I got 2 traffic citations last month: one for leaving the scene of an accident with $500 property damage and another for reckless driving.
I think the LSA charge is criminal and it is a 2nd degree misdemeanor (Miami-Dade County, FL). I was never arrested though.
What happens now? If it gets adjudicated (whatever that is) will it show up on employment background checks? If not? What am I facing in terms of my employment future? thanks for your expertise.
General Practice Lawyer
If they pull your driving record it will show up.
Legal disclaimer: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice nor does it constitute an attorney-client relationship. Thank You
Criminal Defense Attorney
Both Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Reckless Driving are criminal charges and, assuming no one was hurt or killed, they are misdemeanors.
If you enter a plea of guilty, or no contest, or guilty in your best interest, or you are found guilty after a trial, then the judge may either adjudicate you or withhold adjudication. In legal terms, the difference is that an adjudication is a conviction, while a withheld adjudication is not. This means that if you receive a withheld adjudication, then you can legally say you were not "convicted" of the charge, even if you were found guilty by a jury or judge.
That being said, an employer looking into your criminal background will likely be able to see that you were arrested for the charge and found guilty, if they look in the right places. For that matter, even if the charge was dismissed, the potential employer could find out what happened to the case if he or she knew where to look. Of course, the employment problem you face is that any potential employer who learns of the charge may not ask you about it and, as such, not give you an opportunity to explain to them what happened.
The more practical difference between an adjudication and a withheld adjudication is that an adjudication can have legal consequences that a withheld will not have. For instance, if you are adjudicated on the reckless driving charge, you will receive 4 points on your driving record. If you receive 12 points in a 12 month period, your driver's license will be suspended. If you receive a withheld adjudication, you will receive no points on your license. Points can also cause your car insurance premium to increase.
What happens next is that you will have to appear in court (or hire an attorney to appear on your behalf) to address the charges. If you fail to appear in court (or hire an attorney to appear on your behalf), the court will likely issue a warrant for your arrest and, once you are arrested, you will either sit in jail awaiting a court date or have to pay a bond to get out.
Once you appear in court, the prosecutor will likely make a plea offer in your case. The severity of the offer will depend on the actual amount of damage done, the victim's wishes, your criminal history, and the particular prosecutor and judge you appear before.
You should hire an attorney to assist you with these criminal charges. While they are not the most serious of offenses, there are consequences including potential jail time.
Feel free to contact me for a free consultation.
Criminal Defense Attorney
These are both criminal charges and you face 60 days jail on the LSA, and an additional 90 days jail on the Reckless. If you get a withhold or you are adjudicated, they will show up on your driving record. However, a withhold means that you will not receive points and it also means that you will not have been "convicted" of any criminal charges. Don't, however, confuse that to mean that it won't show on a background check. As far as employment, it depends on the field you work in. Certainly, anything that requires you to drive will be a factor. Because it is unusual for both charges to be filed at the same time, there may be defenses to one or both charges. I strongly suggest you get an attorney to fight this for you. Your future may depend on it. I practice in the entire Tampa Bay area, so feel free to contact me at my website below for a free consultation.
Speeding / Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Those types of charges will likely affect any employment that involves use of company vehicles or other commercial vehicles that require a CDL. The job market is highly competitive right now and even the slightest blemishes on your driving record could reduce your chances of getting hired. If you can afford a private defense attorney, one who specializes in traffic offenses, I would strongly suggest hiring one. An attorney may be able to reduce the charges to non-criminal traffic offenses or get adjudication withheld, however, the outcome is heavily dependent upon the facts of your specific case and the local practices in Dade county. Contacting a local attorney for a free consultation never hurts.
Avvo.com answers provided solely for informational purposes. Answers are not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you are seeking legal advice, contact a competent attorney in your local jurisdiction. Learn more about my practice at www.drivenlegal.com.