A Careless Driving Ticket Michigan – Do I need a traffic lawyer?

A careless driving ticket Michigan is a civil infraction. It involves driving a motor vehicle in a careless or negligent manner. This careless driving is not conducted in a willful or wanton disregard of the safety of others. This absence of operating with a careless and wanton disregard of others personal safety and property is what separates careless driving from reckless driving.

Like all civil infractions it is not a crime and will not affect your criminal record. You cannot go to jail as a result of a Careless Driving Ticket in Michigan. Reckless driving is a criminal misdemeanor and can involve a jail sentence.

Consequences of a careless driving

A careless driving is a civil infraction ticket that usually carries fines and court costs of around $200. It will add three points to your master Michigan driving record. Since it is a civil infraction Michigan traffic lawyers can appear for you and resolve this matter, so you do not have to miss work. 

careless or reckless driving michigan

What is Careless Driving in Michigan?

Basically a careless driving ticket involves driving in a negligent manner without an intent to cause anyone injury. It can involve situations where a driver is driving too fast for road conditions, or driving through a stop sign or even texting while driving.

Basically it involves situations where the driver drives in a careless or negligent manner. The statute that defines careless driving in Michigan does not define the specific behaviors that constitute careless driving.

 Careless Driving Statute in Michigan Law is defined under MCL 257.626b

Michigan Motor Vehicle Code defines careless driving in Michigan. Careless Driving Statute in Michigan is found under MCL 257.626b and states:

“A person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public including an area designated for the parking of vehicles in a careless or negligent manner likely to endanger any person or property, but without wantonness or recklessness, is responsible for a civil infraction.” 

Michigan Motor Vehicle Code Section 257.626b

How much is a careless driving ticket in the state of Michigan?

A careless driving ticket causing an accident will usually result in a higher fine. In addition, three points on your Michigan master driving record can impact your car insurance rates. 

It is important to remember that if a motorist accumulates a total of 12 points on their master Michigan driver’s record their license will be suspended and they will no longer be able to operate a vehicle in Michigan.

An experienced traffic attorney can often work with the prosecutor to reduce the charges. Often a Michigan traffic lawyer can secure a plea agreement involving a no point offense, such as a Michigan Impeding Traffic charge.

Procedures for dealing with a Careless Driving Ticket

When you have to deal with a careless driving ticket in Michigan you can either admit responsibility and pay the fine or challenge the ticket. You can request an informal or formal hearing and have the facts of the ticket litigated.

Requesting a hearing before a magistrate or judge

An informal hearing is a judicial hearing in front of a magistrate. A formal hearing is a hearing where a district court judge makes the decision. Regardless of what type of hearing you choose the Court will make a determination of guilt as to whether or not you were careless driving.

A careless driving ticket is a very subjective determination made by the officer that issued the citation. It is this determination the judge would make at the formal hearing. It is at the formal hearing that evidence is presented that you want considered by the Court.

Defense of a careless driving citation

Often if you have a compelling explanation to present to the Judge a careless driving ticket can be dismissed. It is always advisable to have an attorney when you have a court matter. There are Michigan Court rules and Michigan Rules of Criminal Procedure that have to be followed.

As you can see it is best to talk to an experienced traffic defense attorney before making that decision.

The Differences Between a Careless Driving Ticket and a Reckless Driving Ticket

The difference between careless driving and reckless driving is the absence of this ”wanton and reckless” conduct. Often your attorney can argue a reckless driving ticket down to a careless driving ticket. A reduction to a careless driving from a reckless driving ticket is a very good outcome.

michigan civil infraction reckless driving

What is a Reckless Driving Charge in Michigan?

Where as careless driving is a civil infraction a reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are punishable with a possible jail sentence.

The distinction between careless and reckless driving comes down to intent. Careless driving is defined as only involving negligent or careless conduct. Reckless driving is when a driver operate his vehicle with a “willful and wanton” disregard to the dangers to other persons.

Reckless driving requires evidence that the driver both knew his or her driving behavior was likely to endanger others and decided to put someone in danger anyway. Reckless driving requires the person knew this and drove recklessly anyway.

In most instances, reckless driving on public roads is a misdemeanor and can be punished with as much as $500 in fines and 93 days in jail.

Felonious Reckless Driving

If you cause serious injury another person you can be found guilty of a felony reckless driving criminal charge. The amount of prison time you face depends on the extent of the serious injury caused the other party.

You want a reckless driving ticket reduced to a Careless Driving Michigan Ticket

A reckless driving ticket is a misdemeanor that is punishable by 93 days in jail, a fine up to $500 and 6 points being added to your Michigan driving record. A plea bargain to a careless driving charge would be better than the reckless charge.

As you can see a reduction to a careless driving charge has many advantages when compared to a reckless driving charge. With a careless driving there is no possibility of jail. The fines are substantially reduced. The points are reduced to three from six on your Michigan master driving record.

If you have a Careless Driving Michigan ticket in Michigan call a traffic attorney to assist you

Bruce Law firm has traffic attorneys in Monroe, Michigan to assist you with a careless driving ticket in Michigan. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you get the best deal possible saving you court costs and fines as well as helping to minimize the impact a traffic ticket can have on your driving privileges and car insurance rates. 

Call today for a free consultation with a traffic defense attorney.