Most of the time, a moving violation such as a speeding ticket, are civil infractions. However, there are situations when it could result in a misdemeanor or even a felony and include considerable fines and jail time. Best case scenario, points are added to the person’s driving record and there is an increase in his or her premiums.
A simple traffic ticket may not seem to be a big deal, just pay the fine and move on. By paying the fine, that person is admitting guilt. If they are pulled over again, the penalties may increase drastically. How much of an increase will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, but it could result in a suspension of the driver’s license and an obligation to take a driver’s education course at the driver’s expense. The resulting increase in premiums can become very costly over time.
Hiring a traffic ticket attorney is beneficial when the driver already has one or more violations on their driving record. For a first ticket, even if they win in court there are court costs and attorney fees so it may or may not be worth it. However, if the driver already has points on their driving record and cannot afford an increase in their auto insurance rates, then fighting the ticket is worth the cost.
If the police officer or state trooper observes a person driving in a manner that shows a willful disregard for their and other’s safety, they can be charged with reckless driving, which is a misdemeanor. This charge can result in up to 93 days in jail and up to $500 fine.
To get a felony conviction, the prosecutor needs to prove that a person was driving in a manner which was reckless and involved the wanton and deliberate disregard for the safety of others. Basically, that the careless driving was done on purpose and posed a risk of serious bodily harm to others. A conviction could result in 2 years in prison and fines up to $2,000. A traffic violation attorney may be able to get those charges dropped down to a misdemeanor or even just a citation. The legal definition of what constitutes a reckless driving misdemeanor charge and a felony operation of a motor vehicle are somewhat vague, giving an attorney room to argue on their client’s behalf.
Legalquest Network serves the cities of Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Sterling Heights.