What Is a Florida Criminal Traffic Offense, and What Can You Do to Defend Yourself?

Traffic stops frequently occur for minor issues like driving with a defective taillight or exceeding the speed limit. You may not think of traffic violations as a criminal offense, but sometimes, they are—and they’ll cost you more than a ticket.

In Florida, there are several ways that a person can get a criminal traffic charge. Read on for a guide concerning what you need to know about these offenses and how a criminal traffic-offense attorney can assist you.

The Definition of a Criminal Traffic Offense in Florida

A criminal traffic offense or violation describes a misdemeanor or felony that a driver commits while operating a motor vehicle on the road. It is not the same as a civil traffic ticket in Florida. You’d get the latter as a pedestrian or motorist when a police officer sees you violate a civil traffic law like exceeding the speed limit or jaywalking.

A criminal citation alleges that the driver committed a severe traffic violation. Not only could you receive a ticket, but the officer could also arrest you on a criminal charge, depending on the severity of the traffic offense.

Types of Criminal Traffic Violations in Florida

Criminal violations vary. Even a simple traffic violation can become criminal if the driver’s actions lead to someone’s injury or death or if the driver is a habitual offender. Below are some of the types of illegal traffic violations in Florida.


Any time a driver is in an accident that injures another person, they must stop their vehicle and remain at the scene until the authorities arrive to assess the situation. Leaving the scene of a crash for any reason could result in a hit-and-run charge. Hit-and-run is a third-degree felony that can move up to a first-degree felony if the accident results in death.

Driving With a Suspended License

Driving without a valid license may seem harmless, but it carries a heavy charge. In Florida, drivers with suspended or revoked licenses can receive a moving violation conviction, a misdemeanor, or a felony. The charge’s severity depends on why the driver lost their license, how many offenses they have on their record, and whether they knew about the suspension.

Driving Under the Influence

In Florida, a first-time DUI offense will be a misdemeanor. The exception to the rule is if the impaired driver seriously hurt or killed another person. If so, the charge will become a felony.

Reckless Driving

Every driver should drive carefully and comply with all traffic laws. Failing to adhere to the rules of the road, ignoring the safety of other drivers, or eluding a police officer can get you a criminal reckless driving charge.

Penalties for Criminal Violations

If an officer pulls you over and alleges that you committed a criminal traffic offense, they will either arrest you or issue a citation with a court date on the bottom. Driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, and driving recklessly usually warrant an arrest.

The violation will be a permanent mark on your criminal record and carry several consequences, such as:

  • Points on your driver’s license
  • Higher insurance rates
  • Substantial fines
  • Community service
  • Probation
  • Jail sentence

You can also experience non-criminal consequences due to a criminal traffic charge, such as loss of employment. It’s best to seek counsel from an experienced criminal lawyer if you want to pursue reduced charges and lessen penalties.

How a Criminal Traffic Offense Attorney Can Help

The moments immediately preceding a criminal traffic stop can affect your defense. Remember to stay calm, cooperate with the police, don’t apologize or say anything that could be an admittance of guilt, and contact a criminal traffic offense attorney.

A common assumption about these traffic violations is that they are minor enough to handle without a criminal lawyer. However, your case may be more complicated than you know.

It’s best to allow an experienced criminal traffic offense attorney like our team at Oldham & Delcamp to represent you. We can also organize your defense based on evidence and possibly identify ways to procure a lesser sentence.

Contact a Skilled Oldham & Delcamp Criminal Attorney

If you need a criminal traffic offense in Pinellas, St. Pete, or Tampa, FL, and want to explore your legal options, you might search for “criminal lawyers near me.” Instead of sifting through hundreds of law firms, turn to the legal team from Oldham & Delcamp, LLC.

At Oldham & Delcamp, LLC, we are a results-driven law firm that understands the needs of individuals undergoing the legal process. We believe that a proactive, personalized approach to legal services is a practical way to maximize a client’s recovery of damages. Our team consists of young attorneys with a proven track record of successfully representing clients in and out of the courtroom.

If you need a criminal traffic offense attorney, do not hesitate to contact Oldham & Delcamp, LLC. A consultation with a criminal defense attorney is free, so call 727-201-5458 or complete our online form today to speak with a team member.


Copyright © 2022. Oldham & Delcamp, LLC. All rights reserved.


The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Oldham & Delcamp LLC.
4970 Park Blvd N,
Pinellas Park, FL 33781
(727) 201-5458

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