Traffic Tickets

Traffic Violations in Macomb County
Civil Infractions, Misdemeanors, Drunk Driving

When someone receives a traffic ticket, there is a tendency to only look at the cost to pay the ticket instead of fighting it with a qualified traffic or criminal defense lawyer. While this course of action may be the most convenient way to deal with a traffic ticket, it can be extremely costly over time based upon Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees and increased insurance premiums.

KNOW YOUR OPTIONS: It is a wise investment to fight every traffic ticket!

If you are charged with a traffic offense anywhere in the Metro Detroit area, let the ABDO LAW firm provide you with legal representation to avoid points, reduce charges and circumvent Driver Responsibility Fees and increased insurance premiums. Our Macomb County traffic and criminal defense lawyers know that you have other options which can benefit you in several ways, including:

  • Avoidance of Secretary of State points
  • Reduction of charges/tickets to avoid or reduce Driver Responsibility Fees
  • Reduction of charges/tickets to keep insurance premiums under control
  • Reduction of criminal traffic tickets to non-criminal civil infractions
  • Reduction of traffic tickets to offenses which carry ZERO points
Civil Infractions and Criminal Traffic Offenses: Avoiding Points and a Criminal Record

Traffic offenses are classified as criminal offenses or civil infractions (non-criminal). Criminal traffic offenses will become a permanent part of a person’s criminal history and carry greater penalties, points, up to 2 years probation and possible incarceration. On the other hand, civil infractions require payment of a fine along with points which are assessed on the offender’s driving record. Civil infractions do not carry any possibility of jail or probation. When there is a traffic accident involving property damage or injuries, the Court can require payment of restitution to any victims.

The list of criminal traffic offenses is extensive. Most criminal traffic related offenses carry six (6) points. What most people don’t realize is that criminal traffic offenses can often be reduced to a civil infraction. In doing so, the offender does not wind up with a criminal history and points which are associated with the greater offense. An example of this would be when we reduce a reckless driving offense (6 points) to the closely related civil infraction known as careless driving (3 points). Drunk driving offenses are rarely reduced to civil infractions. However, in extreme cases, we have been able to obtain a dismissal of eligible drunk driving cases in exchange for a plea to the non-criminal offense of careless driving.

The following is a list of common criminal traffic offenses:

  • Failed to Stop After Personal Injury Accident
  • Failed to Stop or Identify After Property Damage Accident
  • Reckless driving
  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer
  • Driving while license revoked or expired
  • Operating while intoxicated or impaired
  • Operating with a high blood alcohol content (.17 or greater)
Michigan Secretary of State Point System

Points are assessed on your record by the Michigan Secretary of State based upon the seriousness of the offense. Points remain on your Michigan driving record for 2 years. The following is a partial list of offenses along with the points that apply upon conviction or finding of responsible:

Six Points
  • Felony involving use of a motor vehicle
  • Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs (OWI)
  • Operating with a high BAC, .17 or greater, Super Drunk
  • Failing to stop and give identification at the scene of a crash
  • Reckless driving
  • Operating while intoxicated, .08 or greater
  • Refusal to take a chemical test
  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer
Four Points
  • Drag racing
  • Operating while visibly impaired
  • Under age 21 with any bodily alcohol content
  • 16 mph or more over the speed limit
  • Failure to yield/show due caution for emergency vehicles
Three Points:
  • Careless driving
  • Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign
  • Improper passing
  • 11 through 15 mph over the speed limit
  • Failure to stop at railroad crossing
  • Failure to stop for a school bus
  • Disobeying a school crossing guard
Two Points:
  • 10 mph or less over the speed limit
  • Open alcohol container in vehicle
  • All other moving violations of traffic laws
Traffic Tickets & Accidents Will Have a Financial Impact on Insurance Rates

Insurance companies will assign eligibility points for certain traffic violations and accidents. THESE POINTS ARE NOT THE SAME AS THOSE ON YOUR OFFICIAL DRIVING RECORD. For example, you can be denied insurance coverage if you have more than six (6) eligibility points from violations within the past 3 years. Insurance Eligibility Points Assessed:

Offense
Insurance Points
Driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit
4
Driving 11-15 mph over the speed limit
3
Driving 10 mph or less over the speed limit
2
Driving 15 mph or less over the speed limit on freeways
2
First accident where you are more than 50% at fault
3
Second and following accidents where you are more than 50% at fault
4
Traffic Tickets are Negotiable: Dismissals, Reductions, Avoidance of Points

Failing to contest a ticket can be a huge mistake which results in the imposition of thousands of dollars in Driver Responsibility Fees and increased insurance premiums. The ABDO LAW firm has many years of experience successfully defending thousands of criminal traffic violations and civil infractions in all Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair County district courts including the 34th District Court (Romulus), 37 th District (Warren/Centerline), 38th District (Eastpointe), 39th District (Roseville/Fraser), 40th District (St. Clair Shores), 41-A District (Sterling Heights, Shelby Township, Macomb Township, Utica), 41-B District (Clinton Township, Harrison Township, Mount Clemens), 42-1 District(Romeo/Washington Township), 42-2 District (New Baltimore/Chesterfield Township), 44th District (Royal Oak), 72 nd District (Marine City/Port Huron Divisions) and all of the Grosse Pointe Municipal Courts. As a service to those visiting our website, we have provided links to some of the Macomb County District Courts where we frequently practice. These links contain fine and penalty schedules for various traffic and criminal offenses:

As we have said, fighting a ticket can be a wise investment. We welcome non-residents and Canadians as clients and can take care of most traffic matters without an office visit or appearance in court.

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Michigan Criminal Lawyer Blog - Michigan Traffic Offenses