Expunge Michigan Traffic Offenses
Michigan Expungement Lawyer
Expunging a Michigan Traffic Offense.
The Michigan Legislature broadened the expungement or set aside conviction statute in January 2015, which allowed many more persons to be eligible to set aside a criminal conviction from their past. Sadly, although now many more persons can petition to set aside criminal convictions, NONE of Michigan's traffic offense misdemeanors are eligible to be set aside or expunged.
Traffic misdemeanors can be tricky and confusing, as there are offenses that are labeled civil infractions (such as speeding), and others that are criminal misdemeanors (such as expired license plate). Often, we hear from a person that they were not even aware they were charged with and pled guilty to a criminal misdemeanor, a crime that can never be expunged and will stay on their criminal history and driving record FOREVER.
The Michigan Expungement statute, also called the Set Aside Conviction statute, MCL 780.621, expressly prohibits any traffic misdemeanor from being set aside or expunged. Unfortunately. there are NO exceptions. This prohibition does not make sense, as the same law allows for the vast majority of non-traffic misdemeanor and felony convictions to be set aside if a person meets the eligibility criteria. See our Expungement Page for details on how you can petition to set aside a criminal conviction.
Recognizing a Traffic Misdemeanor.
The most common traffic misdemeanors are careless driving, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license or no license (DWLS), improper license plate, expired license plate, drunk driving (OWI, OWID, OWVI), and a lot more. There is even a traffic misdemeanor offense for not having auto insurance. Michigan law mandates that every vehicle on the road have car insurance. However, there is also a civil infraction for not having proof of insurance in your vehicle. The distinction between a traffic misdemeanor and a civil infraction can be very confusing, especially since they are both written up on the same one-size-fits-all ticket.
There are two ways to tell the difference. Probably the best way of distinguishing whether you have been written up for a traffic misdemeanor or a less serious traffic civil infraction is to carefully inspect the State of Michigan Uniform Law Citation. Next to the charge there is a very small box that indicates what type of offense you are being charged with. The type of charge is abbreviated – which makes things even more confusing. There are three boxes that you need to be concerned about: C/I = Civil Infraction; Misd = criminal misdemeanor; Fel = criminal felony. If the Misd box is checked it means you are accused of a traffic misdemeanor. "Warn" means that you were only issued a warning. See the example on the left of a State of Michigan Uniform Law Citation.
Another way to differentiate between a civil infraction and a criminal misdemeanor is whether you are required to see a judge if you decide to just pay the ticket. Since jail is not possible for civil infractions, if you decide to not fight the ticket you can do so with the clerk at the front counter and will never see a judge or magistrate. However, if the court clerk tells you that you must appear before a magistrate or judge, that is a clear indication that you have been charged with a traffic misdemeanor. Remember, traffic misdemeanors can NEVER be expunged or set aside.
Do Not Plead Guilty without talking with a Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Lawyer.
In our opinion, admitting responsibility or pleading guilty to a traffic misdemeanor or civil infraction ticket without first talking with a lawyer is a BIG MISTAKE, as often the charge can often be lessened and/or the consequences reduced. Never go to court alone. Never, Never ever just plead guilty. Always talk with a West Michigan criminal defense lawyer before going to court. In over 20 years there have been few cases that we were not able to positively impact. Our Grand Rapids, Michigan criminal defense lawyer who will advise and guide you through the criminal law maze that includes traffic civil infractions and traffic misdemeanors.
We are experienced and can help. We will assist you navigate through the expungement maze, and if possible, help you set aside a criminal conviction that may be hindering your career or job search. We are experienced. We get results. Put us to work to help you get the second chance you deserve. Call and we can help you determine if you are eligible to expunge your criminal conviction.
Our West Michigan Expungement Lawyer successfully helps individuals expunge crimes from their criminal record. If you are interested in expunging a criminal conviction or need additional information please contact our Grand Rapids Michigan Expungement Lawyer at (616) 676-8770.
If you or a family member has been charged with or accused of a crime you need immediate advice from an experienced Grand Rapids criminal defense attorney. Contact our Grand Rapids, Michigan, marijuana, drug, criminal defense lawyer at (616) 676-8770.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
1155 East Paris Ave. SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: (616) 676-8770
Serving Clients throughout Western Michigan, in Grand Rapids, Forest Hills, Ionia, Ada, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Cascade, Wyoming, Byron Center, Caledonia, Cascade, Rockford, Holland, Grand Haven, Grandville, Kent County, Barry County, Ottawa County, Muskegon County, Ionia County. We represent college students from Calvin College, Aquinas, Grand Valley State University, Ferris, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, Western Michigan University, and many more.
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