How to Avoid Points and Fines
A misunderstanding of the law might result in tickets, fines, and points that could have been avoided.
Questions? Here is what you need to know:
Many of us who were taught to drive in rural areas and/or by our parents have misconceptions about what is legal and what is not. The issue is that most of us do things every day that can cause us to be stopped by police, issued traffic citations, incur fines and costs, possible license suspensions, and legal fees. Simple common sense can help you avoid points and fines in many cases.
The purpose of this Blog is to answer some common questions to help you avoid problems. However, if you do run into a problem, we will help you. The attorneys of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have spent decades in traffic court. We entirely understand the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code and can assist you with questions or problems relating to driving a car in Michigan.
List Of Easy Mistakes and Misunderstandings That Can Cost You
Do you have to come to a complete stop at a stop sign with a white border around it? Yes. A “rolling stop” is not allowed. Stop means stop. There can be no forward motion. One traffic court judge asked a person contesting a ticket, “did your car come to rest and settle backward at the stop sign?” The judge was asking if the car’s motion stopping completely caused the car to come to rest by a slight movement to the rear. That is a stop! A better understanding of frequent traffic misunderstandings can help you avoid unnecessary points and fines.
Here are some other things to think about:
- You can have an alcoholic drink in a vehicle if you are not the driver. This does vary by state, but the answer is no in Michigan.
- You can drive with your emergency flashers if your car is damaged or overloaded. Your flashers can only be used when the car is broken down and not moving for safety reasons. Police officers will often overlook flashers while being towed or driving slowly for some mechanical reason, but they do not have to.
- Pick-up and SUV drivers can use snowplow lights instead of headlights. This is allowed as long as there is an actual blade on the vehicle. However, you need to consider the weather. If you are using snowplow lights in the summertime, you may be ticketed for overly bright lights blinding other drivers.
- If you have a headlight out, drive with your bright lights on. No. This can get you two tickets—one for a headlight being out and one for failing to dim your lights. If you have a headlight out — get it fixed immediately.
- The stores sell it, so it must be legal. This is just not true. One of the more common mistakes is window tinting. Unless you have a doctor’s prescription for window tinting, it is usually only allowed to the extent that most cars leave the factory. Also, be aware of things hanging from your mirror…no fuzzy dice…as that can get you an obstructed vision ticket.
- Statute of limitations will let you off the hook if you wait long enough. No. The only thing waiting will do with traffic tickets is make your fines and costs go up, a suspension of your license, and a possible warrant for your arrest. License suspensions are effective until they are dealt with, and warrants are too.
- You cannot be ticketed for running a red light on icy roads if you beeped your horn. No. If the roads are icy and you legitimately cannot stop, then that is an appropriate safety maneuver to beep your horn. However, that does not prevent the possibility of an accident and a possible ticket for that having had happened. The best way to avoid points and fines is to drive carefully, especially in adverse weather conditions.
- You can be a jerk to the police officer, who has to take it. No. Being a jerk to the police officer can bring on a completely different set of problems, such as resisting and obstructing a police officer or disturbing the peace. If you act like a jerk, the police officer will think of a charge to file against you.
- There is a minimum amount over the speed limit that police have to give you before writing a ticket. No. You can get a ticket for driving under the speed limit if conditions make that speed dangerous. Most police officers will not write a ticket for a few miles over the speed limit. However, you cannot count on that. One mile an hour over the limit is speeding.
The Law Firm to Trust to Defend You in Any Criminal Case or Traffic Violation
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have devoted their entire professional lives to defending people charged with criminal offenses and traffic offenses, including helping people avoid points and fines. If there is an issue where a person is being investigated, contacted, or bothered by law enforcement, our attorneys can help you. Traffic tickets are sometimes considered minor annoyances that people think they can handle without legal help. This is not the case. Traffic tickets often have out-of-court consequences, such as increased insurance rates. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. take great pride in protecting people from the government and from being mistreated, including helping them avoid points and fines. It is essential to our attorneys that everyone is treated fairly and the playing field is level for all.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.