Dealing with a civil traffic citation can be a headache, but facing a criminal traffic charge is more than just a hassle. You will need an experienced Michigan traffic lawyer on your side to work towards keeping your driving record clear.
There are numerous situations that could lead to criminal traffic charges. Some of the most common criminal traffic offenses include reckless driving, aggressive driving and road rage, felony operation of a vehicle, driving under the influence or while intoxicated, moving violation causing serious injury and/or death, and others. An experienced Michigan traffic attorney has handled all types of traffic charges.
Reckless driving charges can be filed against anyone a police officer believes has engaged in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others on any Michigan roadway, or other public places including parking lots. Reckless driving in Michigan is considered a misdemeanor criminal offense and is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Because the Michigan law regarding reckless driving is so vague, almost any conduct could potentially be considered reckless driving, including speeding or excessive speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, or causing serious injury and/or death, for instance. Michigan traffic lawyers can fight to have unfair reckless driving charges dropped.
Drivers in Michigan can also be charged with felony driving misconduct, which encompasses anything that could be considered willful and wanton disregard for others’ safety in a manner that rises above negligence and is considered intentional, such as road rage or aggressive driving.
Felony operation of a vehicle is punishable by up to two years in jail and $2000 in fines. This is a very serious charge. An experienced traffic attorney in Michigan can seek to have felony operation of a vehicle charges reduced to reckless driving, or even to a simple careless driving infraction, which is not considered a criminal offense.
Michigan has very severe alcohol and drug related driving charges and penalties. Drivers with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or above can be charged with a DUI, while drivers with a BAC level of 0.17% or higher may be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or OWI.
A first-offense DUI carries a penalty of up to 93 days in jail and $500 in fines, as well as 360 hours of community service. A high BAC (breath or blood alcohol at or above .17) OWI carries a penalty of up to $700 in fines, 180 days in jail and 360 hours of community service.
In addition, both charges carry significant license suspension and points against a driver’s license, and subsequent alcohol-related driving charges carry increasingly severe penalties. Anyone faced with an alcohol-related driving charge needs the assistance of an experienced Michigan traffic attorney immediately.