We all get a traffic ticket eventually. Most likely for speeding, but also for infractions such as failure to yield, improper lane use, or disobeying a traffic signal.
Many of these tickets can result in points on your driver’s license, which can be seen on your driving record for a couple of years and be accessed by insurance companies.
You do not have to simply pay the traffic ticket. You have one of two options.
The first option is to have an attorney go to Court for you to speak with the prosecutor. You would not need to attend Court – the attorney can go in your place.
The goal would be to make a deal with the prosecutor in which the current traffic ticket is dismissed in exchange for a ticket that has less impact on your driver’s license.
The desired outcome is for a new ticket that is a non-moving violation with no points, which would not be reported to the Secretary of State, and insurance would not find out about the ticket. These tickets are often called impeding traffic, double parking, or blockading traffic, depending on the Court.
The second option is to fight the ticket. A formal hearing can be held in which the prosecutor must prove you committed the infraction charged. The police officer and any witnesses would testify, and then you would have the option of testifying. The judge would make the decision on who wins.
The hearing is a civil proceeding as opposed to criminal, meaning the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, rather than beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal proceedings.
This means it is easier for the prosecution to win these hearings because the burden of proof is lower for the prosecution.
However, in a situation in which no deals are available to you, fighting the traffic ticket may be necessary, regardless of the difficulties in winning.
Sam Bernstein is a traffic ticket lawyer in Ann Arbor.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.