Breaking the law, rule or agreement may be classified as an infraction. It is not a criminal charge and does not have severe penalties like hefty fines and jail time.
In Federal law, an infraction is even smaller than an infringement, and the only penalty is a fine. Even in states where an infraction is considered a criminal offense, incarceration is not a form of punishment. Common infractions may include speeding tickets, seat belt violations, littering and other small offenses.
The first step in dealing with an infraction starts when you receive a citation, which is a notice to appear in court. This may contain the citation number, the detail of your violation, the appropriate state code and due dates of the payment of the fine.
Unlike infringements, or felonies, you have fewer rights in the case of an infraction. For example, you cannot have a jury trial (although the state might allow you to do so if they wish). You may hire an attorney, but at your own expense. You are still left with many rights in the process. For example, you have the right to appear before a judge. You can call witnesses, such as the police officers, and present any evidence you have. You can even appeal against the judge’s findings.
Although an infraction is considered a small offense, there can still be consequences that can come your way unexpectedly. It is advisable to hire an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. An attorney can guide you through the process and help you receive the best possible outcome.