SPEEDING AND TRAFFIC OFFENSES
At the law firm of Aaron J. Boria, PLLC we know how important your driving privileges are. We recognize the need to keep your insurance premiums low, and go above and beyond to achieve our client’s goals.
We're here to answer your questions
Points from a civil infraction or traffic crime can range from 1 to 6. License points take years to come off of your record once they are on there. In addition to points, the Michigan Secretary of State charges driver responsibility fees that can cost as much as $2,000.00 depending on the offense.
You have 21 days from the date of the Michigan traffic ticket to either pay the fine or schedule a hearing. If you fail to act then your license will be suspended. If your license is suspended it will cost additional money to have it reinstated and you could face additional charges if pulled over while your license is suspended.
Criminal traffic charges could mean jail time, major fines, and the loss of your driving privileges.
For immediate help, call (734) 453-7806
How long do points stay on my driving record?
Points stay on your driving record for two years.
How many points can I be given in one traffic incident?
If more than one conviction or civil infraction results from the same incident, points shall be entered only for the violation that receives the highest number of points under this section. MCL 257.320a(5).
For example, if you get a 3 point ticket for careless driving as well as a 2 point ticket for speeding a total of 3 points would be added to your record, not 5.
What happens if I get caught driving on a suspended license?
Many courts will simply give you a fine but there are a handful of courts that will order jail time. Your license will be suspended for an additional 30 days or longer depending on the reason for the suspension.
How many points does it take to suspend a license?
If you accumulate 12 points on your record your driver license will be suspended.
“I was ticketed for speeding, 80 in a 70; Aaron was able to reduce the fine and prevent me from getting any points!”
Sandy in Mason, Michigan
RECKLESS DRIVING DEFENSE
Reckless driving is a serious criminal charge in Michigan
- The maximum penalty for reckless driving is actually more serious than that for a drinking and driving conviction.
- Under MCL, 257.626(2), reckless driving carries up to 93 days in jail, a fine of $500 plus costs. Your drive license will be suspended for 90 days and 6 points will be added to your master driving record under MCL 257.320(e).
Reckless Driving Defense
The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that a reckless driving conviction cannot be based on speeding alone
- Michigan courts have also held that falling asleep at the wheel without more is not reckless driving. Colliding into an object on the road does not automatically indicate reckless driving. Even driving drunk is not indicative of the type of negligence necessary to sustain a reckless driving conviction.
- The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you acted with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. Willful and wanton disregard means more than just being careless but less than intending to hurt someone. Ordinary negligence will not sustain a charge of reckless driving. Mere failure, or inadvertence, or lack of care, is not the same as willful or wanton disregard. The prosecutor must be able to show you disregarded possible risks to the safety of others or their property.
If the prosecutor cannot meet their burden you must be found not guilty.
Reckless Driving Causing Serious Impairment of a Bodily Function
- If an injury resulting in the serious impairment of a bodily function is associated with reckless driving you face a 5-year felony punishable by $1,000 to $5,000 plus court costs under MCL 257.626(3). Your vehicle will either be forfeited under MCL 257.625n or immobilized under MCL 257.904d. Your license will be revoked for at least one year, MCL 303(2)(d).
- To sustain a conviction for serious impairment of a bodily function the prosecutor must be able to prove that but for the defendant’s actions the injury would not have occurred.
- Not any injury will support a conviction for serious impairment of a bodily function. The prosecutor must also prove that the injury is the loss of an appendage, loss or use of an eye or ear, visible disfigurement, mental impairment, bone fracture, subdural hemorrhage or hematoma, loss of an organ, or a comatose state that lasts for more than three days.
Reckless Driving Causing Death
- If a death results from reckless driving you face a 15-year felony punishable by $2,500 to $10,000 plus court costs under MCL 257.626(3). Your vehicle will either be forfeited under MCL 257.625n or immobilized under MCL 257.904d. Your license will be revoked for at least one year, MCL 303(2)(d).
- For the prosecutor to prove this charge they must be able to show that but for the defendant’s actions the death would not have occurred. Death must be a direct result of the accused operating the vehicle.
FAILURE TO REPORT AN ACCIDENT
- Michigan law requires that after you are involved in an accident that you stop and report that accident to police.
Failure to Stop and Identify after a Personal Injury Accident
- If you are involved in a personal injury accident Michigan law, MCL 257.617a, requires that you stop your vehicle at the scene of the accident and remain there until you have provided your name and address, vehicle registration, and driver license to a police officer, the individual struck, or the driver of the other vehicle.
- The law also requires that you help the person injured obtain medical aid or transport the person injured to a place for medical assistance.
- The penalty for failing to stop and identify after a personal injury Accident is a criminal misdemeanor that could result in up to 1-year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000.00, 6 points will be added to your driving record and your drivers license will be suspended for 90 days.
- If the accident results in an injury and that injure rises to the level that it is considered to be a serious impairment of a bodily function, the penalty is a criminal felony with up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine. MCL 257.617(2)
- If the accident results in death, the penalty is up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. MCL 257.617(3)
Failure to Stop and Identify after a Property Damage Accident (Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident)
- Michigan Law, 257.618 says, a driver of a vehicle who knows or has reason to believe they have been involved in an accident on a road open to travel by the public must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene and stay there until they have done the following:
- (1) Give their name, address, and the registration number of their vehicle (must also give the name and address of the actual owner of the car if you are not driving your own car) to a police officer, the person struck, or occupants in the other vehicle. :
- (2) Show your license to a police officer, individual struck, or occupants of the vehicle with which you collided.
- (3) Help anyone injured get medical attention.
- If there is a reasonable and honest belief that remaining at the scene will result in further harm the law says to immediately report the accident to the nearest or most convenient police agency to fulfill the above requirements.
- Failure to meet the requirements above could result in being charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, fines and costs.
- The penalty for failing to stop and identify after a property damage accident is a criminal misdemeanor that could result in up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $100.00 plus the cost or prosecution, 6 points will be added to your driving record.
Defenses for the charge of Failing to Stop after a Collision:
- A person was unaware that an accident occurred
- A person did stop after accident and waited a reasonable time before leaving
- A person was not driving at the time of the accident
- It was unsafe to stop at the scene of the accident
- The biggest issue with these hit and run type of cases is that most police, prosecutors, and judges will assume you fled the scene because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or that you didn’t flea because you were nervous but because you were trying to avoid responsibility. As a criminal defense attorney, our job is to make sure that cases are judged by the actual evidence present and not judge on speculation.
- Even in cases where our clients are truly guilty of failing to report an accident we have been able to get reductions that save our clients their driver license, the 6 points, and the massive fines. In some cases we have obtained dismissals of the criminal offense that was reduced all the way down to a minor traffic tickets.
FLEEING AND ELUDING A POLICE OFFICER
What is fleeing and eluding?
It is a felony in Michigan not to stop for a police officer that has signaled you to pull over. A conviction for fleeing and eluding means serious fines, the loss of your license, and even prison. There are four degrees of fleeing and eluding under Michigan law.
To be guilty of fleeing and eluding in the fourth degree the prosecuting attorney must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that a police officer was in uniform and was performing their lawful duties and that any vehicle driven by the officer was adequately marked as a law enforcement vehicle.Second, that the defendant was driving a motor vehicle. Third, that the officer ordered that the defendant stop their vehicle. Fourth, that the defendant knew of the order. Fifth, that the defendant refused to obey the order by trying to flee or avoid being caught.
To be convicted of first degree fleeing and eluding the prosecutor must also prove that the defendant’s actions resulted in the death of another.
To be convicted of second degree fleeing and eluding the prosecutor must also prove that the defendant’s actions resulted in serious impairment of a body function of another. A person can also be convicted of second degree fleeing and eluding if they have a prior first, second, or third degree fleeing and eluding conviction or two prior convictions for fourth degree fleeing and eluding.
To be convicted of third degree fleeing and eluding the prosecutor must also prove that the defendant’s actions resulted in a crash or accident, or that the incident occurred in area where the speed limit was 35 miles per hour or less, or the person had a prior conviction for fourth degree fleeing and eluding.
What is the penalty for fleeing and eluding?
Fleeing and eluding is broken down into four degrees. Fourth degree is the least severe and first degree is the most severe.Fourth degree fleeing and eluding is punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a fine of $2,000.00, under MCL 750.479a(2), additionally there is a one-year driver license suspension under MCL 257.319(2)(e).Third degree fleeing and eluding is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $5,000.00, under MCL 750.479a(3), additionally there is a one-year driver license suspension under MCL 257.319(2)(e).Second degree fleeing and eluding is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.00, under MCL 750.479a(4), additionally there is a driver license revocation under MCL 257.303(2)(f).First degree fleeing and eluding is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $15,000.00, under MCL 750.479a(5), additionally there is a driver license revocation under MCL 257.303(2)(f).
What are the defenses to fleeing and eluding?
There are defenses; the law only applies when the police officer is lawfully acting within the duties of their job. Also, if the police officer is not in uniform, and his car isn’t marked, and you did not know he was an officer, you are not at fault for not stopping.There may be other defenses specific to your case. It is also possible that even if you committed the offense you may be able to have the case dismissed under a special statute depending on your age and criminal history.
FAILURE TO USE DUE CARE AND CAUTION
The charge of Failure to Use Due Care and Caution is a serious traffic criminal offense.
- Failure to Use Due Care and Caution is charged when a person is accused of failing to move their vehicle over at least one lane, or failing to reduce and maintain speed if moving over isn’t possible, when approaching an emergency vehicle with its emergency lights on. as required by Michigan law, MCL 257.653a(a) and (b).
Failure to Use Due Care and Caution Misdemeanor
- Failure to Use Due Care and Caution is a criminal misdemeanor under MCL 257.653a(2). The offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, $100 fine and 4 points on driving record.
Failure to Use Due Care and Caution Felony
- If the driver’s Failure to Use Due Care and Caution results in injury to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response the offense is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of $1,000.00, under MCL 257.653a(3).
- If the driver’s Failure to Use Due Care and Caution results in death to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response the offense is a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, a $7,500.00 fine, or both, under MCL 257.653a(4).
Possible defenses to Failure to Use Due Care and Caution:
- Driver could not hear or see emergency vehicle
- Vehicle did use due care and caution when in the vicinity of an emergency vehicle
- Improper stop of vehicle
DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED / REVOKED DRIVER LICENSE
- Michigan law, MCL 257.904, makes it a criminal misdemeanor to drive on a suspended driver’s license (DWLS).
Driving on a suspended driver’s license carries serious driving sanctions, court costs, driver responsibility fees, and even jail time.
Driving While License Suspended
- A first offense conviction for driving on a suspended license carries a maximum penalty of up to 93 days in jail and $500.00 in fines plus court costs, MCL 257.904(3)(a). Your vehicle could be immobilized, 2 points will be added to your driving record, and driver responsibility fees may be assessed.
Driving While License Suspended Second or Subsequent Offense
- Under MCL 257.904(3)(b), a second or subsequent driving while license suspended offense could result in one year in jail, a fine of $1,000.00 plus court costs. Additionally, your vehicle could be immobilized, 2 points will be added to your master driving record, and driver responsibility fees may apply.
Driving While License Suspended License Sanctions
A conviction for driving on a suspended license will also result in a 30-day driver license suspension, MCL 257.904(11).
- If your license is already suspended for a period of time a conviction for DWLS will add a “like suspension” under MCL 257.904(10).
Driving While License Suspended Defense
- In all cases, the police must have a reason to stop you while you are driving.
If the police did not have a valid reason to stop you, your case will be dismissed.
- Even if you believe you do not have a defense, our firm continues to negotiate a better deal on your behalf that could result in saving you a criminal conviction, fines, costs, license points, driver responsibility fees, your driver’s license and more.
UNLAWFUL USE OF MOTOR VEHICLE / JOY RIDING
- Auto theft can be charged in a number of different ways depending on the facts alleged by the police or witnesses against you. The different auto charges vary in terms of punishment and what the prosecuting attorney must prove against you.
- Joyriding, or unlawful use of a motor vehicle, is an offense that is charged when someone is alleged to have used a vehicle that does not belong to that person in a manner inconsistent with the owner’s wishes.
- These offenses are serious felonies. It is important that you hire an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney to fight these charges, protect your rights, and get results.
TRAFFIC / SPEEDING TICKET DEFENSE
Michigan has the highest auto insurance premiums in the country.
Michigan passed auto insurance reform in 2019, traffic violations and crimes still cost drivers a tremendous amount of money.
We have all gotten speeding tickets at one point or another. Points mean an increase in insurance costs, and too many points can even mean the loss of your driver license.
In most cases, our firm is able to save our clients points without them ever having to set foot in court. That’s right, you hire us and we go to court for you and call you with the result. Over the past few years, we have saved out client’s hundreds, if not thousands of driver license points.
The Zebra, an auto insurance comparison website, broke down how much common traffic tickets will cost you with your insurance.
Violation and Insurance Rate Increase
Hit and Run $4,917
Refused Chemical Test $4,757
Reckless Driving $4,917
Driving on Suspended License $964
Driving with Open Container $2,155
Joy Riding $901
Passing a School Bus $947
Improper Passing $884
Following Too Closely $853
Failure to Stop at a Red Lights $884
Illegal Turn $853
Driving Wrong Way $853
Failure to Yield $883
Speeding in a School Zone $841
Expired Registration $337
AWARD WINNING REPRESENTATION
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