What Are the Classifications for Traffic Charges in Colorado?
Colorado has five classifications for traffic charges as follows:
- Traffic infractions
- Petty Offenses
- Misdemeanor traffic offenses
- Unclassified Misdemeanors
The penalties can range from mild to severe, depending on the classification of your offense. Whatever traffic violation charge you face, consult lawyers from a reputable Colorado criminal defense law firm for legal counsel. They can evaluate your case and guide you in fighting the traffic violation charges to protect your rights and future.
Colorado Speeding Laws
Driving between one and 24 miles per hour over the posted speed limit in Colorado qualifies as a Class A traffic infraction. Driving 25 miles per hour or above this limit is a Class 2 misdemeanor. You’ll be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense if you speed at 25 miles per hour or more over the speed limit in a construction zone.
The law requires you to reduce your speed to a “reasonable and prudent level” in hazardous driving conditions such as fog, snow, or heavy rain. A violation amounts to a Class A traffic infraction.
Penalties for Traffic Violations in Colorado
The penalties for traffic violations in Colorado depend on the classification of the offense and the severity. Generally, the penalties are as follows:
- Fines ranging from $30 to $200 for a Class A traffic infraction for speeding
- Fines of between $150 and $300 for Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses, with a possible jail time of 10 to 90 days
- A potential fine of between $300 and $1,000 and a possible jail sentence of 10 days to one year for a Class 1 misdemeanor
Being sentenced to jail time can adversely affect your life and career. Let a skilled Colorado Springs traffic violation lawyer help you fight the charges to have them reduced or dropped altogether.
Why Should I Fight a Traffic Violation Charge?
You probably depend on your vehicle to get to work, drop your kids to school, or go shopping. Every ticket you earn adds points to your license, and the subsequent infraction could lead to automatic suspension. If you get your license suspended, you’d have to find alternative transportation for these daily or weekly trips and forget about being behind the wheel.
You want to avoid settling for a bad outcome like losing your driving privileges. So, consider working with a skilled Colorado Springs traffic violation lawyer to help you hold on to your license and driving rights. Avoid driving on a suspended license, which could get you stiffer penalties if caught.
Instead, strive to fight the traffic violation charge for the following reasons:
Maintain a Clean Driving Record
If you plead guilty, pay the fine, or ignore a traffic offense, you risk destroying your clean driving record. You’ll also add points to an already existing bad driving record. The more points you add, the closer you get to your license suspension. You can let a traffic violation lawyer in Colorado Springs help you fight the charge to prevent this outcome.
Besides, each traffic violation resets the clock that determines when you can erase old offenses from your record. Your traffic offense violations can remain on your record for three to seven years before you can wipe the history clean. That depends on the severity of the offense and the circumstances around it.
Lack of Sufficient Evidence
Once you fight a ticket, even a civil infraction, the officer must appear in court and present evidence that shows you committed the offense. Officers sometimes fail to show up, and sometimes lack proof that you violated traffic laws while operating a vehicle.
Increase Your Options
Paying a traffic ticket is the same as declaring your guilt. However, you can request a hearing, which gives you more options to plead to a lesser offense. You may get the ticket or traffic violation charge dismissed depending on how you defend yourself. Enhance your chances of a favorable outcome by working with an aggressive traffic violation attorney in Colorado.
How Can I Fight a Traffic Violation Charge in Colorado?
Many people wrongly believe that paying for their traffic tickets is their only option, but that’s not the case. You could dispute the traffic citation to avoid the long-term negative consequences, which include higher insurance rates and driver’s license suspension.
Contesting the traffic citation means pleading “not guilty” to the charges against you. You can do this in person or by mail. Your ticket lists the name and location of the court that must be notified before the arraignment date. Once the court receives your plea, it’ll schedule a date depending on what you’re contesting:
- A final hearing date for an infraction, which is a less serious traffic violation
- A pre-trial conference for a traffic offense, which is more severe and carries potential fines and jail time upon conviction
Not showing up at the hearing or conference could make the court find you guilty of the charges and could issue a warrant of arrest. If you’re considering pleading “not guilty,” let an aggressive criminal defense lawyer in Colorado Springs fight on your behalf to prove your innocence in court. Their input can help you get the charges dropped or dismissed.
Learn Your Legal Options When Faced With a Traffic Violation Charge
Paying a traffic ticket often seems like the easy way out, but it could cost you more in the long run. The alternative is fighting the traffic violation charge if you believe you didn’t commit the traffic citation or have several other tickets on your record. An experienced traffic ticket lawyer from a criminal defense law firm in Colorado can help you fight the charges.
If you got a speeding ticket in Colorado you didn’t deserve, don’t admit guilt to get past this difficult time. Our traffic violation attorney in Colorado Springs can look into your case and help you secure reduced sentences or dismissed traffic tickets. Call Joyner Law at (719) 888-4177 for quality legal representation.