Detroit Traffic Lawyers Explain:
How to Fight a Speeding Ticket
If you have received a speeding ticket in the greater Detroit area, you are likely concerned about the effect that the points will have on your driving record and your auto insurance rates. Our experienced Detroit area speeding ticket lawyers will give you a free consultation to help you understand the points, fines, penalties and other consequences you are facing.
Below is a brief explanation of the “steps” you can take in fighting a Detroit area speeding ticket. However, you should always call an experienced traffic lawyer to understand the best steps to take in your specific speeding ticket.
The Speeding Ticket Process in Detroit
Under Michigan law, speeding is a “civil infraction” – this means that it is not a misdemeanor or a felony and you cannot be sentenced to any jail time. However you can get points, you can lose your license and you can be assessed big fines for a speeding ticket. Points can cost you thousands of dollars in increased insurance rates.
If you simply pay your speeding ticket, you are “admitting responsibility” and you will receive the points. Once you do this, you are “stuck” with those points on your driving record.
However, if you ignore your speeding ticket, you will “automatically” be found responsible and will also receive the fine, and the points, plus late fees.
Your third and best option is usually “contesting” (fighting) the ticket. In most cases, investing a relatively small amount of money to hire a skilled traffic lawyer can save you hundreds of dollars in fines and thousands of dollars in insurance increases, driver responsibility fees & license restoration costs later!
There are three steps to fighting a speeding tickets.
1. Informal Hearing for Speeding Tickets
Your speeding ticket will tell you how to call, write or come in to the court to request an informal hearing. It will also state how many days you have to respond. Once you request an informal hearing, the Court will mail you a court date.
Do not miss your court date or you will lose automatically (by “default”) and you can expect the maximum fines and points, as well as possible additional court costs.
The Informal Hearing is conducted by a magistrate not a judge.
2. Formal Hearing for Speeding Tickets
If you request a formal hearing, you will be notified by mail of your court date. The formal hearing will be held before a judge. You cannot get a jury trial for a speeding ticket because it is a civil infraction.
Excuses for missing your hearing are not typically accepted. It is your responsibility to find out when your hearing is and to be there or you will “automatically” lose.
It is important to have a skilled traffic lawyer represent you at the Formal Hearing.
Without a lawyer a formal hearing can actually make thing worse. The magistrate could add court costs to your fine if you lose. Or, if the officer gave you a break when writing the ticket and wrote it for a lesser speed, the judge could increase your speeding ticket at the Formal Hearing.
Why you need a traffic lawyer for Speeding Ticket Hearings
Contact a speeding ticket lawyer as soon as possible so that they have time to prepare the best “defense” for you. If you have received a speeding ticket and you have a Formal Hearing date coming up and you do not have a lawyer, call us immediately.
An experienced traffic ticket lawyer who has been in that court many times will know the prosecutor and the magistrate and will have a good relationship with him or her. As skilled traffic lawyer will know what to say – and what the prosecutor and magistrate are likely to accept – in terms of reducing or dismissing a charge.
In many cases, a lawyer may be able to get your speeding ticket reduced from a “moving violation” to a “non-moving violation” which will reduce or eliminate the points. This is important because it can protect you from a future suspension if you have (or get) other points. And reducing the points will help keep your insurance rates from going up – which can save you thousands of dollars a year.
3. Second Formal Hearing or “Appeal”
If you lose in the Informal Hearing and also in the First Formal Fearing, you can appeal your speeding ticket to a Second Formal Hearing or “Appeal”.
However, no new “evidence” can be presented at the appeal. For this reason it is typically much better to ensure that you hire a lawyer to get the best results at the Informal Hearing or First Formal Hearing.
Our experienced speeding ticket lawyers can help you determine if it is worth the time and expense to file an “appeal” after the first Formal Hearing. In some cases, there may be nothing you can do. However, in many cases a skilled traffic lawyer can argue that the judge or prosecutor did not follow the law or procedure correctly – which may result in a successful appeal.
Our Detroit Traffic Lawyers Can Help
We have fought aggressively to help hundreds of people in the Detroit area fight their speeding tickets and avoid points that could result in increased insurance, license suspensions & large driver responsibility fees. Call our affordable Detroit area traffic ticket lawyers today for a free consultation, to see how we can help you fight your speeding ticket.