Michigan Traffic Tickets
Traffic citations in Michigan may occur for both civil infractions and criminal offenses. Motorists are generally required to either pay driving tickets in MI or challenge the issued citation to settle their case. Typically, drivers decide to challenge tickets or other types of citations if they believe they did not violate motor vehicle laws. To find out how to prepare an MI traffic ticket defense or arrange payment for the amount due, continue reading the sections below.
Fighting a Michigan Ticket
Fighting traffic tickets in Michigan reflects your decision to plead “not guilty” to the violation for which you have been charged. Since the steps to dismiss traffic tickets in MI may vary by county, consult your ticket or contact the corresponding court directly to inquire about the exact procedure. In general, once you notify the court of your decision to challenge the MI traffic citation in question, you may need to wait for a trial date to be scheduled. The process of contesting a traffic ticket is rather complex, as it typically involves facing the police officer who issued the citation and gathering all evidence in your favor. In case you are unable to beat a traffic ticket, you are generally required to pay all court-imposed fines and fees. In addition to this, negative points will be placed on your driving record.
Paying a Michigan Ticket
By paying driving tickets in Michigan, motorists admit their guilt of the committed violation. Typically, paying traffic tickets online in MI is the fastest and most convenient way to settle your case. Note that payment methods may vary on a case-by-case basis, since not all district courts participate in the online payment system. Other payment options may include in person or via mail depending on the county.
Lost Tickets in Michigan
Drivers who wish to challenge speeding tickets and other citations, or pay their driving fines in Michigan, generally need the information included in their ticket to finalize the procedure. In case of a lost MI traffic citation, they may need to contact the court handling their case to inquire about the necessary details. Such information generally includes the citation number, as well as the date and total amount due.
Michigan Fines and Penalties
If you are unable to fight traffic tickets in Michigan, then you will be required to pay the applicable fines and additional costs in a timely manner. The amount of your traffic tickets payment will generally depend on your county of residence and the type of the committed infraction. The maximum allowed base penalty is currently set at $100 or $250 if the offense occurred in a commercial vehicle. For instance, a $35 fee may apply for failure to yield to pedestrians, and a $24 fine may be required for improper overtaking and passing. Other costs and assessments will apply in addition. Michigan traffic citation fees are subject to change, as district courts have the authority to prepare their own schedule of costs based on the variable factors within their jurisdiction.
Points in Michigan
When drivers are convicted of a certain traffic violation in Michigan, demerit points may be assessed on their driving record, in addition to court-imposed fines and costs. Depending on the type of traffic violation, the number of points placed against your report varies. Point values for various MI traffic citations are outlined in the following list:
- Disobeying a traffic signal/Improper passing – 3 points
- 16 mph or more above the legal speed limit – 4 points
- Vehicular manslaughter – 6 points
- Reckless driving – 6 points
Note: By successfully completing a Michigan traffic school program, you may be able to avoid excessive accumulation of negative points on your record.
How Tickets Affect a Michigan Drivers License
Once you receive a Michigan traffic ticket due to a certain misdemeanor, you must settle your case by either paying driving fines or challenging the issued citation within the allotted time frame. Failure to respond to a fine or comply with a court judgment leads to a driver’s license suspension until the issue is resolved. A MI traffic attorney can assist you in making the best decision for your case. Convictions of traffic citations in Michigan also result in an excess of negative points on your driving record, which ultimately causes a suspension of your credential. Some offenses, such as a DUI, can result in an automatic suspension. Therefore, if you accumulate 12 or more points within two years, you may lose your privilege to drive as well.
Michigan Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Traffic fines in MI may also affect the decisions made by insurance companies when calculating Michigan vehicle insurance premiums. In general, a clean driving record with no prior traffic tickets increases the possibility of earning insurance discounts. However, if you have been convicted of several MI traffic violations of motor vehicle laws, you are more likely to obtain higher insurance rates. By graduating from a Michigan defensive driving course, drivers may prevent insurers from obtaining their ticket information. Contact the Michigan Secretary of State to inquire about course eligibility requirements.