Texting Laws In Michigan
Michigan’s texting while driving laws are controlled by MCL 257.602b. Texting while driving is a civil infraction in Michigan punishable by a fine of $100.00 for a first offense and $200.00 for all subsequent offenses. Although a civil infraction does not seem serious, and quite frankly, they usually aren’t, problems could arise if a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle are so impaired that a police officer or prosecutor chooses to charge an offender with a crime.
Chargeable Offenses – Texting While You Drive
Reckless driving is a criminal offense that becomes a part of an offender’s criminal history. Many people write this offense off as “just a ticket,” but they should know that this offense is punishable by up to 93 days in jail. Reckless driving may be charged where it has been determined that an offender is driving with “willfull or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Certainly, texting is a factor (not likely to be the only factor) which would be given significant weight when deciding whether to charge one with reckless driving.
Careless Driving In Michigan
Another traffic offense which could be charged (but is not a criminal offense) is careless driving. Three points get added on an offender’s driving record if that person is found to be responsible for this offense. Again, it is a citation at the officer’s and prosecutor’s discretion, and where there is evidence of texting, careless driving could certainly be charged. In the event that one is involved in an accident that injures or kills another person, there are other more serious charges. Again, texting alone is unlikely to be the only factor in deciding whether to charge an offender with these more serious crimes, but it is certainly something that would be taken into consideration. Some of these chargeable criminal offenses include: moving violation causing serious impairment of a body function, moving violation causing death, and possibly involuntary manslaughter.
It should also be pointed out that in the event an accident occurs, and the operator is found to have been texting at the time of the accident, one could be found civilly liable for injuries or damage. So, apart from criminal prosecution, an offender could find oneself in hot water should a negligence lawsuit get filed.
Contact a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Although texting civil infractions are not serious offenses, the repercussions that may be felt can be serious depending on whether an accident occurs, other people are injured or other property is damaged. If you find yourself in legal trouble, contact Akiva Goldman & Associates for a free consultation at 586-268-2400.
A Lawyer Can Help You With Michigan Texting While Driving Laws
Texting while driving in Michigan is a civil infraction—not a serious crime. However, should one cause an accident while texting, serious trouble could be on the horizon. Offenders open themselves up to criminal and civil liability. Should you find yourself in such a predicament, don’t hesitate, contact Goldman & Associates. We can help you better understand Michigan Texting Laws while driving.