Detroit Lawyers Explain
36th District Court Traffic Warrants
As an experienced 36th District Court traffic lawyer, I am frequently asked if failure to pay a Detroit traffic ticket will result in a warrant. Unfortunately, the answer is: “Yes, usually.” However, if you have unpaid traffic tickets, there are steps you can still take to avoid being subject to a warrant or an arrest.
There are two kinds of traffic tickets in Detroit: “civil” infractions and “criminal” infractions (which include misdemeanors and felonies. To see a full list of which Michigan traffic tickets are civil infractions and which are misdemeanors and felonies, CLICK HERE.
Civil Traffic Ticket Warrants Detroit 36th District Court
If you have been issued a civil infraction traffic ticket you two ways to respond:
- To admit responsibility for the violation and pay the fine within 14 days.
- Deny responsibility and request a hearing within 14 days.
Failure to respond to the ticket within the allowed time period will result in a default (“automatic”) judgment against you, including points and fines.
On the 45th day following the 21st day (66 days), your license will be suspended. If your license has been suspended it will cost you an additional $45 (plus the ticket fine) to have it reinstated. The 36th District Court will then give you a clearance form which you must take to the Secretary of State to lift the suspension.
Now, not only does this put you in danger of getting a Driving on Suspended ticket, but the 36th District may also issue a warrant for the unpaid fines.
Remember, a first offense for Driving on a Suspended License comes with a fine of $500 and up to 93 days in jail!
And, in recent years, the 36th District Court has been cracking down on any type of unpaid fines – including traffic tickets. They will typically issue a Show Cause Hearing, where you will receive a notice to appear before in Court and explain why the fines were not paid. And failure to appear for hearing will result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.
Even worse – the failure to appear is itself a new Misdemeanor. So, as you can see, failing to pay court fines just “snowballs” until you take care of it.
Misdemeanor Traffic Ticket Warrants in 36th District Court
In Detroit’s 36th District Court, 64% of traffic misdemeanor cases end in warrants. Misdemeanor traffic tickets are considered “crimes” and can result in fines up to $1000 and/or up to 93 days in jail.
Typically if you are issued a misdemeanor ticket, you will be taken to the Detroit Detention Center, for processing and will be allowed to post bond. You will be given a future court date for arraignment, at which time you can enter a plea or request a future hearing.
If you fail to show up for a 36th District Court traffic misdemeanor arraignment and/or hearing and/or do not pay the ticket fine they will immediately issue a warrant for your arrest. There is not a “grace period” for a misdemeanor warrant, as there is for the civil infractions discussed above.
And, again, a new Failure to Appear misdemeanor will also be added to the traffic misdemeanor you are already facing.
What to Do If You Have a Traffic Warrant in 36th District Court
The 36th District Court has more than $243 million dollars in unpaid ticket fees- so they are getting very serious about collecting money they are owed. In some cases they will put people on a payment plan – but in many other cases they are now putting people in jail for unpaid tickets.
As experienced 36th District Court traffic ticket lawyers, we understand that this “pay or stay” program can create an undue hardship. Going to jail on a traffic ticket warrant can have serious consequences. You can be arrested in front of your children, or even lose your job!
For this reason it is essential to call an experienced 36th District Court Traffic Lawyer, if you have unpaid tickets, have missed a Court appearance or have reason to believe there may be a warrant for your arrest.
Detroit 36th District Court Traffic Warrant Lawyers
Our traffic lawyers can immediately step into action for you. We have had great success getting offenses set aside, as well as setting up payment plans – and taking other steps to ensure that you are not arrested.
Depending upon the amount you owe, or the offense you are being charged with there are many things that a skilled 36th District Court traffic lawyer can do for you. In some situations we may be able to file a Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment – to show the Judge “good cause” that the default Judgment against you be “set aside”.
36th District Chief Judge King was reported in the Detroit News as saying: “We’ll be going out and we’ll be knocking on doors, bringing people in and I may even … start booting cars, seizing property and whatever we have to do.”
Let our experienced 36th District Court Traffic lawyer stop the “snowball” and get you back on track – so you do not have to worry about warrants or arrests for 36th District Court traffic tickets.