Lawyers Explain Changes to Driver’s License Suspensions

Livonia Traffic Tickets Lawyers Discuss Changes
to Michigan Driver’s License Suspension Law

Vehicle codes in thirty-nine states provide that licenses of anyone who fails to pay any fines or fees (including minor traffic tickets) will be suspended whether or not they are financially capable of paying them. Michigan is currently one of those thirty-nine states. However, that could change in the near future.

Lawyers File Class Action Lawsuit Against State of Michigan

A lawsuit was initially brought in Michigan on behalf of plaintiffs Adrian Fowler and Kitia Harris, both single mothers living in the Detroit area. Both Fowler and Harris received minor traffic violations, and because they were financially incapable of paying the citations, their licenses were suspended. Ms. Fowler had to turn down higher-paying jobs in Detroit’s suburbs because public transportation was unavailable. Ms. Harris has a chronic medical condition, and on several occasions was either late or missed medical appointments entirely because she was no longer able to drive once her license was suspended. In the course of its investigation, lawyers with Equal Justice Under Law discovered approximately 100,000 additional individuals who were not able to pay traffic tickets due to financial hardship, and whose licenses had also been suspended. The lawsuit was then filed as a class action against the State of Michigan (Fowler v. Johnson). Through the class action suit, Equal Justice Under Law, a nonprofit group, seeks to end the policy of suspending driver’s licenses to affected Michigan drivers.

Equal Justice Under Law’s position is that Michigan’s current law violates the Equal Protection and Due Process rights as well as the right to intrastate travel (a right that is recognized in the Sixth Circuit which encompasses Michigan, among other states). According to the lawsuit, attempting to force payment by taking away a party’s ability to drive, and thereby hindering their ability to work, makes no rational sense. The current law seems to unfairly single out the poor, while at the same time, it impedes their ability to find employment, travel to their jobs and earn money that would enable them to pay their court-ordered fines. According to Equal Justice Under Law, this is a violation of substantive due process rights, and the automatic suspension, which deprives impoverished drivers of their driver’s licenses without an ability-to-pay hearing, is a violation of their procedural due process rights.

Judge says Michigan can’t Suspend Driver’s License for Financial Inability to Pay Traffic Tickets and Fines

On December 14, 2017, Judge Linda V. Parker of the Eastern District of Michigan granted a motion for preliminary injunction, finding that the procedural due process claim was likely valid. Michigan’s Secretary of State was ordered to stop suspending driver’s licenses of people who were not able to pay court debts and tickets due to financial inability. The injunction is currently stayed pending appeal in the Sixth Circuit. Equal Justice Under Law issued a press release stating that this is the first time a preliminary injunction has been issued by a federal judge blocking suspension of driver’s licenses based upon economic ability to pay. In her ruling, Judge Parker stated that suspension of an individual’s driver’s license seemed “an unwise response” because the suspension would make it harder to find or keep a job that could enable the individual to repay his or her debts.

Equal Justice Under Law called this a well-reasoned and thorough opinion, and looks forward to the day when the preliminary injunction becomes permanent.

Livonia Area Traffic Ticket Lawyers

Our Livonia area traffic ticket lawyers will continue to monitor changes to Michigan Driver’s License Suspension Law being affected by this case.

In the meantime, if your driver’s license has been suspended, contact our Livonia area traffic ticket lawyers.

We will offer you a free consultation to discuss your options for driver’s license restoration, so you can get back on the road, and back to work, and back to your daily activities.

Free Consultation
Livonia Area Traffic Ticket Lawyers: 800-717-4757

How Lawyers Fight Speeding Tickets in Livonia, MI

How Lawyers Fight Speeding Tickets in Livonia, MI

A common question asked of traffic ticket attorneys is, “Can you beat a Livonia speeding ticket?” The easy answer is “yes,” but likely not without the help of an experienced attorney with specialized knowledge of traffic law and Livonia’s 16th District Court.

Defending against a speeding ticket depends on the individual circumstances of the case, and also the kind of speed limit that was exceeded. Attorneys typically use one of the following defenses: either the defendant claims that he or she was not driving faster than the speed limit, or the defendant claims that he or she was justified in exceeding the speed limit.

Our experienced Livonia traffic ticket attorneys note that there are generally four ways that police officers measure the speed a vehicle is traveling: pacing, sight, radar or laser. Each method can be challenged based upon various theories and criteria.

Lawyers Challenge Speeding Tickets Based Upon “Sight” or “Pacing”

Determining speed by “sight” means that a police officer is stationary, and estimates the driver’s speed by observation. “Pacing,” on the other hand, involves estimation of speed by the officer driving in the same direction, matching the speed of the vehicle in question. In either case, a citation may be disputed by challenging the reliability of the officer’s ability to measure and determine the speed accurately. A driver might challenge the ticket by questioning the officer’s ability to see the driver’s vehicle either long enough or clearly enough for the estimate to be accurate. An officer’s lack of training or certification in speed estimation may also be brought into question.

Lawyers Challenge Speed-measuring Device in Speeding Ticket Cases

Devices such as RADAR and LIDAR are often used to measure the speed of suspect vehicles. (Radar uses radio signals to calculate the speed of a vehicle, and LIDAR uses lasers.) Either of these methods are more accurate than an officer’s estimation of speed, but neither is infallible. If a driver receives a speeding ticket based upon either radar or LIDAR technology, it might be argued that the device wasn’t calibrated correctly or as often as required, and therefore produced a faulty reading. Another defense might be that the officer was not trained sufficiently or properly, and a faulty reading was the result of the officer’s inexperience or operational error. Additionally, in heavy traffic, it can be argued that the device inadvertently picked up the speed of a different vehicle. With laser technology, light conditions (bright sunlight or glare) can interfere with a proper reading.

Lawyers Fight Speeding Tickets in Livonia by Showing “Safe Speed”

Sometimes, citations are issued for violating a presumed speed limit. In this instance, a traffic ticket attorney might argue that the speed the driver was traveling was actually safe when taking into consideration the weather, traffic, or other conditions.

Lawyers Fight Speeding Tickets in Livonia by Showing “Necessity or Emergency”

Occasionally emergencies happen, and you may have no other choice than to exceed the speed limit. This is called the “choice of evils” defense. An attorney would argue that the driver’s excessive speed was necessary to prevent immediate harm to either the driver or to others. In this case, the driver admits to driving too fast, but speeding was necessary to avoid a greater harm. Note that a Court may require witnesses or documentation verifying that a genuine emergency existed.

Livonia Lawyers Beat Speeding Tickets

In short, it is possible to “beat” a speeding ticket. However, in almost all cases, you will need an attorney who has experience in traffic law and is familiar with the various defenses and challenges under Michigan law that will yield the best possible result. We know Livonia’s 16th District Court inside and out – so hiring our attorneys greatly increases your chances of getting your fines and points reduced or dismissed entirely.

In many situations we can even represent you without the need for you to appear in court – so there is no need for you to return to LIvonia or any other District Court!

Free Consultation
Livonia Area Speeding Ticket Lawyer: 800-717-4757

5 Reasons Why Romulus Issues so Many Traffic Tickets

5 Reasons Why Romulus Issues so Many Traffic Tickets

Our traffic ticket attorneys represent men and women across all of Southeast Michigan – but nowhere does there seem to be a higher number of traffic tickets than in Romulus! In this article our traffic lawyers explain some of the possible reasons why Romulus is the “ticket capital” of the Detroit area.

(1.) Romulus Has 5 Police Entities that Can Write Tickets

Unfortunately, there are four police departments who can give you a traffic ticket if you are driving in Romulus, Michigan – which is higher than almost any other city in Southeast Michigan. And more cops simply means more tickets.

The Romulus Police Department has jurisdiction to issue traffic tickets in Romulus. And since Romulus is in Wayne County, you can also receive a traffic ticket from a Wayne County Sheriff deputy. Additionally, the Michigan State Police have jurisdiction to issue traffic tickets on any highways (such as I-275 and I-94) , as well as in towns and cities anywhere within the state of Michigan.

However, people often do not realize that a fourth police department, The Detroit Metro Airport Police, has the authority to issue tickets at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) which is also in Romulus.

Unfortunately, this means that if you commit even a minor, unintentional driving mistake in Romulus there’s probably an officer nearby ready to write you a ticket.

(2.) Police Department Traffic Ticket “Quotas”

Romulus, like most jurisdictions have a target number of tickets for officers to issue every month. While police departments do not like to call them “quotas” that is essentially what they are. And failure of a traffic police officer to write enough tickets will reflect poorly in their “performance standard review.”

(3.) Romulus Traffic Tickets are Big  Revenue

According to an article in Detroit Business Journal DBusiness, the revenue from traffic tickets for the Romulus 34th District Court was more than $23.9 million for 2005-2009. While Romulus only has a population of 23,281 (2016), according to that article 238,788 moving violations were issued in Romulus during this period!

As you can see that’s traffic tickets equate to BIG revenue for a small city.

(4.) NHTSA Grants Ride on Traffic Ticket

The federal government provides grant money to many local police departments through National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) Grants. Examples of these grant programs are seat belt enforcement initiatives and drunk driving prevention road checks around the holidays.

But in order to receive federal grant money the Police Department must report the number of traffic stops and traffic tickets issued – so the NHTSA can confirm that its grant money is being properly allocated. In other words, more tickets equals more grant money in the future.

(3.) Out of State Residents are Airport Traffic Ticket Targets

Finally, the presence of Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus is a big contributor to the number of traffic tickets written in Romulus. More than 34 million travelers pass through Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) in Romulus every year – creating thousands of potential traffic ticket victims.

And, most jurisdictions love to target out-of-town visitors, since they know non-residents will often just pay the ticket rather than having to return and fight it.

Romulus Traffic Attorney Beats Traffic Tickets

Whether you live in Romulus, or were just passing through, our experienced traffic attorneys are committed to offering you the most effective representation in your traffic ticket case. We provide the most skilled and aggressive representation at the most affordable prices. And your first consultation is always FREE.

In many situations we can even represent you without the need for you to appear in court – so there is no need for you to return to Romulus!

Free Consultation
Romulus Traffic Attorney: 800-717-4757

How to Fight Detroit Metro Airport Tickets Without Returning

Detroit Metro Airport Tickets:
How to Fight Tickets Without Returning

If you’re one of the more than 34 million travelers who pass through Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) you’ve probably seen the very large police presence in the area. Unfortunately this means that thousands of tickets are issued in and around Detroit Metro Airport every year.

If you are one of the unlucky travellers who had their trip ruined by a ticket – we can help. In the vast majority of cases we can handle your airport ticket without the need for you to come back to the Detroit area!

In this article our experienced ticket lawyers explain what you can do about a ticket received at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Traffic Tickets Near Detroit Metro Airport

The Detroit Metro Airport Police (DTW) are a special police force responsible for providing law enforcement services to all Airport Authority locations in Detroit including Detroit Metro Airport (DTW). The Romulus Police Department also has jurisdiction at DTW and can issue tickets there. And the  Michigan State Police have jurisdiction to issue traffic tickets on any highways, and in unincorporated areas as well as all the towns and cities anywhere within the state of Michigan. Additionally, since Detroit Metro is located in Wayne County, there is also the possibility of receiving a traffic ticket from a Wayne County Sheriff deputy.

Unfortunately, this means that when you are at Detroit Metro, there are four police entities who can give you a ticket.

TSA Checkpoint Violation “Tickets”

The TSA also issues “checkpoint violations” – and although these are not technically “tickets” the recipient is usually just issued a citation and allowed to proceed with his or her travel plans.

Most of these checkpoint violations simply involve the unintentional possession of an item that is prohibited by the TSA such as a pocket knife or even scissors.  While the traveller may have been allowed to go on their way after the item was confiscated, it is important to understand that a checkpoint violation that occurs at Detroit Metro Airport is still a criminal offense.

Handling a Detroit Metro Airport Ticket Without Returning

Both traffic tickets, and most “checkpoint violations” and other citations issued at Detroit Metro are handled by the 34th District Court in Romulus. Felony charges at the airport begin with an arraignment in the 34th District Court, but are subsequently moved to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit

Unfortunately, many individuals facing a traffic tickets and checkpoint violations outside of the Detroit area.

In almost all traffic situations we can represent you without the need for you to appear in court – and no need for you to return to the Detroit Metro area.

Because a checkpoint violation is considered a criminal offense, a personal appearance in court is usually required. In some cases, however, the 34th District Court will allow a licensed attorney to Michigan attorney to appear for some court proceedings on behalf of the alleged offender.

Detroit Metro Airport Ticket Attorneys

Our Detroit Metro Airport ticket attorneys have an excellent track record of negotiating results in traffic cases that avoid any points and do not appear on your driving record. Our attorneys have also assisted many Detroit area residents and non-residents with Detroit Metro Airport criminal & misdemeanor checkpoint violations with fantastic results.

It is a fact that individuals who hire experienced attorneys face significantly lower penalties than those who don’t.

Our Detroit Metro Airport area traffic attorneys are committed to offering you the most effective representation in your case, at the most affordable prices. And your first consultation is always FREE.

Free Consultation
Detroit Metro Airport Ticket Attorney: 800-717-4757