If you get a traffic ticket in Kansas City, MO, could you be facing criminal charges? In other words, are there situations in which a traffic ticket can result in a criminal record and jail time? While many traffic offenses do not result in criminal penalties in other states, it is essential to know that a traffic ticket for what may seem like a routine citation in Kansas City might actually be a misdemeanor offense that could result in your having a criminal record. If you have been cited for a traffic violation, it is important to speak with a Kansas City traffic ticket lawyer. Even if we cannot get the charges dropped, it may be possible to have the charges reduced so that you are not looking at a criminal record.
The following is more information about some of the common types of traffic offenses in Kansas City, Missouri that may be charged as misdemeanor criminal offenses.
Speeding is a Misdemeanor Offense in Kansas City
For many motorists in Kansas City, one of the most surprising things to learn about traffic tickets and moving violations is that speeding is a misdemeanor offense under Missouri law. If you are cited for driving between five and 19 miles per hour beyond the posted speed limit, then you will be facing a criminal record with a class C misdemeanor offense. Under Missouri law, a class C misdemeanor can result in up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $700. The penalty is even greater is you are traveling at speeds of 20 miles per hour or more beyond the posted speed limit. For this offense, you will be facing a class B misdemeanor. In Missouri, a class B misdemeanor can result in up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
You will have a criminal record when you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense.
When you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense, you should know that you will have a criminal record. When you have a criminal record, you may be required to disclose that fact on job applications, applications for credit, and in other areas of your life. If you can, it is essential to work with a traffic ticket lawyer to avoid having a misdemeanor criminal record because you were caught speeding.
If you are speeding by five miles per hour or less, however, then you will have only a traffic infraction (and you will not have a criminal record).
Passing in an Active Emergency Zone
It is unlawful in Kansas City and throughout the state of Missouri to overtake or pass another motor vehicle within an active emergency zone. If you are convicted, you will face penalties for a class C misdemeanor. As we described above, a class C misdemeanor can include a penalty of up to 15 days in jail and a monetary fine of up to $700. In addition, you will have a criminal record.