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Can I Receive a Criminal Charge for Speeding?


When you’re pulled over for speeding, what you may expect is a lecture from the police officer about road safety and a speeding ticket. What you may get is a ride to the police station. You may have been arrested for criminal charges—but how does this happen if you were only speeding? 

A criminal charge for speeding may sound unfair, but it happens. An experienced Tampa traffic ticket lawyer can help you deal with the fallout and fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed. 

Speeding vs. Reckless Driving 

Being charged with speeding is a traffic violation that results in a fine and points on your license if you plead guilty. So how could you have criminal charges to deal with, now? In these cases, you may have been charged with reckless driving, a criminal offense. Police officers may justify this based on what they claim you were doing besides speeding. 

Here are a few violations police officers may use to justify charging you with a criminal offense: 

  • Switching lanes quickly or without signaling 
  • Tailgating 
  • Driving distracted
  • Failure to stop signs
  • Failure to traffic lights 

Penalties for Reckless Driving Charges 

When you’re charged with a speeding ticket, you may have a hefty fine, but that may not seem so bad. Reckless driving charges, however, may impact your life in serious ways. 

First, you may face jail time, which you wouldn’t have faced with a speeding ticket. Already, the penalties are more dire—a few months in jail can impact your housing, your family, and your career. The financial penalties can also be difficult to pay, especially if you lost your job while serving jail time.

But your criminal record may be the harshest penalty to face. Even if you’ve finished your prison sentence and paid your dues, your record won’t be cleared. That can impact your future employment and housing opportunities, leading to denials and headaches which will haunt your and your family’s future.

Defenses for Traffic-Related Criminal Charges 

Choosing the right defense for reckless driving can be difficult. For example, you may have evidence that proves you weren’t speeding based on the posted speed limit, but what about the other signs of reckless driving the police officer has accused you of? 

Another defense for your reckless driving case is your reckless driving may not have been willful. For example, you may have been in a life-threatening situation or trying to avoid injury, which required you to disobey the rules of the road. That can help you reduce or dismiss the charges against you. 

But the right defense for your case will depend on you and the details of your case. Your lawyer can review the details of your traffic stop and what your next steps may be. 

Speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charge 

A criminal charge on your record can impact your future and your driving record, which makes it difficult to recover from the harsh penalties the judge may set for you. 

That’s where we at Hersem Law can help. We understand how even a simple traffic ticket can get out of control fast. We want to help you get answers and get your life back. For a free strategy session, call 813-251-7291 or fill out the following online contact form.