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How Serious is a Red Light Ticket?

By Kathryn Simmons,

A red light ticket will cost you money. You will have to pay a fine. It is considered a moving violation, so it will put points on your driving record. This often causes insurance companies to raise rates – or to cancel policies. You may have to take time off from work or school to go to traffic court. Many people think the aftermath of “blowing through” a signal is serious.

To fight a red light ticket call 248-408-7679 now Attorney Kathryn L Simmons offers affordable flat fees to handle various kinds of traffic cases

What Type Of Red Light Ticket Did You Get?
There are four basic variations. Next to each of them on the list below is the impact a violation has on your driving record – and on your insurance record.

  • Running a red light (3 points)
  • Running an amber (yellow) light (3 points)
  • Right turn on red without stopping (3 points)
  • No turn on red (2 points)
  • Each of these carries a fine of $100

In the case of a red light ticket, many people think the points are the most serious consideration, because there can be financial consequences. When you pay the fine by mail, you are pleading guilty and have been convicted of the crime. The points put on your driving record remain there for two years from the date of conviction. Because the impact on their driving record can cause insurance rates to spike, some people choose to hire a lawyer to dispute the charges.

Can Red Light Ticket Points Be Avoided?
You may be eligible to attend one of Michigan’s Basic Driver Improvement Courses (BDIC). Going to “driving school” can only be used once to keep points off your driving record. There are classroom and online versions and there is a fee to sign up. An attorney can advise you on the “traffic school” option and how it can be pursued.

  • Points add up: Michigan charges a “Driver Responsibility Fee” once a driver has seven points. The fee starts at $100 and increases by $50 for each additional point. If someone already has traffic convictions, the Responsibility Fee can make a traffic signal violation more serious.

A Red Light Ticket: What Can An Attorney Do?
A lawyer can also act as a negotiator with the police officer who wrote the ticket. The officer must appear at the court hearing. Prior to the hearing it may be possible to negotiate a plea to a lesser violation. Similar bargaining can go on with the judge. For example, let’s say that it was possible to negotiate for you to plead guilty to the lesser charge of driving in an unsafe manner. This would mean only 2 points. An attorney can advise you on the specifics of your case. If the officer doesn’t show up, a lawyer could get the case dismissed.

If you got a red light ticket, you may also have driven away with an additional citation. Michigan does not have traffic cameras that link to computer-generated ticketing. So you got pulled over. Frequently, an officer may determine that there was an additional violation. Many a traffic stop ends with an officer saying, “I’m also going to cite you for…” A driver may have been cited for not having registration or an insurance card with them. Or a baby seat wasn’t being used properly. It might be possible for an attorney to get a secondary charge dropped in exchange for accepting guilt on the original violation.

Call 248-408-7679 now. Put 20+ years of local legal experience to work for you

Attorney Kathryn L. Simmons offers affordable flat fees for legal services in Lake Orion, Orion Township, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Waterford, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Macomb County and the Oakland County Circuit Court. No attorney or law firm can guarantee the outcome of your case. However, I can provide you with a free evaluation of the details of your case, and suggest a strategy to pursue the best possible outcome.

How to Fight Traffic Fines

By Kathryn Simmons,

The cost of traffic fines can be greater than the price of paying a legal professional to fight them. That may surprise you, but many very good attorneys will do the work for a set fee. In addition, driving infractions will raise your insurance rates. All you have to do is compare the lawyer’s fee, if the judge bangs the gavel in your favor, with the cost of having the book thrown at you if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Hire a professional to fight traffic fines. Call 248-408-7679. In the long run you could pay less

Most People Don’t Fight It. This May Be A Mistake.
Disputing traffic fines is a hassle. You have to take time away from work or school to go to the hearings. Even if you think the officer was wrong, you have to swallow your ire and be respectful. Too many people think it’s not worth it. Frankly, the court system is counting on it. But consider this: in as many as half of all cases, the officer who wrote the ticket does not show up for the hearing. This can result in a very favorable outcome. Your lawyer will know what to do in this situation and could get the charges dropped.

Types Of Traffic Fines Your Lawyer May Be Able To Fight For You:

  • Speeding
  • Moving violations
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Obstructed vision
  • Illegal or improper turns
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Driver’s license infractions
  • Driving without insurance, registration, or license plates
  • What charge do you face? Call now

Traffic Fines Are Negotiable
Especially if it is your first time, the court has leeway and can be persuaded to exercise it. Most of the time, the case will not be dropped unless the cop doesn’t show up. But a decent legal argument can get the charges lowered, or get the penalty reduced. It is open to negotiation. You would agree to plead guilty to a charge with a lesser penalty – perhaps a standing violation rather than a moving one.

Sometimes the bargaining can be done with the police officer prior to the start of the hearing. Most often it involves the judge or magistrate. Your attorney can make quick work of this. Remember, courts are crowded and everyone “on the other side” is interested in disposing of cases and getting on to the next.

Traffic School
You could be ordered to take a driver safety course in lieu of greater penalties. An attorney can put this option on the table. A driver can avoid “points” on their record if they agree to take classes. Many are web-based and can be taken online.

Traffic Fines If You Live Out Of State
Especially if it is your first ticket, you may be entitled to have an attorney appear at hearings on your behalf. The lawyer will explain your absence. This can be preferable:

  • If you got stopped for speeding while passing through Michigan
  • If you are an out-of-state student and the school year has ended or is on break
  • If you live in-state, and it is your first violation

Call 248-408-7679 if you face traffic fines. Take advantage of affordable flat legal fees

Attorney Kathryn L. Simmons can represent you in traffic hearings in Lake Orion, Orion Township, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Waterford, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Macomb County and the Oakland County Circuit Court. No attorney or law firm can guarantee the outcome of your case. However, I can provide you with a free evaluation of the details of your case, and suggest a strategy to pursue the best possible outcome.

When Should I Call a Drunk Driving Lawyer?

By Kathryn Simmons,

A successful drunk driving lawyer will tell you that you need to hire an attorney as soon as possible after you have been arrested for OWI, OWPD, or OVI in Michigan. That’s not hype. That’s fact. The more time an attorney is given to develop and put into action a defense strategy – the better the opportunities for a favorable conclusion of the case. Remember: your freedom and your future are on the line.

Call 248-408-7679 now if you have been arrested for OWI, OWPD, or OVI. I can come to you, or you can come to my office.

You May Be Thinking About Waiting
The inclination may be to tell yourself that you can put off hiring an attorney. After all, you have already been arrested and “booked”. You reason with yourself – telling yourself that you got through the night of your arrest without legal help.

In the State of Michigan, the legislature has mandated that courts decide drunk driving cases within 77 days after the arrest is made.

In other words, your drunk driving lawyer needs to get to work. You could be sentenced in 77 days – just 11 weeks. The legislature did not set that timeline to help DUI offenders. They didn’t do it so that you can put it all behind you and get on with your life. The 77 day timeline is an attempt by the legislature to get impaired drivers punished as quickly as possible. For that reason, your legal defense must be mapped out and implemented rapidly.

You Want Your Drunk Driving Lawyer To Build A Solid Case

  • You hope to have an influence on the severity of your punishment
  • You question the results of the blood alcohol tests
  • You doubt the police reason for the roadside stop
  • You have witnesses you believe need to be interviewed
  • You want to stay out of jail
  • You don’t want to lose your job
  • Even if you know you are guilty

You Can’t Count On Getting The Mandatory Minimum Sentences
A drunk driving lawyer will be working to impact the outcome of your case. Michigan has minimum sentences, even for first offenses. For instance, you will pay a fine of $100 to $500 for a first-time DUI conviction. But the law then says you will receive “one or more” additional penalties. How many “more” may be where your lawyer can have an impact. For instance, “up to 93 days in jail.” From jail time, to community service time, to the length of time you lose your driver’s license – all of these punishments may become negotiable. An attorney can begin immediately working toward an optimal outcome.

Are You Searching For A Lawyer For Someone Else?
If the person needing a drunk driving lawyer is someone other than you, and you have come to this webpage researching attorneys on their behalf, you will be doing them a great service if you hook them up with an attorney as soon as possible.

Not Your First Offense?
People who find they are moving through the criminal justice system for the first time may think that they can go it alone. Ironically, people who have been through it once tend to understand very clearly why they can benefit from having good legal representation from the start. Too often, the system treats someone who has been arrested for DUI as if they are presumed guilty. No one in the system is on their side – except their attorney.

For an experienced, aggressive drunk driving lawyer. Call 248-408-7679 now I can come to you if needed

Kathryn L. Simmons is a drunk driving lawyer serving Lake Orion, Orion Township, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Waterford, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Macomb County and the Oakland County Circuit Court. No attorney or law firm can guarantee the outcome of your case. However, I can provide you with a free evaluation of the details of your case, and suggest a strategy to pursue the best possible outcome.

What are the Laws for a First DUI?

By Kathryn Simmons,

A first DUI conviction in Michigan is serious. The laws here are written to be very tough. If you have been arrested and it is your first offense, do not assume that a judge or prosecutor will automatically cut you any slack because it is your first mistake. The laws set minimum penalties that the court must impose. And the sentences are often much greater than the minimums. This is why people hire attorneys: to work toward the most suitable outcome in their case.

If this is your first DUI charge, you need a lawyer. Call 248-408-7679 now. Get a free initial consultation

A first DUI will be designated either an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) or an OWPD (Operating With any Presence of a schedule 1 drug or cocaine). There is a separate and tougher portion of the law governing an OWI with high BAC (blood alcohol content). Finally, there is OVI (Operating while Visibly Impaired).

If the first DUI is OWI or OWPD:

You face a fine of $100 to $500. In addition, you can expect at least one more and perhaps other additional penalties:

  • You could be sentenced to up to 93 days in jail
  • A judge could require up to 360 hours of community service
  • Your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days; there will then be license restrictions for 150 days
  • A judge could require that your vehicle be immobilized so that you can’t drive
  • An ignition interlock device may be ordered
  • You face 6 points on your driving record
  • Michigan imposes what is called a Driver Responsibility Fee. For OWI, it is $1,000 for 2 consecutive years. For OWPD, it is $500 for 2 years.

If the first DUI is high BAC:

This is a Michigan law you don’t find in all states. It is still considered OWI, but the majority of the penalties were designed to be harsher. The fine is at least $200 and up to $700, with one or more additional consequences:

  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • A suspended driver’s license for 1 year; you would be eligible to have your attorney seek a restricted license after 45 days, but you would have to accept an ignition interlock device on all vehicles you own or operate, including work vehicles
  • 6 points added to your driving record
  • The Driver Responsibility Fee would be set at $1,000 per year for 2 consecutive years
  • Your vehicle could be immobilized if you were to drive without a properly installed ignition interlock device

In a first DUI with high BAC, a defense attorney may seek to challenge the credibility of the blood test results. In some instances, this has resulted in the lesser charge of OWI. There have been situations in which the blood evidence was not allowed at all and the case fell apart. Every case is different, and your lawyer must determine which strategy is appropriate to your situation.

OVI – Operating while Visibly Impaired:

This arrest is based on what a police officer observes, such as weaving between lanes or slurred speech. The law allows for a fine of up to $300 and one or more additional penalties:

  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • A restricted driver’s license for 90 days
  • Possible vehicle immobilization
  • 4 points on your driving record
  • A Driver Responsibility Fee of $500 for 2 consecutive years

For aggressive defense against your first DUI. Call 248-408-7679 now. I can come to you, or you can come to my office

Call Attorney Kathryn L. Simmons for a defense attorney in Lake Orion, Orion Township, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Waterford, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Macomb County and the Oakland County Circuit Court. No attorney or law firm can guarantee the outcome of your case. However, I can provide you with a free evaluation of the details of your case, and suggest a strategy to pursue the best possible outcome.