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Criminal Law Blog NSW

Traffic violations are considered and categorized as strict liability crimes

Traffic violations have become a serious national issue in the country. Traffic violations started to sprang in the 1920’s when people started to purchase vehicles. In the country alone, more than 90% of the population, all ages 16 and above, have been issued with a driving license.

Most people even own more than one vehicle which even worsens the possibility of having road accidents and traffic violations everyday.

Traffic violations are considered and categorized as strict liability crimes. As a rule, strict liability crimes do not require intent on the part of the offender in order to find him liable of the offense.

The only requirement set forth by the law is that the violator must be proven to have committed the act. Strict liability offenses covers the following: exceeding the speed limit, overdue parking meters, parking in a handicap spot without the required sticker, parking on a yellow curb, failure to use tow bars when towing another car, and others.

Most states provide for a faster way of disciplining and reforming erring drivers through an administrative process. This means that traffic infractions have been taken away from the jurisdiction of criminal courts and transferred to administrative tribunals. This means that the violator will not be required to face a full blown trial and trial by jury. However, those convicted violators face harsher penalties such as fines and suspension of driver’s license and vehicle insurance.

The most important purpose of the law is to afford a speedier process of disciplining and reforming errant drivers. Research show that violators are more prone to repeat their infractions when they knew that they can escape liability. On the other hand, most people obey the laws if they believe that they will be apprehended by the authorities. In an experiment conducted, most people still wait for the traffic light to turn green even at 2:00 o’clock in the morning.

The tendency for traffic violations to turn into misdemeanour is also inevitable. For instance, when the violation includes destruction of property or caused injury or death to another, the violator will be charged with the offense of reckless driving or vehicular homicide. Serious misdemeanour such as driving without a license or with a revoked license and fleeing the place of an accident/incident merits the filing of the proper criminal charges. This time, the violator will be brought to court to face a jury trial. He shall, therefore, be entitled to the right to counsel and other rights provided by law for the protection of an accused.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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