Common Legal Misunderstandings Explained

Misunderstanding the Law May Result in Tickets, Fines and Points

Questions?  Contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., the elite Michigan criminal defense law firm that can help you if you are in trouble with the law.

Sam_Altier_Traffic_Defense_AttorneyMany 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.  This writer drove for years without wearing a seat belt, because, “no one’s going to tell me what I can do, or not do, in my own car.”  Also, because my parents never wore seat belts.  This behavior was not only against the law, but dangerous.  I am a 100% seat belt user now!!  The issue is there are things that most of us do every day that can cause us to be stopped by police, issued traffic citations, incur fines and costs, possible license suspensions, and, of course, legal fees.

The purpose of this Blog is to answer some common questions to hopefully have you avoid problems.  Also, to let you know that if you do have problems we are here to help you.  The attorneys of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have literally spend decades in traffic court.  We understand the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code completely and can assist you with questions or problems relating to driving a car in Michigan.

List Of Easy Mistakes To Make That Can Cost You

1.   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?” This means did the motion of the car stop completely so that its inertia caused the car to come to rest by a slight movement to the rear. That is a stop!!

2.  You can have an alcoholic drink in a vehicle as long as you are not the driver.  This does vary by state, but in Michigan the answer is NO.

3.  You can drive with your emergency flashers on if your car is damages 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.

4.  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 that are blinding other drivers.

5.  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.

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6.  The stores sell it so it must be legal.  This is just not true.  One of the more common mistakes is with 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.

7.   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, suspend your license and have a possible warrant for your arrest.  License suspensions are effective until they are dealt with and warrant are too.

8.  You cannot be ticketed for running a red light if you beeped your horn.  Not true.  If the roads are icy and you legitimately cannot stop then that it an appropriate safety maneuver to beep your horn. However, that does not stop the possibility of an accident and possible ticket for that having had happened.

9.  You can be a jerk to the police officer and he has to take it.  No.  Being a jerk to the police officer can bring on a complete 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 something to charge you with…rest assured.

10. There is a minimum amount over the speed limit that police have to give you before they write 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.

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is the law firm to trust for any criminal defense or traffic violation

criminal defense attorney oakland miThe attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have devoted their entireprofessional lives to defending people charged with criminal offenses and traffic offenses.  If there is an issue where a person is being investigated, contacted or bothered in any way by law enforcement, our attorneys can help you.  Traffic tickets are sometimes thought of as being minor annoyances that people think they can handle without legal help. This is not the case. Traffic tickets often have out of court consequences too, such as increased insurance rates. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. take great pride in the ability to protect people from the government and from being mistreated. It is important to our attorneys that everyone is treated fairly and the playing field is level for all. If you have questions or need help, please call us at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and one of our award winning lawyers will call you.

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