No, a speeding ticket is a traffic violation and not a misdemeanor. It's a violation of the vehicle code, not a violation of the penal code. However, some offenses in the vehicle code may be misdemeanors. DUIs, for example, are found in the vehicle code and are generally classified as misdemeanors.
There are different cases where what could be considered a traffic violation is actually a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor requires you to respond to the fine in criminal court. The two most common examples we see are driving with a suspended license and driving with a suspended or expired registration. For example, if you don't respond to a ticket and your license is suspended as a result, in the event you get arrested again, you'll get a fine for driving with a suspended license (operator without an aggravated license).
Driving with a suspended license is considered a misdemeanor and can have quite serious consequences. Other misdemeanor traffic offenses that are criminal in nature include drunk driving or driving with drug problems. In some cases, reckless driving may be considered a misdemeanor as opposed to a traffic violation. You probably think of receiving a traffic ticket as a slap in the face.
They arrest you, you get a piece of paper and you pay a fine. It's more of a nuisance than a real problem. However, not all traffic tickets are minor offenses. There are numerous traffic violations that lead to criminal charges for misdemeanors or felonies.
In this situation, paying a fine quickly is not an option or your best option. A criminal defense attorney from our law firm can help. In addition to hit-and-run offenses, felony traffic offenses defined by law often include repeated convictions for drunk driving, as well as vehicular homicide. Traffic tickets are usually strict liability offenses under the law, and do not require proof of criminal intent on the part of the defendant before he or she is convicted of the crime.
After being charged with a criminal traffic violation, you should meet with a criminal traffic lawyer to discuss your possible defenses. If you are facing criminal charges due to a traffic violation, contact a Pittsburgh criminal traffic lawyer at (41 281-2146) immediately for a free initial case consultation. Traffic tickets are generally considered minor violations of the law and are treated as misdemeanors, not classified as a misdemeanor or felony. In general, a speeding traffic ticket is a violation that is generally not considered a criminal offense.
Some traffic violations are expressly defined as serious crimes by law, such as leaving the scene of an accident (hit-and-run).