The state of Colorado has strict traffic rules in an effort to streamline the flow of traffic and protect property and pedestrians. Violation of these rules can result in a traffic ticket, and in some cases criminal charges. While a traffic violation may not seem serious, it’s important you don’t take yours lightly. A traffic ticket could significantly raise your insurance rates by hundreds, or thousands of dollars and you could lose your license.
A conviction for certain traffic violations can even result in incarceration, expensive fines, and for some restitution. Several violations could even label you as a habitual traffic offender (HTO). The label of HTO will result in a five-year revocation of your license and if you’re caught driving again you will face a charge of driving after revocation prohibited or DARP. This offense carries the possibility of jail time as well as expensive fines.
Traffic Violation Denver Defense Lawyer, CO
If you are charged with a crime occurring in a motor vehicle, then contact an experienced defense attorney at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Matthew Martin represents clients charged with traffic crimes throughout the state of Colorado, including the city of Denver in Denver County, and the surrounding areas in the Front Range region including:
- Brighton in Adams County
- Centennial and Littleton in Arapahoe County
- Boulder and Longmont in Boulder County
- Broomfield in Broomfield County
- Castle Rock in Douglas County
- Golden in Jefferson County
During the initial consultation, you can discuss your criminal traffic case with attorney Matthew Martin. Learn more about the possible criminal charges, elements of the offense, and the best defenses to fight the charges. Take control of your future and make the call. We look forward to hearing from you. Call (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation today.
- Are Traffic Infractions Considered a Crime in Colorado?
- Colorado Traffic Ticket Points
- Habitual Traffic Offender Status in Colorado
- Additional Resources
Are Traffic Infractions Considered a Crime in Colorado?
In Colorado, traffic infractions are issued as tickets and divided into two categories: Class A and Class B infractions. Class A and B infractions are considered to be civil matters rather than criminal. The penalties for violating these rules includes fines, court costs, and penalty points possibly added to your license.
Now, a traffic “offense” is considered a misdemeanor crime and is classified as a criminal matter. However, law enforcement still issues traffic tickets for certain traffic offenses, despite the fact it’s not a civil issue. Some examples of traffic offenses include careless driving, driving without a valid driver’s license, DUI, DWAI, and driving without insurance.
There are other traffic offenses that are classified as a felony under Colorado law. Drivers who are guilty of these traffic offenses won’t just face a ticket but will be arrested and booked in jail. A few examples of felony traffic offenses include leaving the scene of an accident with a death or serious bodily injury, eluding a police officer, or reckless driving.
Colorado Traffic Ticket Points
Similar to other states, Colorado has a designated points system to keep track of traffic offenses for licensed drivers. The purpose of the system is to penalize drivers who have violated multiple traffic laws in a given period. Too many points within a certain period of time could result in the potential suspension or even revocation of your license.
In the state of Colorado, drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 can accumulate up to 6 points on their license within 12 months. Any more than that could result in the suspension of your license. Drivers who are 18 and 21 years of age can accumulate:
- 9 points in a 12-month period
- 12 points in a 24-month period
- 14 points for the duration of their license
Breaking those thresholds could result in the suspension of your license if you fit that criteria. Drivers over the age of 21 can accumulate 12 points in year period or 18 points in a 2-year period. Any more points than that will result in the automatic suspension or revocation of your license.
Habitual Traffic Offender Status in Colorado
Committing multiple traffic violations can not only result in a suspended license, but you could be forced to bear the label as a habitual traffic offender (HTO) as a result. Habitual traffic offenders cannot drive and must have their license revoked for a minimum of 5 years. A habitual traffic offender is defined under the CRS 42-2-202, which states a person can become an HTO if they fit one of the following criteria:
- Have too many convictions for major traffic offenses; or
- Have accumulated too many DMV points in a given period
The state of Colorado will label you as an HTO if you are convicted of three or more of the following traffic offenses within the last seven years. These traffic offenses include:
- Reckless Driving
- Driving with a suspended, revoked or denied license (DUR)
- Made a false statement required under Colorado’s motor vehicle law
- Aggravated motor theft
- Hit and run involving death or serious bodily injury
- Vehicular assault
- Vehicular homicide
Another way to bear the status of HTO is if you have too many DMV points in a certain timeframe. The points must be moving violations, which means the car was in movement during the violation such as speeding or running a red light. Parking tickets or other stationary nonmoving violations will not count towards your status as an HTO.
You may be deemed an HTO if you accumulated the following within the last 5 years.
- 10 or more traffic infractions that add 4 or more points; OR
- 18 or more traffic infractions that add 3 or fewer points.
Colorado DMV cannot label you an HTO from one major traffic violation that resulted in multiple tickets. Each point must be a separate and distinct traffic offense for you to bear the label as HTO. Unfortunately, the DMV has no legal obligation to inform you of your points building up. Many are unaware they are near HTO status until they receive notification of it from the Colorado DMV.
Colorado Driver’s Handbook – Access the official site for the state of Colorado to access a PDF of their Driver Handbook. Access the site to learn about the rules of the road, safety driver tips, what to do during emergencies, types of driver’s licenses, and penalties for traffic violations.
Frequently Asked Questions About License Reinstatement | CDOR – Visit the official website for the Colorado Department of Revenue; Division of Motor Vehicles to access their answers to frequently asked questions regarding license reinstatement. Access the site to learn what you can do to get your license back based off the restraint action you’re under, including issues with insurance, and how to get your license back after a major traffic offense conviction.
Denver Traffic Ticket Attorney | Traffic Violation Colorado Lawyer
Whether it’s a ticket or a major traffic violation resulting in arrest, attorney Matthew Martin has seen and defended all of it. If you’re in need of legal counsel, reach out to Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Our legal team has spent hundreds of hours developing defenses for our clients struggling with traffic crimes. We can devote that experience to your case and build a sturdy defense so you face the best possible outcome for your case.
You can set up your first consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. at (303) 725-0017. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Denver area including nearby counties such as Jefferson County, Boulder County, Adams County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, and Broomfield County.