Grand Rapids Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer

The Police Gave you a Traffic Ticket. Now What?

Traffic tickets are a nuisance. Maybe you were not watching your speed or perhaps you changed lanes too quickly and suddenly you see those dreaded flashing lights in your rearview mirror and hear the unpleasant police siren. After checking your license, insurance and registration, the cop gives you a ticket. Now what? We are glad you asked. You have essentially two options:

Option I. You pay the ticket. But, what about those painful license points and the fact that your insurance premiums will go up?

Option II. You try to fight the ticket yourself. But, fighting a ticket by yourself is a lost cause - don't bother. You are wasting your time. An investigative report conducted by TV Channel WZZM TV-13 examined two years worth of traffic tickets (2014-2015) in Grand Rapids. There were 3,530 speeding tickets issued over this two year period. Out of 3,530 tickets, only nine people won their speeding cases, and the "wins" were based on "technicalities" and not on how fast or slow the person was going. You can access the full article here:Fighting Traffic Tickets Why its a Losing Battle in Grand Rapids.

Traffic tickets and offenses are divided up into two principal types: Civil Infraction traffic tickets and traffic Misdemeanors.

Recognizing a Traffic Misdemeanor.

The most common traffic misdemeanors are 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. 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 the 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 carefully check: 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 Ticket.

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 or Admit Responsibility without talking with a Grand Rapids Traffic Ticket 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. Usually, the charge can be lessened and/or the consequences (points) reduced. Never go to court alone. Never, Never ever just plead guilty or just pay the ticket. Always talk with a Grand Rapids West Michigan traffic ticket lawyer before going to court. In over 25 years of practice there have been few traffic cases we were not able to improve. Our Grand Rapids, Michigan traffic ticket lawyer will advise and guide you through the traffic ticket maze.

The civil infractions and traffic misdemeanors go on your permanent driving record forever. Even one speeding ticket can cause your insurance rates to go up. Whether or not you are guilty of the infraction or traffic offense does not matter. Talk with a Michigan traffic ticket lawyer us first. If nothing else we can probably help you get the points reduced.

A criminal traffic conviction goes on your criminal history forever. You can trust in our skill and experience to insure that you will have your day in court. If you have been accused or are under investigation, contact us today for a consultation. Our rates are reasonable and will do our best to see speak with you as soon as possible.

Replaces Map with GMB Map