“I received a traffic ticket! What’s next?”
Never Pay a Traffic Ticket – You Can Get Rid of Points and Moving Violations. Fight All Tickets!
A Single Traffic Ticket Can Increase Insurance Rates
Insurance companies routinely review driving records to find any excuse for increasing their customers’ insurance rates. One moving violation may be enough to trigger a rate increase even if the violation carries no points. Insurance companies examine whether the violation was a “moving infraction” or a “nonmoving infraction.” If you’ve received a traffic ticket, do not pay it or ignore it. An experienced lawyer might be able to get the charge dismissed.
Examples of Moving Violations include:
- Disobeying a Traffic Control Device
- Failure to Use Due Care and Caution
- Failure to Stop Within an Assured Clear Distance
- Careless Driving
- Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function
- Improper Passing
Examples of Nonmoving Violations:
- Double Parking
- Impeding Traffic
- Blockading Traffic
- Improper Use of Lights
- Defective Equipment
“What if a traffic ticket is for a misdemeanor?”
While many view traffic tickets as minor nuisances in Michigan, the distinction between civil infractions and misdemeanors can have significant implications for drivers. Civil infractions, though potentially costly and inconvenient, generally do not carry the possibility of jail time. Conversely, misdemeanors are criminal offenses that can lead to more severe consequences, including fines, points on your driving record, increased insurance rates, and even imprisonment. This stark difference underscores why hiring an attorney, particularly for a misdemeanor traffic ticket, is not just advisable but vital.
When faced with a misdemeanor traffic ticket, an experienced attorney can provide critical legal representation that can mean the difference between a conviction with harsh penalties and a more favorable outcome. Attorneys skilled in traffic law understand the nuances of Michigan’s legal system and can precisely navigate the complexities of your case. They can evaluate the charges against you, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and argue for reduced penalties or even dismissal.
Moreover, a misdemeanor conviction goes beyond immediate penalties; it can have long-lasting effects on your criminal record, affecting employment opportunities, professional licensing, and overall reputation. An attorney can work to minimize these long-term impacts, employing strategies that protect your record and your future.
Representation by a knowledgeable attorney is also crucial for negotiating with prosecutors. Often, there are opportunities to reduce a misdemeanor to a lesser offense or to participate in programs that can lead to a dismissal of charges. These negotiations require a thorough understanding of the law and the local legal landscape, expertise that seasoned attorneys bring to the table.
In essence, the consequences of a misdemeanor traffic ticket extend far beyond a simple fine or court appearance. They can have significant, lasting impacts on an individual’s life. Hiring an attorney from a premier criminal defense firm like LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. ensures that you have a dedicated advocate fighting for your rights, aiming to secure the best possible outcome and safeguarding your future against the potential repercussions of a misdemeanor conviction.
Examples of traffic misdemeanors are as follows:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)/Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)
- Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License (DWLS)
- Reckless Driving
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run)
- Driving Without Insurance
- Unlawful Use of a License Plate
The Loss of a Driver’s License Can Be Devastating
Driving privileges are essential in Michigan because there is limited public transportation. Most traffic tickets have points that are assessed against your driving record. If you receive too many points, your driving privileges will be suspended because of an unsatisfactory driving record. There are also substantial penalties if you are caught driving while your license is suspended. Once a person is convicted of driving on a suspended license, it can become an uphill battle to regain legal driving privileges.
“Fight” Every Ticket
If you have received a traffic ticket for a moving violation, you should never pay it without attempting to get it dismissed and the points removed. Experienced lawyers routinely negotiate with prosecutors for the dismissal of moving violation tickets in exchange for a nonmoving violation. Nonmoving violations do not go on a person’s driving record and will not impact insurance rates. A prosecutor has an incentive to give a deal to a known defense attorney because they will want to avoid a contested hearing, avoid the necessity of issuing a subpoena to the police officer, and they will want to maintain an amicable relationship with someone who frequently handles cases in the court. “Fight” does not always mean taking the ticket to court and having a hearing. In most cases, “fight” means setting up a potential contested hearing that will ultimately be avoided with a plea bargain.
Informal, Formal, or Pre-Formal Hearing?
If you have received a traffic ticket, procedural issues will arise that you must be aware of, such as time deadlines and hearing requests. There are different types of hearings, each with risks and rewards. Figuring out how to contest a traffic ticket and secure a favorable deal can be confusing for someone unfamiliar with the court system. Because the process is complicated and experience is essential to success, you will want expert legal representation. Losing driving privileges, points, or moving violations can cause severe economic harm to you and your loved ones. The lawyers at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are experts in protecting driving privileges. Our attorneys regularly appear in traffic courts across the State of Michigan. We have protected our client’s driving privileges in some of the most challenging cases.
What if you are innocent of the traffic offense?
There may be a reason to have a contested hearing before a judge if you are innocent of the charged traffic violation. The defense lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will assess the viability of any defense and determine if conducting a contested hearing might be beneficial. If a hearing is held, it is the government’s burden to prove you are responsible for the violation, and we, as your lawyers, will do everything possible to get the judge to rule in your favor.
What if you are guilty of a traffic offense?
We can still help! City attorneys and prosecutors generally have no interest in increasing insurance companies’ revenue. A good attorney with a persuasive approach can often negotiate a resolution to reduce or eliminate points and, in some cases, keep an offense entirely off your driving record.
Michigan Traffic Violations Defense Lawyers
A single traffic violation can raise your insurance rates for years and affect your life. Once you have a moving violation on your record, it eliminates your odds of receiving a warning if you are pulled over again. Getting a deal on a second or subsequent moving violation can be a challenge and maybe nearly impossible without a lawyer. It is always best to enlist a lawyer’s help immediately to keep your record clear of any tickets or violations. Call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation, and we will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.