Traffic Ticket Attorney serving the entire Central and Eastern Connecticut
Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, Windham, and New London Counties
J. Christopher Llinas is a former Connecticut prosecutor who is now practicing as a traffic defense lawyer from his office in Hebron, Connecticut.
MAJOR TRAFFIC OFFENSES
There are a number of major traffic offenses that carry maximum penalties that include possible jail time in addition to a fine. These offenses are often referred to as “must appears” because a person must appear in court for these offenses and cannot merely pay a fine to resolve it.
The most common of these offenses are:
- Speeding: Exceeding the legally posted speed limit.
- Reckless Driving: Operating a vehicle without regard for the safety of others.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Operating a Vehicle While License is Suspended: Driving when your license has been temporarily suspended due to a previous violation.
- Driving While License is Revoked: Operating a vehicle after your license has been permanently revoked.
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: Not allowing another driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian to proceed first in a situation where they have the right of way.
- Illegal U-Turns: Making a U-turn where it is specifically prohibited.
- Failure to Stop or Running a Red Light: Proceeding through a stop sign or red light without stopping.
- Failure to Signal: Not using your vehicle’s turn signals when turning or changing lanes.
- Driving Without a License: Operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license.
- Driving Without Insurance: Operating a vehicle without the required insurance coverage.
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit & Run): Failing to stop and identify oneself after being involved in an accident.
- Tailgating or Following Too Closely: Driving too closely to the vehicle in front.
- Using a Cell Phone or Texting While Driving: Using a mobile device for any reason while operating a vehicle.
- Failure to Wear a Seatbelt: Not wearing a seatbelt while the vehicle is in motion.
- Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer: Attempting to escape or not stopping when a police officer signals you to do so.
Again, all these offenses can lead to penalties, ranging from fines and points on your license to increased insurance rates and even imprisonment for more serious offenses. It’s always best to drive responsibly and in accordance with all traffic laws.
The key issues for these offenses often include:
- Legality of the Stop: Was the traffic stop conducted legally and according to established protocol?
- – Verification of the Offender’s Driving: Was the accused individual indeed operating the vehicle at the time of the offense?
- – Knowledge of License Status or Offense Severity: Was the individual aware of their license status (suspended or revoked) or the severity of their actions (for example, knowing they were driving under the influence)?
- – Compliance with Traffic Signals and Signs: Did the driver adhere to all traffic signals and road signs?
- – Evidence of Impairment: In DUI cases, is there proof of the driver’s impairment, such as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels or results of field sobriety tests?
- Validity of the License: Did the driver have a valid and current driver’s license at the time of the offense?
- Insurance Status: Was the vehicle adequately insured at the time of the offense?
- Circumstances of the Incident: What were the specifics of the situation, such as road conditions, weather, or other extenuating circumstances?
- Driver’s Record: Does the driver have a past record of any prior offenses or violations that could affect the case?
- Intent and Negligence: Can the driver’s intent or degree of negligence be established, especially in cases of reckless driving or hit-and-run incidents?
- Compliance with Law Enforcement: Did the individual comply with law enforcement during the traffic stop or attempt to evade the police?
Whatever the offense, J. Christopher Llinas has extensive experience with such cases and can identify the key issues relative to your major traffic case, investigate and research those issues, and craft the best defense possible.
Driving While Suspended generally carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine, and it can also put 12 point on a person’s driver’s license.
The possible jail time increases to a maximum of 2 years in jail for a subsequent offense.
Common reasons for suspension include:
- an accumulation of 8 to 11 points on one’s license
- failure to pay child support
- a breath or blood test of 0.08 or more
- a refusal to take such a test
There is also a less serious variant of Driving While Suspended, which carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and/or a $500.00 fine, and it arises when one has failed to appear for court or failed to pay a fine for a minor traffic offense.
Driving While Revoked
Driving While Revoked carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine, and it can also put 12 point on a person’s driver’s license.
The possible jail time increases to a maximum of 2 years in jail for a subsequent offense. The reason for revocation is an accumulation of 12 or more points on one’s license.
Driving Without a License
Driving Without a License carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine, and it can also put 5 point on a person’s driver’s license. The possible jail time increases to a maximum of 1 year in jail for a subsequent offense.
Driving Uninsured carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine, and can also put 5 point on a person’s driver’s license. The possible jail time increases to a maximum of 2 years in jail for a subsequent offense.
Fleeing & Eluding
Fleeing & Eluding carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine and can also put 12 point on a person’s driver’s license. The possible jail time increases to a maximum of 2 years in jail for a subsequent offense.
In the event the offense results in bodily injury or death to another, the maximum penalty increases to 3 years and 10 years in jail, respectively, and/or a $5,000.00 fine.
Hit & Run
Hit & Run involving property damage carries a maximum penalty of 60 days on jail and/or a $500.00 fine, and it can also put 8 point on a person’s driver’s license.
The maximum penalty increases to 5 years in jail and/or $5,000.00 for a Hit & Run involving bodily injury. And, for a Hit & Run involving death, the maximum penalty increases to 10 years in jail, and/or a $10,000.00 fine.
Hit & Runs involving bodily injury or death will put 12 points on a person’s driver’s license.
MINOR TRAFFIC OFFENSES
These offenses are often referred to as “payables” because a person can pay a pre-set fine and resolve the matter without having to appear in court.
The most common of these offenses is speeding.
One problem with minor traffic offenses, however, is that they carry points for moving violations, which can have an adverse impact upon:
- a person’s insurance premiums
- the status of their driver’s license, particularly if they have a provisional license
- their employment, for those who drive as part of their job, like:
- CDL drivers
- outside sales reps
- contractor employees
Another problem with minor traffic offenses is that one must appear in court in order to contest the allegations underlying the offense and/or to seek a lesser penalty relative to the offense.
This can be a challenge for those with full-time jobs who cannot take time off for court, or for those where the court lies in a far-flung area, like central and eastern Connecticut.
J. Christopher Llinas can be especially helpful with these circumstances.
- Under Connecticut law, a person can have an attorney appear on their behalf for a minor traffic offense, thus relieving them of their obligation to be present.
- An attorney may identify certain viable issues resulting in dismissal of the citation.
- For a person with no viable issues and a relatively clean driving record, an attorney can be helpful in procuring a “probation before judgment” (PBJ) resolution, where the person pays the pre-set fine and court costs for the offense, but otherwise suffers no conviction or points.
If you’re facing any of the aforementioned traffic offenses, don’t hesitate to protect your rights and driving privileges. With years of experience in handling traffic violation cases, J. Christopher Llinas at Llinas Law is well-equipped to guide you through the complexities of the legal system and advocate on your behalf. Don’t leave your future to chance – Call Llinas Law at 860-530-1781 today for a consultation. Let us help you navigate through this challenging time with legal expertise and personalized care.