Motor Vehicle Crimes
Most violations of state-mandated driving laws prosecuted under California's Vehicle Code are misdemeanors. Nevertheless, these crimes come with a possible driver license suspension, fines and even jail time. Additionally, your insurance rates might increase dramatically if you are convicted.
Attorneys for Motor Vehicle Crimes in San Francisco, CA
The attorneys at Ticket Crushers in San Francisco represent clients on a variety of serious criminal offenses, including criminal traffic offenses. Call us for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case, the legal fees needed for representation, and possible defenses that can be asserted in your case.
Let us put our experience to work for you. Call 1 (866) 842-5384 today to discuss your case.
Types of Motor Vehicle Crimes in San Francisco, CA
In the State of California, commonly prosecuted motor vehicle offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Reckless Driving;
- Exhibition of Speed;
- Engaging in a Speed Contest;
- Failure to Appear on a Traffic Citation;
- Hit and Run Accidents;
- Hit and Run with Property Damage;
- Felony Hit and Run;
- Failure to Stop and Submit to Law Enforcement Inspection:
- Fleeing or Attemting to Evade an Officer;
- Driving without a Valid License;
- Refusing to Present a License when Requested by an Officer;
- Driving While License Suspended or Revoked;
- Causing Bodily Injury with a Vehicle after a License has been Suspended or Revoked;
- Driving the Wrong Way on a Divided Highway;
- Possession of an Open Container of Alcohol in a Vehicle (for a third or subsequent violation);
- Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle by Anyone under 21;
- Failure to Install an Ignition Interlock Device;
- Driving a Vehicle without an Ignition Interlock Device.
Failure to Appear on a Traffic Citation
If you fail to appear in court on a citation for a violation of the California Vehicle Code, then you can be charged with a separate criminal offense, even if you are "not guilty" of the original charge. California law specifically provides that it doesn't matter whether the defendant is guilty or not of the violation of the Vehicle Code alleged in the original citation.
The elements that must be proven at trial beyond all reasonable doubt for Failure to Appear under Vehicle Code, § 40508(a) are as follows:
- The defendant received a citation
- In connection with that citation, the defendant either signed a written promise to appear in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail or received a lawfully granted continuance of his or her promise to appear; and
- The defendant willfully failed to appear in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail
California law provides that a person commits an act "willfully" when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. To prove that the act was willful, the prosecutor is not required to prove that the person intended to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.
The Standard Jury Instructions for Failure to Appear under Vehicle Code § 40508(a) are found in the Judicial Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction 2240 for Vehicle Offenses.
Failure to Appear on a Criminal Charge
If you fail to appear in court after being issued a traffic citation for a misdemeanor offense, then the failure to appear allegation can be charged as a separate misdemeanor. The charge of failing to appear comes with a potential punishment of up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000. Plus, you will still face the underlying charge and the penalties that go along with that misdemeanor offense.
If you failed to appear in a felony case, the charge of failure to appear could be charged as a separate felony that is punishable by a minimum fine of $5,000 or a maximum fine of $10,000 if you posted bail.
The court can also take action against your driver’s license for a failure to appear in court on a misdemeanor or felony traffic offense.
Warrants in San Francisco, CA
Do you have a warrant for your arrest that was issued by a judge in the County of San Francisco or the surrounding areas? A warrant is an order to law enforcement to immediately arrest you. A warrant can be issued if you fail to appear in court, fail to pay a fine, or fail to complete a condition of probation.
If you fail to appear in court, then the court can add additional fines and assessments, suspend your driver's license, impound your vehicle, and even garnish your wages.
Call Ticket Crushers to discuss your warrant for failure to appear with an experienced local attorney who can represent you on the warrant and the underlying case. We can move the court to quash or withdraw the warrant.
Motion to Quash the Failure to Appear Warrant
If the allegation for failing to appear in court occurred without proper notice or if you had a good reason for the failure to appear, your attorney might be able to quash the warrant and put your case back on the court’s calendar.
In some cases, a failure to appear occurs because of obligations at your job, a lack of transportation, illness, or injury. In other instances, the failure to appear occurred because you did not receive notice of the scheduled court appearance.
If you have an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court, then you should immediately call to speak with an attorney at Ticket Crushers. We can talk with you over the phone or in the office.
Types of DUI Charges in California
California law provides for many different ways that Driving under the Influence (DUI) can be charged.
- 23152(a) Driving a vehicle while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to the degree that my ability to drive was impaired
- 23152(b) Driving a vehicle while there was 0.08 % or more of alcohol in my blood 23152(d) Driving a commercial vehicle while my blood-alcohol level was 0.04 % or higher
- 23152(e) Driving a vehicle while under the influence of any drug to the degree that my ability to drive was impaired
- 23152(f) Driving a vehicle while under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to the degree that my ability to drive was impaired
- 23153(a) Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverage to the degree that my ability to drive was impaired and causing injury
- 23153(b) Driving a vehicle while there was 0.08% or more of alcohol in my blood and causing injury 23153(d) Driving a commercial vehicle while my blood-alcohol level was 0.04 % or higher and causing injury
- 23153(e) Driving a vehicle while under the influence of any drug to the degree that my ability to drive was impaired and causing injury
- 23153(f) Driving a vehicle while under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to the degree that my ability to drive was impaired and causing injury
California Vehicle Code — Visit the California Legislative Information website to find the entire California Vehicle Code. You can search by division, code number, section or text. Learn more about registration of vehicles, drivers' licenses, and safety regulations. Find the offenses prosecuted under the Vehicle Code, as well as the penalties and disposition of fees, fines, and forfeiture.
Finding Motor Vehicle Criminal Defense Attorneys in San Francisco, CA
If you are charged with any criminal traffic or motor vehicle offense, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Ticket Crushers. We also represent clients with traffic tickets in San Francisco, CA.
Our attorneys work hard to get your criminal charges reduced or even dismissed altogether. If the best result can not be negotiated before trial, then we will be ready to present the case to a jury to fight for the not guilty verdict. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call 1 (866) 842-5384 today to talk with a knowledgeable traffic ticket attorney about your case.
This article was last updated on Thursday, July 14, 2016.