Serious Traffic Offenses

Twin Cities Area Traffic Lawyer

Traffic offenses in Minnesota often seem minor. However, the state has strict laws regarding the safety of drivers and others on the roadways.  When a driver places another person or several other people in danger, the offense could be considered severe. If a person actually is injured or killed because of the act, the charge for the offense could be considered a felony. These offenses could mean extensive jail or prison sentences, expensive fines and even the loss of driving privileges. An experienced attorney can help you combat the charges.

Apple Valley Serious Traffic Offense Attorney

James Blumberg is a skilled Apple Valley serious traffic crime lawyer who is dedicated to helping his clients have their charges reduced or dropped. These traffic offense charges should not be taken lightly. He can provide quality legal advice and help you through the difficult accusations. His experience as a former prosecutor allows him to view your charges from both sides. This can be crucial when fighting to protect your freedom.

Call James Blumberg Law at (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free initial consultation. James Blumberg Law represents clients throughout Dakota County, including Burnsville, Eagan, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights and Rosemount, as well as anywhere in the Twin Cities region, including Hennepin County, Ramsey County and Anoka County.

Information About Serious Traffic Offenses

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Types of Serious Traffic Crimes in Minnesota

Most traffic offenses in Minnesota are not considered criminal acts. Things such as speeding violations, failing to stop at a red light and failing to use a signal are violations, but they are not handled in criminal courts. However, some acts could be considered more serious and could lead to criminal charges. Some serious traffic offenses include:

Reckless or careless driving — Any person who drives a vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a willful or a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property could be charged with reckless driving. Careless driving is considered operating or halting any vehicle on any street or highway carelessly or heedlessly in disregard of the rights of others, or in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any property or any person, including the driver or passengers of the vehicle. Both are misdemeanor offenses under Minnesota Statute 169.13.

Racing — According to Minnesota Statute 169.13, a person shall not race any vehicle upon any street or highway of this state. This is considered an act of reckless driving. Any person who willfully compares or contests relative speeds by operating one or more vehicles is guilty of racing, whether or not the speed compared is over the speed limit. This is a misdemeanor.

Leaving the scene of an accident — The driver of any motor vehicle involved in a collision shall immediately stop the motor vehicle at the scene of the collision, or as close to the collision as possible, and reasonably investigate what was struck. This applies if there could be injury, death or any type of property damage, according to Minnesota Statute 169.09. Charges and penalties for hit and run accidents differ based on the particular offense.

Fleeing police officer in a vehicle — Fleeing or attempting to flee a police officer in a motor vehicle after he or she knows the officer is attempting to stop them is guilty of a felony offense under Minnesota Statute 609.487. In this case, fleeing could mean speeding, turning off headlights or refusing to stop. The charges could increase if the offense results in injury or death.

Criminal vehicular homicide — A person could be charged with this offense if he or she causes the death of a person while operating a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner or in a negligent manner while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of substances. This is a felony offense under Minnesota Statute 609.2112.

Driving without valid license — A person could be charged with driving without a valid license if he or she is caught driving after suspicion, driving after revocation, driving after cancellation or driving after disqualification, according to Minnesota Statute 171.24. These would be considered misdemeanor offenses.

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Commercial Traffic Offenses

Commercial drivers also could be charged with serious traffic offenses in Minnesota. This could mean facing criminal charges in addition to losing their CDL license. The length of time in which a person may have his or her license taken away depends on the severity of the charge.

A first offense for a “major traffic violation” could mean a CDL disqualification for one year. A second violation could mean a lifetime disqualification. Some examples of major traffic offenses include:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Using a vehicle to commit a felony
  • Driving a commercial vehicle when his or her CDL is suspended or revoked
  • Causing a fatality through negligent operation

Reckless driving would be considered a “serious traffic violation.” This is a lesser offense than a “major traffic violation.” A first violation would not result in a disqualification, but a second offense could mean a 60-day violation.

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Minnesota License Suspension and Revocation

Minnesota is one of several states that does not use a point system to determine the penalties associated with some traffic offenses. Drivers in states who use the point system could face losing their license after a certain number of points has been acquired. Still, some serious traffic offenses in Minnesota could lead to having your driving privileges suspended or revoked.

The Minnesota Department of Driver and Vehicle Services can issue a driver’s license suspension for various reasons. Habitual traffic violators could have their license suspended for 30 up to one year depending on their previous license and driving violations and whether they were driving after a license withdrawal.

If a person is convicted of a traffic violation that results in personal injury or death, he or she also could face having driving privileges suspended. If personal injury occurs, a license could be suspended for 90 days. If a person is killed as a result of the violation, the license could be suspended for 180 days.

A conviction for criminal vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter or fleeing from a police officer also could mean having a driver’s license suspended. However, these charges carry more severe penalties. The license could be suspended for up to one year.

When a license is revoked it is different from a suspension. This means it is taken away from the driver for an extended period of time. This often is implemented for more serious violations. Some instances in which a license could be revoked include:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury — 180 days
  • Leaving the scene of an accident with death — 90 days
  • Committing a felony with a motor vehicle — one year
  • Fleeing a police officer — one to 10 years, depending on the nature of the violation
  • Vehicular homicide or manslaughter — one year, depending on nature of the violation

If a person drives a vehicle while his or her license has been suspended or revoked, he or she could face additional criminal charges. This could mean having the suspension period extended or even having your license canceled.

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Additional Resources

Minnesota Department of Driver and Vehicle Services — If a driver has his or her license suspended or revoked, it must be reinstated through the Minnesota Department of Driver and Vehicle Services. Learn more about what is needed to have your driving privileges reinstated.

Driver’s License Status — Minnesota drivers who are unsure about the status of their driver’s license can check by entering their information online. Driving on a suspended or revoked license could mean additional charges.

Resolving Commercial License Suspension — Commercial drivers who have had their license suspended also must resolve the issue through the Minnesota Department of Driver and Vehicle Services. Read more about reinstating Class A, Class B and Class license suspensions.

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James Blumberg Law– A Traffic Crime Lawyer in Dakota County

If you have been accused of a serious traffic violation, you should find an attorney who can work with you one-on-one to hear your account of the events. Dakota County serious traffic offense attorney James Blumberg Law can adequately present the facts of the case and represent your rights. As a former prosecutor, he knows how to get favorable results in even the most complex cases. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free consultation.

James Blumberg Law has offices in Dakota County, but accepts clients throughout the greater Carver County, Rice County, Scott County, Dodge County, Olmsted County, Sibley County, and Steele County.