There are 3 types of violations in Michigan:
The crimes category includes misdemeanors and felonies. A traffic misdemeanor is any crime punishable by less than 1 year in the county jail. A felony, such as a third drunk driving offense, is any crime punishable by more than 1 year jail (5-20 years in the state prison).
A civil infraction is not a criminal offense but does carry Points and other penalties that can cause you many obstacles and hardships, including loss of your driving privileges.
For civil infractions, you can not be sentenced to jail and you do not have a right to a jury trial.
For traffic criminal offenses, you can be sentenced to jail and you do have a right to a jury trial.
Driver’s license sanctions are handled by the Michigan Secretary of State ("SOS"). The department may suspend a driver’s license for, among other reasons, too many points on your record, certain misdemeanor offenses such as reckless driving, Drunk Driving, and certain crimes related to the use of a motor vehicle. License suspensions and denials may, under certain circumstances, be appealed to the Secretary of State or to the County Circuit Court.
Q: Will my speeding ticket come off my record after 2 years?
- No. In Michigan, the conviction stays on your record for 7 years. Only the points fall of your driving record. And that's because the Secretary of State (SOS) uses Points to determine whether you have enough qualifying points to send you an invoice for Driver Responsibility Fees and/or restricting your driving privileges. Keep in mind Insurance Companies go back 3 years and their point rating system is quite different. Why? Because they can under the law.
Q: I lost at an Informal hearing in front of a magistrate, can I appeal?
- Yes. You have 7 days to appeal. Your matter will remain in the District Court and often, you will be required to put up bond in the amount of the judgment. You will also be required to post a money bond to get a Formal Hearing before a District Court Judge. It would be in your best interest to hire a good Michigan Attorney at this point. Often, if you lost at the informal hearing, it is unlikely you will know what to do at the formal hearing. Keep in mind that at the formal hearing, the officer will be represented by either a State Prosecutor or Attorney and there will be a Judge, not a magistrate to decide your case.
Q: What happens if I fail to timely respond to the ticket or my Court date?
- YOU MAY BE HELD IN CONTEMPT AND SUBJECTED TO A BENCH WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST ESPECIALLY IF YOUR TICKET IS FOR A MISDEMEANOR VIOLATION. You will need to have the default set aside and a new hearing rescheduled.
Q: My license is suspended for an unpaid ticket, what do I do now?
- Stop driving, contact the Court and attempt to set aside the default. The fasted, easiest and best way to do this is to contact a good traffic lawyer to assist you. Again, Do Not Drive without a Court Clearance. If your license is suspended and you're caught, it can result in a 93 day jail misdemeanor offense called 'driving while license suspended (dwls).'
Q: How do I get a copy of my driving record?
- Go to your local Secretary of State branch. The cost is approximately $8.00. Many local SOS branches offer this service on the spot.
Q: What do I do after all my driver responsibility fees are paid?
- You may need to go to the Secretary of State and pay a Reinstatement Fee of $125.00. Call the SOS beforehand.
Q: I was just arrested for an OWI, what do I do now?
- You need to hire a good DUI lawyer immediately. You do not have time to waste. Your attorney will want to begin gathering information and evidence and take the necessary steps to defend you. Drunk Driving is a serious misdemeanor offense and gathering evidence sooner than later is essential to a proper DUI defense.
Q: Do I need to make an office appointment?
- Not always necessary. The consultation can be done via phone or e-mail.
Q: Do I have to go to Court for a civil infraction ticket?
- In most cases, you do not have to appear in Court. We prepare and file all of the necessary legal documents with the Court and will go to Court on your behalf and resolve your matter.
Q: How do I get started?
- We've made it very simple for our clients to retain us. When you contact us using our online form or by phone.
Attorneys of Michigan PLLC
30300 Northwestern Hwy.
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
(Between 12 & 13 Mile Roads)