What to Do If You Get a Traffic Ticket in Macomb County – Lawyers Mt. Clemens, Warren, Sterling Heights
Getting a traffic ticket can be frustrating – or even frightening. Not much is worse than the sinking feeling you get when you see those flashing lights in your rear view mirror.
But there are steps you can take after you have received a traffic ticket, to try and keep your driving record clean, protect your license and prevent costly insurance hikes.
Our experienced Macomb County traffic ticket lawyers are here to help you understand the penalties you may be facing – and to fight for you to help you get the best possible results.
Should I Plead Guilty to a Macomb County Traffic Ticket? – Lawyers Mt. Clemens, Warren, Sterling Heights
When you receive a traffic ticket you have three basic options:
- Enter a “guilty plea” or “admit responsibility” (sometimes called “no contest”).
- Enter a plea of “guilty with explanation” or “responsible with explanation”
- Enter a “not guilty” or “not responsible” plea (i.e. contest / fight the ticket).
Where you received your traffic ticket – and what the ticket is for – will determine which of these three things you should do. This article discusses your options in general detail, but it is always best to call our office for a free consultation to discuss the specific details of your case.
Filing a “guilty” (“responsible”) or “guilty with explanation” (“responsible with explanation”) plea can be done in person or through the mail.
But if you plead “not guilty” (“not responsible”) a hearing will be scheduled and you will have to present your case before a magistrate in person. You are not required to have a lawyer for a traffic ticket hearing. However, an experienced traffic ticket lawyer will know what should (and should not) be presented to the judge in order to put you in the best position to have your ticket dismissed. Keep in mind that if you win, your ticket will be dismissed and you will not get any points on your driving record. But – if you lose – you will not only get fines and points, but also could face additional court fees.
When to Respond to a Macomb County Traffic Ticket – Lawyers Mt. Clemens, Warren, Sterling Heights
Read your ticket carefully as soon as you get it. The time frame for responding will usually be listed on the traffic ticket itself. Times for entering your plea for a traffic ticket will vary from court to court. If you do not understand the time frame, call us and we can help you. Do not wait for the Court to contact you. Read the ticket carefully and make sure you are aware of the time frame, and you respond in a timely fashion.
It is extremely important that you respond to the Court within the time frame indicated. If you don’t submit your plea on time, the court will file a “default judgment” against you – which means you lose because you did not respond on time. If a default judgment is entered against you, you will likely be charged additional fees, and if you fail to respond to your default judgment, you may even end up with a suspended license.
While it may be tempting to ignore a traffic ticket, doing so will always make matters worse. And the excuse that you were “waiting to hear from the Court” will not be enough to set aside a “default” conviction against you. Addressing a ticket “head on” with the advice or representation of an experienced lawyer is always the best way to get it reduced or possibly even dismissed.
Can I Avoid Traffic Ticket Fines and Points? – Lawyers Mt. Clemens, Warren, Sterling Heights
The reality is that traffic tickets are big “money makers” for most Courts. So if you plead guilty – or if you plead not guilty but end up being convicted at your hearing – there is probably little you can do to reduce the fine.
However, under some circumstances, the magistrate may offer you the option to take a Michigan Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC) to remove the points from your record. An experienced traffic ticket lawyer can help make sure that you have the best chance of being offered a BDIC to take away your points. However, even with the help of an experienced lawyer, you may only take a BDIC to remove points one time in your lifetime.
Even if you end up with a fine it is still wise to try and take a BDIC instead of getting points. Points can dramatically increase your insurance rates – costing you thousands of dollars in increased insurance premiums annually. And if the magistrate allows you to take a BDIC to remove points, the ticket will never even be reported to your insurance company! So it is always wise to consult with an experienced traffic ticket lawyer to see if they can help you receive the BDIC option instead of points.
These are the circumstances under which a judge or traffic court magistrate may offer you the option of a BDIC instead of points:
- Your traffic ticket is not criminal (not a misdemeanor or felony)
- You do not hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- You have less than 2 points on your driving record
- The current ticket has a value of 3 points or less
- You have not ever taken a BDIC in lieu of points before
- Your driver’s license is not currently suspended or revoked
Remember, the option of allowing you to take a BDIC in lieu of points is entirely up to the judge or magistrate. Justin Vande Vrede is an experienced Macomb County traffic ticket lawyer who cares about his clients, and knows how to help persuade a judge or magistrate to offer you a BDIC instead of points.
Experienced Macomb County Traffic Ticket Lawyer Justin Vande Vrede Can Help You
If you have received a traffic ticket in Macomb County and are worried about the effect that points will have on your driving record and insurance rates, call lawyer Justin Vande Vrede for a free no obligation consultation. He will be happy to explain the points, fines, penalties and long-term consequences of the traffic ticket you have received. And he will help you get the best possible results for your particular traffic ticket case – at a price you can afford.