You’ve been in beautiful Colorado for less than an hour, and you’re already getting antsy to get the heck out of your vehicle and onto the slopes of Vail County, the trails of one of Colorado’s gorgeous national forests, or just the cozy queen bed waiting for you in the spare bedroom at your family member’s house in Colorado Springs. You can’t help it. You’re ready to finally arrive at your destination, and you hit the gas. That’s when you see those tell-tale blue and red lights in your rearview mirror.
We’ve all been there, waiting with our hands nervously gripping the steering wheel as an officer, deputy, or trooper walks up with a traffic ticket in mind. While some Colorado traffic tickets aren’t likely to spoil your entire vacation, some could result in steep penalties, including hefty fines and even time in prison. Keep reading for a brief rundown on traffic tickets in Colorado.
Types of Traffic Tickets
In the State of Colorado, traffic tickets are separated into two main categories: traffic infraction tickets and traffic offense tickets. The type of ticket issued for a traffic violation depends on the severity, circumstances, and results of the violation.
If you are ticketed for a traffic infraction, you will likely be able to simply pay the ticket and be on your way. Class A and Class B driving infraction tickets may result in fines and/or court costs. These traffic violations are typically less severe in nature, including failing to use a turn signal, speeding up to 24 MPH, and failing to obey traffic signals. These infractions are handled civilly, meaning you will probably not require the advice of a criminal defense attorney for a traffic infraction ticket.
Being ticketed with a traffic offense ticket, on the other hand, can result in much harsher penalties. These tickets are typically classified as misdemeanor traffic offenses, meaning they are handled as criminal, not civil, cases. You may be issued a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense ticket for reckless or careless driving, and you may be issued a Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense ticket if an accident that occurred while you were driving carelessly resulted in the injury or death of another. Being charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor may result in more than a year of jail time and hefty fines.
Remember to drive safely while visiting Colorado! If you’re facing criminal charges for a traffic offense, don’t hesitate to contact our Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney.