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Can Olathe traffic offense be charged as a misdemeanor?

Whether speeding, rolling a stop sign or turning without signaling, traffic infractions are technically considered breaking the law. While most traffic infractions are considered as such, some traffic-related charges can be charged as misdemeanors or even felonies.

To clear up the levels of severity when it comes to traffic infractions, they are the least serious. They are tickets for mechanical violations and the most non-dangerous moving violations and do not usually carry the same stigma and penalties as serious criminal offenses. Traffic violations increase in severity when they cause injury to a person or destruction of property. Also traffic infractions have the potential to elevate in severity if the infraction creates a real threat of injury to a person or destruction of property.

For example, if a driver ran a red light. It happens all the time, but it only carries the risk for misdemeanor or felony if running that red light caused a crash in the intersection in which a person was injured or killed. Other driving infractions such as driving with suspended or revoked license, leaving the scene of the accident or reckless driving can be considered for more serious criminal charges beyond traffic infractions. This depends on state law and the situation that occurred in relation to the accused and the outcome.

In general, serious situations or traffic incidents in which a person is hurt or killed are generally the rule of thumb when it comes to criminal charges related to traffic offenses. However, there are a few exceptions to that rule. Kansas state law dictates how traffic offenses are prosecuted. If you are unsure about how serious your alleged traffic offense may be charged, it's always good to find out to ensure the most favorable outcome.

Source:, "Misdemeanor and Felony Traffic Offenses," Accessed March 5, 2018

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