Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Offenses

Recently, the Michigan legislature recently passed an amendment repealing the Driver Responsibility Fee program. The program, enacted in 2003, required drivers guilty of certain traffic offenses to pay annual fees. These fees, which ranged from $100 to $500 per year as well as the $125 driver’s license reinstatement fee, will no longer be collected by the Michigan Department of the Treasury.

Some drivers must continue to make payments, though. Currently, Michigan drivers who entered Driver Responsibility Fee payment plans on or before February 1, 2018 are no longer required to make payments. Their payment plans are terminated. Drivers in this category who do not currently have pending actions against their driver’s licenses may have their licenses reinstated without having to pay the $125 fee any time between now and December 31, 2018. On January 1, 2019, the reinstatement fee will return. Drivers who entered payment plans between February 2, 2018 and March 31, 2018 are required to continue making their payments until October 1, 2018.

Understanding What this Means for You

No one gets behind the wheel of a car expecting to be charged with drunk driving in Michigan, but even a slight lapse in judgment can lead to serious implications. Depending on your history of prior convictions and whether your conduct caused an accident, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony offenses. In addition to fines and potential jail time, a conviction can lead to a driver’s license suspension, sky-high insurance rates, a permanent criminal record, and other consequences. Knowing that prosecutors are cracking down on drunk driving, it’s important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist with your case. An overview of Michigan’s laws on driving while drunk or drugged should help you understand how these cases work.

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

Michigan uses the term “operating” in the context of drunk driving cases, but the charges are similar to DUI. If you’re 21 years or older, you can be arrested for OWI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. The penalties are harsh if you’re convicted:

Say you have a bad driving record with all of these charges, and you have a conviction for drag racing and one for careless driving and now you are charged with reckless driving. You are going to have a hard time convincing the prosecutor and the judge that you are a really good driver and that you deserve a break and some leniency. So the worse your record looks, the more danger you are going to be in when you are in court. The judge and the prosecutor look at their job as protecting the public, and if they see a poor driving record who, in their opinion, disregards the law, they are afraid to give you a break. Their thoughts are that eventually you might get in an accident and kill somebody.

They do not want these problems to land back on their doorstep and have somebody blaming them for not being tough enough on you. There are a lot of factors that go into the final outcome of these cases, and people need to understand that the judge’s point of view is not always the same as theirs. If you do have a bad driving record whether you are going to court for a ticket, a misdemeanor, or a felony, you need to be concerned about how you are going to be treated.

What Are The Penalties Associated With A Reckless Driving Charge?

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