Michigan Traffic Violations Misdemeanors

Not all traffic violations are civil infractions, or tickets. People often mistakenly assume that when they are pulled over and receive a citation summoning them to court, that all they must do is pay a fine and all will be well. Other times, drivers feel that they can get away without paying a fine or appearing in court because all they got was “ticket.” It is important to distinguish between a civil infraction and a misdemeanor. Civil infractions are not included on an offender’s criminal history; misdemeanors will be included as they are criminal offenses—not traffic offenses. Failure to appear at one’s hearing (arraignment) on a misdemeanor will result in a bench warrant being issued for his/her arrest. What follows are common offenses often mistaken as civil infractions.

Misdemeanors Confused With Michigan Traffic Violations

Not all traffic violations are civil infractions, or tickets. People often mistakenly assume that when they are pulled over and receive a citation summoning them to court, that all they must do is pay a fine and all will be well. Other times, drivers feel that they can get away without paying a fine or appearing in court because all they got was “ticket.” It is important to distinguish between a civil infraction and a misdemeanor. Civil infractions are not included on an offender’s criminal history; misdemeanors will be included as they are criminal offenses—not traffic offenses. Failure to appear at one’s hearing (arraignment) on a misdemeanor will result in a bench warrant being issued for his/her arrest. What follows are common offenses often mistaken as civil infractions.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Six points get placed on an offender’s driving record. The Michigan Secretary of State will suspend one’s license for 90 days once informed by the district court. Reckless driving is defined as “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” What does willful or wanton disregard mean? It can mean different things to different judges or juries. That’s why you need a lawyer to assist you in presenting an argument that a civil infraction is more appropriate.

Driving With a Suspended License

This charge is self-explanatory. It carries a penalty of up to 93 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. There is little which resembles a legitimate argument against this charge. Again, an attorney can help you make a deal.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

This offense may be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the particular circumstances of your case. If you seriously injured another person, you are likely to be charged with a felony. If you only caused property damage, you are likely to be charged with a misdemeanor. Even if one is charged with a misdemeanor, jail time may be ordered up to 90 days, a fine of up to $100 may be ordered and six points will be entered on a driving record.

Contact a Michigan Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with one of the alluded to misdemeanors, you should contact an attorney right away. Attorneys are skilled negotiators who will attempt to get the misdemeanor dismissed in place of a civil infraction—a good deal to be sure. Akiva Goldman & Associates are experienced defense attorneys. Contact us today for a free initial consultation at 586-268-2400. If you require additional information, please visit Michigan traffic ticket or Michigan criminal defense attorney.

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