Traffic violations are one of the most common types of illegal activity. Countless numbers of people receive traffic tickets each day for everything ranging from speeding to accidents.
The Minnesota House of Representatives explains there are various levels of traffic violation crimes in the state. The levels of these violations will reflect the seriousness of the crime. Lower levels are those with fewer penalties and punishments.
Gross misdemeanors and felonies
The highest level of traffic offense is a gross misdemeanor or felony. These are not common, and this level applies only to the most serious offenses. Drunk driving offenses, for example, may fall under this category, especially if the accident is fatal.
The misdemeanor level is somewhat common and contains some serious offenses. You will usually have to go to court for such a charge. Penalties could include jail time and a fine. Incidents that cause property damage or injuries usually fall into this category.
Petty misdemeanors are the lowest level and the most common level for which you will receive a traffic violation. You will not go to jail for this type of conviction. You likely will not even have to go to court. Most often, you can pay a fee. Crimes at this level include speeding and parking tickets. They do not involve accidents where someone was hurt or crimes where there was property damage.
Knowing the level of your crime is essential to determining your next moves. Most people will simply pay the fine on a petty misdemeanor, but in some cases, it may be to your advantage to go to court. For the other levels, you will need to put together a defense and try to beat the charges to avoid a charge on your record.