but there’s a lot of paperwork involved. You need to transfer the title to the new owner, in addition to a bill of sale and transfer of registration.

 

How Soon Do I Need to Transfer the Title?

 

The state of California requires that the title change be recorded by the DMV within 10 days of the sale. Title transfers typically happen when the vehicle is sold, but they can also be due to adding or deleting an owner from the title, paying off a car loan, giving the car to your child and more. 

 

What Do I Need to Transfer the Title?

 

You need to have the California Certificate of Title on-hand when you sell your vehicle. Both you and the new owner will need to sign it. You’ll need to obtain a duplicate title using this form if you’ve lost the title or don’t have it for any reason. The buyer will also need to pay registration fees to transfer the title to them.

All of the paperwork for the vehicle sale must be submitted to the DMV. This is the buyer’s responsibility, but you should follow up as the seller and make sure it’s done. You can now transfer the title online through California’s virtual DMV, as an alternative. 

 

What if I Fail to Transfer the Title?

 

Failing to transfer the title can have serious consequences, especially for the buyer. A buyer is unable to register or insure their vehicle without the title. Additionally, if the buyer fails to register the car in their name, you could be liable for any traffic violations the new driver commits. It’s important that you contact the DMV as soon as the sale is complete and cancel your registration so you’ll not be held responsible for anything the new owner might do.

 

Mr. Ticket Can Help

 

It’s in your best interest to seek legal advice right away if you’ve been convicted of a traffic violation, are being held liable for a traffic violation committed by the new owner of your vehicle, or failed to transfer the title of your vehicle after selling. The experts at the Law Offices of Amir Soleimanian & Associates, Inc. – Mr. Ticket – have more than ten years of experience working against the often unfair and excessive penalties that are issued for traffic violations in California. We service California traffic tickets only. Call Mr. Ticket today for a free consultation!

What You Need to Know About CDL Traffic Tickets

A traffic ticket is never a good thing, but some are worse than others. CDL traffic tickets have severe and lasting consequences. Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) take a lot of work and training to obtain, and they can be easily jeopardized by traffic convictions.

Here’s what you need to know about CDL traffic tickets and what to do if you are issued a ticket, whether in a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) or your own personal vehicle.

Types of Violation

 

In California, there are several types of moving violations CDL holders can incur. Speeding is by far the most common. A speeding conviction where a CDL holder is going 15 mph or more over the speed limit is considered a serious violation. Receiving multiple violations within a three-year period will lead to a disqualification of your license.

A speeding ticket conviction on a CDL varies from a standard speeding ticket because it is not eligible for traffic school. Federal law requires you to notify your employer of any traffic convictions within 30 days of the ticket.

Employment Trouble

 

CDL holders are different from standard driver’s license holders because they depend on their license for employment. Drivers are unable to earn a paycheck with a suspended or revoked license, and that makes CDL traffic tickets very concerning.

Managers of trucking fleets are hyper-aware of their driver’s histories and speeding records. A traffic conviction, even a minor one, can make it difficult to maintain employment. Drivers with several infractions may be let go and it can be difficult to find more work.

In California, companies have access to your CDL driving record and motor vehicle driving record through the DMV’s Employer Pull Notice program to consider when hiring. Too many infractions, points, or even one serious offense does not bode well.

One of the reasons most fleet management is so cautious with moving violations is insurance cost. Companies may terminate employment after a single moving violation, even in a personal vehicle, because of the fear of rising insurance.

Seek Legal Representation

 

If you have received a CDL traffic ticket, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation immediately. The Law Offices of Amir Soleimanian & Associates, INC., Mr. Ticket, are experienced in protecting your rights and preventing traffic convictions. Keep your employment secure and let us handle your ticket. We service California traffic citations only. Call us today for a free case evaluation!

Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer For a Traffic Ticket?

You’ve been pulled over and issued a traffic ticket. Now what?

Most people pay the ticket and move on with life, but it might be worth hiring a lawyer to fight your traffic ticket. Here’s why:

Traffic Lawyers Know How to Get Out of Tickets

Whether it’s your first ticket or your tenth, your first instinct is probably not to find a mistake in the ticket. You might not think about how to prove that you didn’t commit the offense the ticket claims you did. Traffic lawyers know how to find errors in the ticket that you wouldn’t even think to look for. 

Paying a Traffic Ticket Has Consequences

Paying a traffic ticket is more than just a financial inconvenience. When you pay a traffic ticket you admit guilt, and this can have some lasting consequences. Even the most minor tickets can mean increased insurance rates and points on your driving record. In California, accumulating too many points on your driving record ultimately leads to a suspended license. 

Some of the more consequential traffic citations like DUIs and driving on a suspended license can be even more problematic. Hiring a skilled traffic lawyer can significantly reduce the short– and long-term consequences of traffic tickets.

Traffic Lawyers Fight For Your Rights

It’s not unusual for drivers in California to not know their rights. Traffic lawyers have spent years learning and defending those rights, so they can fight for your rights when you don’t know how. Your chances of having a reduced or dismissed ticket is much higher when you have a traffic lawyer who knows the law thoroughly on your side. 

It Doesn’t Cost As Much As You Think

Most people assume lawyers are too expensive and so they don’t even contact one. Some lawyers do charge a lot, but traffic lawyers are able to handle a lot of cases in one day so their rates are much more affordable.

Got a Traffic Ticket? Mr. Ticket Can Help!

If you’ve been issued a traffic ticket in California, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation right away. The Law Offices of Amir Soleimanian & Associates, Inc. – Mr. Ticket – will fight for your rights and get your ticket reduced or dismissed altogether. We’ll even appear in court for you. We are located in Encino, and we serve clients all over California. Contact us today for your free consultation!

Common DUI Mistakes in California

Being arrested for a DUI can be confusing and disorienting. If you’re not educated about the process, you might unknowingly make some of these common DUI mistakes when arrested for drunk driving in California. 

1. Pleading Guilty 

Many offenders plead guilty to DUI charges because they don’t feel like they have a choice. They assume fighting the charge will be too expensive or impossible to win. Unfortunately, pleading guilty has some serious consequences and means the DUI will stay on your record for 10 years or more.

Pleading guilty is a common DUI mistake in California. The ramifications of the plea include fines, jail time, inability to rent a car and increased insurance rates, among other things. It also often results in alcohol-related classes.

2. Failing to Seek Legal Representation

DUI charges are complex and those who try to represent themselves in court do not usually fare well. It’s important to seek legal representation immediately if you are arrested for drunk driving.

Just as you would hire a contractor to build a house instead of building it yourself, it’s best to have a lawyer handle your drunk driving case. They will help you understand the intricacies of your case and protect your rights.

3. Failing to Schedule a Hearing Within 10 Days

When you are arrested for a DUI, the police officer immediately forwards a copy of the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license to the DMV. You have 10 days from the arrest to request a hearing with the DMV.

Failing to schedule a hearing within the allotted 10 days is another common DUI mistake, and it is similar to admitting guilt. Immediately after receiving a DUI, call the DMV to schedule a hearing. From there, contacting a lawyer immediately is your best option. They will walk you through the entire process, including representing you at your hearing.

Arrested for a DUI in California? Call Mr. Ticket!

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in California, don’t make the common DUI mistakes. Know your rights, and seek legal representation. At the Law Offices of Amir Soleimanian & Associates, Inc (Mr. Ticket), we make it our business to protect your rights. We’ll handle your case from beginning to end and will even appear in court for you.

We serve clients in Los Angeles and all over the state of California. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call us today for your free consultation.

When Should I Report a Vehicle Accident in California?

When Should I Report a Vehicle Accident in California?

Every time you operate a vehicle, there is risk of an accident. California’s highways are known for their large number of crashes, and it’s common for those involved to wonder when to report a vehicle accident.

It is helpful to know the laws and guidelines for how to handle a vehicle accident ahead of time so that you know what steps to take in the event of a collision.

How to Proceed After an Accident

The most important thing to do is to stop immediately and only move your vehicle to the side of the road if it is safe to do so when you are involved in an accident. If there are any injuries, call 911.

The next general rule of thumb is that you should always notify the police of an accident. They will choose whether or not they respond to the crash site, depending on the severity and location of the accident. They will likely ask you a few questions and instruct you on how to proceed.

If the other driver fails to stop, it is considered a hit and run. The police need to be notified right away in these circumstances.

You should exchange names, addresses, phone numbers and driver’s license numbers once all vehicles are moved safely off the road. The state of California recommends that you also ask to see the other drivers’ vehicle registration and driver’s license to ensure the information they gave you is accurate.

It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the other vehicles license plates as well as document damage to the vehicles and the scene of the accident.

Finally, you should notify your insurance company immediately so they can properly handle any repairs, reports and disbursements.

Legal Requirements for Reporting a Vehicle Accident in California

Though it’s important to report a vehicle accident to the police and to your insurance company, some crashes require more.

California law requires that accidents causing any personal injuries or vehicle damage exceeding $750 be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days. Failing to report accidents can result in your driver’s license being suspended.

Involved in an Accident? Mr. Ticket Can Help!

If you’ve failed to report a vehicle accident or been ticketed for a hit and run or an at-fault accident, you might be worried about your driving record and insurance premiums. There are long-term consequences for simply paying tickets and admitting guilt, so call Mr. Ticket instead and get your traffic citation dismissed. Our team of experts handle everything from start to finish and will even appear in court on your behalf.

If you’ve been involved in an accident in California, don’t wait. Call Mr. Ticket today for a free consultation.

8 Traffic Laws to Know Before Driving in California

Millions of visitors flock to California by car every year for road trips and to enjoy theme parks and beaches. Although most state’s traffic laws are similar, it’s important to know the traffic laws pertaining to any new state you find yourself driving in.

Whether you live in California or are just visiting, there are 8 traffic laws you need to be aware of.

1. Speed Limits – As in every state in the United States, the speed limits in California are posted in miles per hour (mph). Freeway speeds in this state are lower than most states, generally 65 mph.

2. Eyes-on-the-Road Laws – In California it is against the law to write, send or read text messages while driving. If you choose to speak on the phone while operating a vehicle, you must use a hands-free device. Although you may drive with headphones, you must not have them in or over both ears.

3. Carpool Lanes – Many of California’s freeways have carpool lanes, marked by the diamond pattern painted on the lane’s surface. These lanes typically require at least two people in the vehicle, including the driver.

4. Traffic Stop Protocol – If you get pulled over for a traffic violation in California, you must produce a drivers’ license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. You do, however, have rights. You have the right to say no if an officer asks your permission to do something. An officer may also ask for the identification of any passengers in the vehicle.

5. Immigration Status – California traffic laws prohibit police officers from asking any drivers or passengers about immigration status. Only federal law enforcement officers have that ability. You can refuse to answer any questions about immigration status during a traffic stop.

6. Pedestrian Laws – Under California Law, pedestrians have the right-of-way even in unmarked crosswalks. When you are driving, be aware of pedestrians at intersections and even in roundabouts.

7. Passengers in the Back of a Truck – it is illegal in California to transport people in the back of a pickup truck. The one exception to this law is if the back of the truck is equipped with seats and seatbelts, and the passenger is properly seated and buckled in. It is also against the law to transport animals in the back of a vehicle unless they are properly secured.

8. Headlights – The law states that headlights must be turned on 30 minutes after the sun goes down and left on until 30 minutes before sunrise.

Got a Traffic Ticket in California? Mr. Ticket can help! We know our way around California traffic laws. Our experienced team will go to court for you and help protect your rights. Give us a call today!