While most of the traffic violations are not very serious, once in a while a driver commits a serious offense. This can be due to many reasons like anxiety, intoxication, and so on. When these violations take place on the road and the driver is convicted, it can have severe implications. Account of law enforcement officers, as well as camera footage, is used as a witness against the accused person.
If you or someone you know has committed a serious traffic offense then below are some things you should know that can help you through the procedures after.
In many countries, a serious traffic offense can bring in hard punishments. In such a case, taking assistance from attorneys like Mark Andrews Legal can provide the aid to prevent harsh penalties. Consult an attorney at the soonest so they can follow up for you and let you know what the court case will involve. This will help you be more prepared. If an arrest has taken place, then the call should be made before it happens or when a telephone is provided at the police headquarters. A family member too can contact a lawyer on the behalf of the accused.
Though the whole incident can be nerve-wracking, it is best advised to stay calm and remain silent until your lawyer comes in. The officer will read out your rights and one of these rights is to get a lawyer. By staying silent you can avoid incriminating yourself. Do not divulge any information until your legal representative arrives even if the officers are vigilant. Your lawyer will know the best information to provide so you need to keep silent till then. The lawyer will also ensure that the rights of the accused are defended especially if the law enforcement is not following the protocol.
Traffic offenses are categorized as felonies and misdemeanors. Felony violations include accidents that take place when the driver is under the influence of alcohol or wherein another person has been seriously injured or died. This could result in severe penalties like jail term, fines, and fees for medical expenses. Ticket violations are of a less severe offense. The result of these are usually points against your driver’s license.
You might be required to take a driving course, retake the driving test, and in some cases surrender your license for a while. You could get a fine too depending on ticket violation intensity. Understand the type of ticket you have received and if you do not agree with it then you can contest it. If your reasons are valid then the judge could dismiss the ticket.
Sometimes an accident can be due to misjudgment and other times it is the result of another reason like an emergency situation. When you are preparing for court, if you have any such grounds to explain why the accidents took place, the court might take it into consideration. Examples of such medical emergencies are wherein you were driving someone to the nearest hospital, or if you were under attack and were escaping, and so on. While all the reasons may be correct for you, it will rest upon the judge if they constitute a valid reason for the offense that has been committed.
This is the time when your insurance policy taken against your car will come in handy. You will be able to claim for damage caused to your car as well as pay for the medical bills of the person or people hurt during the accident. If you have suffered an injury then you can get a claim for your medical assistance too. Go for a full-body check-up as many times as possible, the injury caused by the trauma of a car accident is not visible immediately but may crop up at a later stage.
Many people find the experience of going to court very intimidating and in such circumstances prefer to just accept the crime or pay the fine and not hire an attorney. This is considered an admission of guilt and could end up with you facing many years serving a prison sentence. Such sentences can affect your career, family, relationships, and your future altogether.
By hiring a lawyer and appearing in court you will be able to explain the situation better and reduce the charges against you. So prepare yourself well in advance and be well dressed for the court hearing. Prepare yourself mentally and speak in a respectful manner. A statement like ‘I didn’t do it’ etc will not work in your favor. Calmly relate as to what happened.
When all the court scenes are over and you are home safely, you may experience something that is called post-traumatic stress disorder, and in this state, you may feel flooded with emotions like guilt, shock, confusion, and helplessness. This usually happens right after a car accident has taken place. If you do not take steps to improve your mental state it could get worse. The incident may have scared you but you will have to take it upon yourself to move on ahead.
The first step is of course to speak to family and friends about how you feel and be with more positive people. You can also speak to a professional who can help you decrease the intensity of the memories of the incident. You can simultaneously try to do some physical exercise that can help you take your mind off the incident for a while. Try to eat well and sleep on time. Do not isolate yourself.
You can slowly start taking steps to get back to the driver’s seat. Read the safety manual again and try to drive with a friend or family member during off-peak hours so you can gain your confidence back again. Slowly you will be able to drive and follow safety rules again without any apprehensions.