Lawyers Explain Driver Responsibility Fees – Pt.1

Detroit Traffic Ticket Lawyers Explain
Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees

Our lawyers have been handling traffic tickets in the Detroit area since 1997. We pride ourselves on fighting aggressively for every client. And we always offer a FREE consultations to help you understand your options and the best way to handle your Detroit traffic ticket. However, one of the most difficult, confusing, and genuinely unfair aspects of Michigan traffic ticket law is the Secretary of State “Driver Responsibility Fees.”

In this two part article, we will try to help you understand when Driver Responsibility fees are assessed, how much they cost and what you can do about them.

What are Driver Responsibility Fees?

Driver Responsibility Fees have been in place since Oct. 1, 2003. They are separate fines added on top of your ticket fine. The ticket fine goes to the District Court where you were convicted of a traffic violation. The Driver Responsibility Fees go to the State.

The purpose of these fees is supposedly to “to encourage traffic safety by deterring potentially dangerous driving behavior.”  But our lawyers believe that the end result simply makes it harder for people with less money to keep or restore their driver’s’ license.

How Much are Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees?

Here’s where it gets really tricky! We have even met other lawyers who don’t understand the complicated “formula” for calculating Driver Responsibility Fees.

There are two ways to get Driver Responsibility Fees in Michigan: “category 1 offenses” which is somewhat less expensive; and “category 2 offenses” which is quite exorbitant.

Category (1) Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees

Many lesser traffic tickets count toward category 1 points, including: careless driving, speeding, improper turn, following to close, disobeyed traffic control device, failed to yield, failed to signal or observe, unauthorized or improper use of lights, prohibited turn, drove wrong way on one-way street, driving left of center.

Category 1 imposes a $100 assessment for persons reaching 7 points, and $50 for each additional qualifying point above 7.

So, for example, if you have 10 points your Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees, you will be assessed $250.

Category (2) Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees

Category 2 offenses are a special set of separate traffic ticket convictions that do not count toward your Category 1 total points.

How much your Category 2 fee will be depends upon will depend on what traffic ticket offense you are convicted of. Category 2 offenses range from $150 per year for two years all the way up to $1,000 for two years!

Category 2 Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees:

$1,000 per year for two years
$500 per year for two years
$200 per year for two years (certain tickets between May 1, 2004 & Oct. 1, 2012)
$150 per year for two years (certain tickets between between Oct. 1, 2003 and Oct. 1, 2012)

CLICK HERE for a Full List of  Category 2 Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees

 

 

CLICK HERE for Part 2 of Detroit Lawyers Explain Driver Responsibility Fees.

Detroit Traffic Ticket Lawyers

Our experienced Detroit traffic ticket lawyers will offer you a free consultation – to help you understand what your traffic ticket means for you, and to explain the best way to handle it in your situation. We will fight aggressively to help you avoid points that will result in increased insurance, license suspensions & large driver responsibility fees.

Detroit Traffic Ticket Lawyers: 800-717-4757

Lawyers Explain Driver Responsibility Fees – Pt. 2

Detroit Traffic Ticket Lawyers Explain
Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees

Our Detroit traffic ticket lawyers have been helping people fight traffic tickets in the Detroit area since 1997. Our lawyers fight aggressively for every client. We offer a FREE consultation, to help you understand the best way to handle your Detroit traffic ticket.

However, one of the most difficult, confusing, and genuinely unfair aspects of Michigan traffic ticket law are Driver Responsibility Fees assessed by the Secretary of State. This is the second part of a two part article, aimed at helping you understand Driver Responsibility fees, how much they cost, and what you can do about them.

CLICK HERE for Part 1 of Detroit Lawyers Explain Driver Responsibility Fees.

What Happens if I Don’t Pay My Driver Responsibility Fee?

If you can not pay your Driver Responsibility Fee if full, you have the opportunity to enter into an installment agreement.

However, if you do not pay the Driver Responsibility Fee, and you do not enter into an installment agreement (or you default on your installment agreement) the Secretary of State will issue a an “Order of Action”. This Order of Action is your notification that your driver’s license has been, or will soon be, suspended.

If Your Driver’s License Has NOT Been Suspended Yet:

If your driver’s license has not been suspended yet, you may be able to AVOID the suspension by doing one of the following:

  1. Pay the Driver Responsibility Fee in Full
  2. Make an Installment Agreement

You can do either of these things by calling Michigan Dept. of Treasury at: (517) 636-5240.

At this point mailing is not recommended as most payment methods take up to 14 business days for mailing and processing time. And if the suspension goes into effect before your payment is received you will then have to take the steps below to terminate the suspension – and pay an additional $125 reinstatement fee.

The pending suspension will be dismissed from your driving record once the fee is paid in full or you have entered into an approved Installment Agreement.

If Your Driver’s License Has ALREADY Been Suspended Yet:

If your driver’s license has already been suspended for not paying your driver’s responsibility fees, you will need to pay the Driver Responsibility fee In Full (PLUS a $125 reinstatement fee) in order to terminate the suspension and have your license restored.

Under certain very limited circumstances, a driver’s license MAY be reinstated with an approved Installment Agreement. But the only way guaranteed to terminate your suspension is payment in full. The reinstatement fee of $125 may also be included in your Installment Agreement, if it is approved.

You can call Michigan Department of Treasury to pay your Drivers Responsibility Fee at: (517) 636-5240.

It is important to note that, unfortunately, you cannot use a “hardship appeal” for the Driver Responsibility Fee amount, or the Driver Responsibility Fee suspension. So even if you have very extenuating circumstances, a restricted license cannot be issued to you for “hardship”.

And remember that once your Driver Responsibility Fee is paid in full, you must pay a $125 reinstatement fee to the Michigan Department of State to reinstate your driving privileges.

Detroit Traffic Ticket Lawyers

Our experienced Detroit traffic ticket lawyers will offer you a free consultation – to help you understand what your traffic ticket means for you, and to explain the best way to handle it in your situation. We will fight aggressively to help you avoid points that will result in increased insurance, license suspensions & large driver responsibility fees.

Detroit Traffic Ticket Lawyers: 800-717-4757

 

Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees by Offense

Detroit Traffic Ticket Lawyers:
Category 2 Driver Responsibility Fees

Driver Responsibility Fee: $150 per year, for two years
for traffic tickets between Oc. 1, 2003 & Oct. 1, 2012

  • Drove w/o Proper License/Endorsement/Vehicle Group Designator
  • Drove While License Expired
  • Drove While Unlicensed or License Not Valid

Driver Responsibility Fee: $200 per year for two years
for traffic tickets between May 1, 2004 & Oct. 1, 2012.

  • No Proof of Insurance
  • No Insurance

Driver Responsibility Fee: $500 per year for two years

  • Child Endangerment
  • Combined OWI and Controlled Substance
  • Driving Commercial Motor Vehicle While Disqualified
  • Driving While License Suspended/Revoked/Denied (DWLS)
  • DWLS Causing Death
  • DWLS Causing Serious Injury
  • No Insurance Under The Insurance Code
  • Operated While Impaired By Controlled Substance
  • Operating While Impaired By Liquor
  • Operating With Presence of Drugs (OWPD)
  • Person Under 21 With BAC
  • Reckless Driving

Driver Responsibility Fee: $1,000 per year for two years

  • CDL Manufacture/Distribute a Controlled Substance
  • Failed to Stop After Personal Injury Accident
  • Failed to Stop or Identify After Property Damage Accident
  • Failed to Stop or Identify After Personal Injury Accident Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function
  • Failure to Stop or Identify After Personal Injury Accident Causing Death
  • Failure to Use Due Care and Caution Causing Death of a Construction Worker
  • Failure to Use Due Care and Caution Causing Injury of a Construction Worker
  • Failure to Yield For an Emergency Responder Causing Death
  • Failure to Yield For an Emergency Responder Causing Injury
  • Fatality Through Negligent or Criminal Operation of a CMV
  • Felonious Driving
  • Felony With Auto Used
  • Felony/Auto Used
  • Fleeing and Eluding officer 1st Degree – Causing Death
  • Fleeing and Eluding Officer 2nd Degree –  Causing Serious Injury
  • Fleeing and Eluding Officer 3rd Degree
  • Fleeing and Eluding Officer 4th Degree
  • Manslaughter
  • Moving Violation Causing Death
  • Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment
  • Murder/Auto Used
  • Negligent Homicide
  • Operated Commercial Motor Vehicle with BAC .04 .07
  • Operating with Blood Alcohol Content of .17 of More
  • Operated While Intoxicated or While Impaired By Controlled Substance Causing Death
  • Operated While Intoxicated or While Impaired By Controlled Substance Causing Serious Injury
  • Operated While Intoxicated or While Impaired By Liquor Causing Death of An Emergency Responder
  • Operated While Intoxicated or While Impaired By Liquor Causing Serious Injury
  • Operating While Intoxicated
  • Operating While Intoxicated or While Impaired Causing Death
  • ORV – Allowed Person Under Influence Alcohol/Controlled Substance To Operate
  • ORV – Combined Operated Under Influence Liquor/Controlled Substance
  • ORV – Combined Operated Under Influence Liquor/Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content
  • ORV – Operated Under Influence of Controlled Substance
  • ORV – Operated Under the Influence of Liquor
  • ORV – OUIL/OUID/OWI Causing Death
  • ORV – OUIL/OUID/OWI Causing Serious Impairment of A Body Function
  • ORV – Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content (.10)
  • Reckless Driving Causing Death
  • Reckless Driving Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function
  • Snowmobile – Felony/Snowmobile Used
  • Snowmobile – Operating Under the Influence of Controlled Substance Causing Death
  • Snowmobile – Operating Under the Influence of Controlled Substance Causing Serious Impairment of A Body Function )
  • Snowmobile – OUIL Causing Death
  • Snowmobile – OUIL Causing Serious Impairment of A Body Function
  • Unlawful Driving Away Auto
  • Fail to Use Due Care Causing Death of Person Operating Implement of Husbandry
  • Fail to Use Due Care Causing Injury of Person Operating Implement of Husbandry

CLICK HERE for Detroit Lawyers Explanation of Driver Responsibility Fees.

CLICK HERE for What Happens if You Don’t Pay Driver Responsibility Fees.

Detroit Traffic Ticket Lawyers

Our experienced Detroit traffic ticket lawyers will offer you a free consultation – to help you understand what your traffic ticket means for you, and to explain the best way to handle it in your situation. We will fight aggressively to help you avoid points that will result in increased insurance, license suspensions & large driver responsibility fees.

Detroit Traffic Ticket Lawyers: 800-717-4757

How Attorneys Beat Detroit Speeding Tickets

Detroit Speeding Tickets Attorneys Discuss:
How to “Beat” a Detroit Speeding Ticket

As experienced Detroit area speeding ticket attorneys, one of the most frequent questions we are asked is “How can I beat a speeding ticket?” In this article we discuss the consequences you could face for a speeding ticket in Detroit – and how you can reduce fines, avoid points and ultimately prevent unnecessary insurance increases.

Should I Pay My Detroit Speeding Ticket?

As a general rule, our traffic attorneys recommend that you “fight” rather than pay your speeding ticket.  Remember that if you simply pay your  speeding ticket, you are “admitting responsibility” and you will automatically be assessed fines and points. In Detroit, the faster you were driving, the more your speeding ticket will cost – and the more points you will be given on your driving record. CLICK HERE to see the fines and points for speeding tickets in Detroit.

“Points” may not sound like a big deal – but they really are. If you are over 21 years of age the Michigan Secretary of State will suspend your license if you accumulate 12 points. Points stay on your record for 2 years while the violation itself typically stays visible to police for seven – and up to ten – years.

But perhaps the biggest reason to fight a speeding ticket is the effect that points will have on your insurance rates. Speeding tickets in Detroit – and anywhere in Michigan – start at 2 points and go up to 6 points for reckless driving. And even a couple points can increase your insurance rates by hundreds of dollars of many years.

Every insurance company handles points differently, and there is not “set amount” that will (or won’t ) raise your rates. So paying one one ticket could cost you a “small” fine of $125 – $190 fine Detroit – but end up resulting in thousands of dollars in higher car insurance premiums.

What Happens if I Ignore a Detroit Speeding Ticket?

If you ignore a Detroit speeding ticket – and simply do not pay it or schedule a hearing – you “automatically” lose and will be assessed the applicable fines and points. This is called a “default”. Once you “default” you give up your right to have a hearing and contest (“fight”) your Detroit speeding ticket. CLICK HERE to see the fines and points for speeding tickets in Detroit.

Additionally, if you ignore your speeding ticket, the City of Detroit adds a $40 penalty to fine – if you do not pay or request a hearing within 14 days of the tickets due date.

And, if your speeding violation was a misdemeanor – such as reckless driving ticket – a warrant for your arrest will be issued if you do not respond to the ticket.

But, if you request a court hearing – and you have an experienced Detroit traffic attorney represent you – there is an excellent chance that you will be able to avoid or reduce the fines and points.

Can I Fight Detroit a Speeding Ticket Myself Without an Attorney?

If you follow the 36th District Court procedures by denying responsibility within 14 days and requesting a hearing you are “allowed” to represent yourself at the hearing. But your chance of winning your case and “beating” your Detroit traffic ticket are slim without an attorney.

Remember, it will be “your word against the officer’s word” – and who do you think the magistrate is going to believe? Additionally, the officer will typically have cold,  hard “proof” that you were in the form of “radar gun” results. Again, your word versus the radar gun is not likely to get you anywhere. Remember, you will be found guilty if the magistrate believes you were speeding – and it does not matter if you had a good excuse or valid reason for going too fast.

Can an Attorney Fight My Detroit Speeding Ticket?

An experienced Detroit speeding ticket attorney will be familiar with the 36th District Court’s policies, procedures and likely outcomes. An experienced Detroit traffic attorney will know the prosecutors, magistrates and judges.

Typically an attorney has access to meet with the prosecutor before your case even goes in front if the magistrate.  This means that the attorney can often negotiate or work out a speeding ticket “deal” and get a lower fine, fewer or no points, and in many cases can even get your speeding ticket dismissed.

Of course, you do have to pay an attorney. (There are no “appointed  lawyers” for cases that do not involve jail time.) But in the vast majority of cases, investing a relatively small amount of money in an experienced Detroit speeding attorney now can save you thousands of dollars in fines, insurance increases, driver responsibility fees & license restoration costs later!

Our Traffic Attorneys Fight Detroit Speeding Tickets

Our experienced Detroit speeding ticket attorneys will fight aggressively to help you “beat” or reduce your speeding ticket in 36th District Court – or anywhere across Southeast Michigan.

Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your Detroit speeding ticket, or any other driving infraction, in Detroit or anywhere in Michigan.

Fines & Points for Detroit Speeding Tickets

Traffic Attorneys Explain:
Fines & Points for Detroit Speeding Tickets

As experienced Detroit area speeding ticket attorneys, we are frequently contacted by clients asking what the penalties are for speeding tickets in Detroit. In this article you will find the fines, late fees and points you will face for a speeding ticket in Detroit.

Keep in mind that if you pay your ticket , you are admitting responsibility and you will automatically receive the fines and points listed below. Similarly, if you simply “ignore” your speeding ticket and do nothing, you will also receive the points and fines listed here – in addition to a $40 late fee per ticket.

However, an experienced Detroit area speeding ticket attorneys, like our lawyers, can help you reduce fines, avoid points and even get certain speeding tickets completely dismissed. While the fines below may be manageable, points on your driving record can result in thousands of dollars in insurance increases that you may not be able to afford. For this reason, it is always wise to discuss your Detroit speeding ticket with a skilled traffic attorney.

How Much is the Fine for a Detroit Speeding Ticket?

Traffic fines – including speeding tickets – vary from city to city. Your speeding ticket fine will depend upon the District (city) where you received your traffic ticket.

Below are the speeding ticket fines in the City of Detroit (36th District Court).

Detroit Speeding Ticket Fines *

Speeding 1-5/mph Over Speed Limit:         $125.00 ($165.00 after 14 days)

Speeding 6-10/mph Over Speed Limit:       $135.00 ($175.00 after 14 days)

Speeding 11-15/mph Over Speed Limit:     $150.00 ($190.00 after 14 days)

Speeding 16-20/mph Over Speed Limit:     $170.00 ($210.00 after 14 days)

Speeding 21-30 /mph Over Speed Limit:    $180.00 ($220.00 after 14 days)

Speeding 31/mph + Over Speed Limit:       $195.00 ($235.00 after 14 days)

If you have misplaced your Detroit speeding ticket, and don’t remember how many miles per hour “over” the limit your speeding ticket was for, you can call the 36th District Court traffic division at: (313-965-8700).

* These fines are effective at the time this article was posted in October 2017. Traffic ticket fines can and do regularly increase from time to time.

How Many Points for a Detroit Speeding Ticket?

Unlike the fees,  traffic points – including speeding tickets – do not vary from city to city. Points are set by the Secretary of State and are the same no matter where in Michigan you received your speeding ticket. Set point values are assigned to each traffic ticket – the more serious the offense, the greater the points..

Detroit Speeding Ticket Points

10 mph or less over the legal speed limit = 2 points

11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit = 3 points

16 mph or more over the legal speed limit = 4 points

Reckless driving = 6 points

When you are convicted of a speeding – or if you “admit responsibility” by paying the ticket – the points will go on your driving record and remain there for 2 years from the date of the conviction. (note, however, that conviction itself can remain visible for 7-10 years, even after the points drop off. The Secretary of State cannot remove points. In some cases, however, atn attorney may be able to bring a “Motion” to “set aside” the court conviction and the points for it.

Drivers over age 21 will have their license suspended if they get 12 or more points in a two year period.  Drivers between the age of 18 and 20 will have their license suspended if accumulate 9 points in in a 12 month period, or 12 points in a 24 month period of time, 14 points for the duration of the license.

Our Traffic Attorneys Fight Detroit Speeding Tickets

Our experienced speeding ticket attorneys can help you “beat” or reduce your speeding ticket in Detroit’s 36th District Court – or anywhere across Southern Michigan.

Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your Detroit speeding ticket, or any other ticket, in Detroit or anywhere in Michigan.

CLICK HERE to learn more about fighting Detroit Speeding Tickets.