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Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses


Two Degrees of Misdemeanors

There are two types of misdemeanors in Florida: a first degree misdemeanor and a second degree misdemeanor. Second degree misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $500, whereas a first degree misdemeanor can result in up to a one year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. However, depending on the charges against you, the fines and other penalties on top of the misdemeanor offense may end up being much higher. For example, a first time DUI has a minimum $500 fine and a maximum $1,000 fine, despite a first time DUI being a second degree misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses

The following is an incomplete list of different first and second degree misdemeanors in Florida. A slight variation in many of these and other traffic offenses can result in a felony.

  • Fleeing the Scene / Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Without Serious Bodily Injury or Death)—Fleeing the scene of a traffic collision (hit and run) is a first degree misdemeanor when no one is hurt or killed. If anyone is injured or killed, the offense is increased to a felony.
  • Reckless Driving Causing Property Damage—Reckless driving is classified as driving in a manner of “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Reckless driving by itself can result in 90 days in jail for a first offense or six months in jail for a second offense. If a defendant causes property damage due to reckless driving, the offense is enhanced to a first degree misdemeanor under Florida statute 316.192.
  • First DUI—A first (Driving Under the Influence) is generally charged as a second degree misdemeanor. However, if the defendant had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.15 or greater, the maximum jail sentence is enhanced to nine months.
  • DUI With Child Occupant or Property Damage—A DUI that results in property damage, or if the DUI driver had a child in the car with them, is a first degree misdemeanor, under Florida statute 316.193.
  • Second DUI—A driver who commits a second DUI will be punished with a first degree misdemeanor.
  • Driving With a Suspended License (First Offense)—If the driver had knowledge that their license was revoked, suspended, or cancelled, the penalty is a second degree misdemeanor.
  • Driving With a Suspended License (Second Offense)—A second offense is a first degree misdemeanor.
  • Refusal to Submit to DUI Test—Refusing to submit to a DUI field sobriety test is an automatic first degree misdemeanor, whether you were intoxicated or not. As such, the penalty for refusal to submit is actually higher than a first time DUI offense.

Call a Port St. Lucie Misdemeanor Traffic Defense Lawyer 

Traffic offenses vary widely in severity from a small fine all the way to first degree felonies. A misdemeanor offense can result in serious fines, jail time, an impounded vehicle, a mandatory ignition interlock system, a revoked license, community service, and the loss of your career and esteemed position in your community. A misdemeanor is a serious offense and can follow you for the rest of your life. As such, your case must be handled by a qualified attorney. For help today, call the Port St. Lucie criminal lawyers at Baginski Brandt & Brandt at 772-466-0707 to schedule a free consultation.


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Port St. Lucie 8483 S. U.S. Highway One
Port St. Lucie, Florida 34952
Stuart By Appointment Only 100 SW Albany Ave., Suite 300k
Stuart, FL 34994
Fort Pierce By Appointment Only 311 S 2nd St., Suite 102b
Fort Pierce, FL 34950
Telephone: 772-466-0707 Fax: 772-223-9290 or 772-466-0907 Office Hours: 8:30 to 5:00pm M-F