Fight Traffic Ticket in Michigan

Caught with a citation you don't deserve? Take it to court and fight for your rights.

Read below to find out how to plead not guilty to your Michigan traffic ticket and what you can expect during the process.

Pleading Not Guilty in Michigan

The way you fight a traffic ticket in Michigan is by pleading not guilty.

To do so, you'll have to notify the proper MI county court of your decision. You can typically do this either:

  • Through the mail.
  • Over the phone.
  • In person.

Your traffic ticket will have specific details on:

  • Which court to contact.
  • Addresses and phone numbers.
  • Time frames to respond by.

The time frame is important. In some counties, you will automatically be found guilty and fined if you fail to respond in time.

Once you receive the court date for your arraignment, you'll have to appear at the proper place and time, and:

  • Plead not guilty.
  • Request a trial.
    • This may or may not be held on the same day.

*NOTE: Pleading not guilty means you feel you did not violate the law. It's highly recommended to have some evidence to prove it. Expect court officials to question you on your innocence.

(Traffic) School Is in Session

Traffic school is about more than just grades. Attending may help you get your violation dismissed. Find out how a little extra time in traffic school may be able to help you.

Fighting Your MI Traffic Ticket

After pleading guilty at your arraignment, your trial will be scheduled. Trial may or may not be scheduled for the same day.

Michigan doesn't guarantee a court-appointed lawyer for traffic violations, so consider hiring an MI traffic ticket attorney. Otherwise, you'll represent yourself in court.

Whenever you do go to trial, you will then get the chance to:

  • Argue the law.
  • Call witnesses.
  • Present evidence.
  • Question the officer who issued the citation.

Once all sides are heard from, your traffic ticket case will be considered and decided on by a judicial officer.

Potential Costs

Aside from the traffic ticket fine, there are plenty of financial factors at stake when you contest a citation in Michigan.

Make sure to keep the following costs in mind when deciding whether to fight your MI traffic ticket:

Effects of Tickets on Car Insurance

If you lose your case, you could see a much higher car insurance rate. Find out how to avoid that fate with our guide to tickets and car insurance.

Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket

When everything is said and done, the judiciary official will rule on your case.

If you win and are ruled not guilty, you will NOT have to:

  • Pay the traffic ticket fine.
  • Have the violation on your driving record.

However, if you lose and are found guilty, you could be liable for:

  • Paying the original fine.
  • Paying additional court fees.
  • Having the citation added to your driving record.

Depending on how severe the infraction was, if you lose, you could also be looking at:

Ask the judiciary official or your traffic ticket attorney about finalizing all paperwork and any other potential consequences of losing your case.

Keep Track of Your Driving Record

This court case could alter the course of your driving record! After fighting your ticket, make sure the document is accurate by ordering a copy of your driving record for review.

Missing Your Court Date

Missing your court date for your MI traffic ticket carries several potential heavy penalties, including:

  • Having a warrant issued for your arrest.
  • Points added to your license.
  • License suspension.
  • The violation going on your record.
  • Paying the fine and additional court fees.

Most Michigan counties will allow you to request a new court date if you contact them ahead of time. It's highly recommended to contact the proper MI county court as soon as possible after realizing you won't make your court date.

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