Michigan Speeding Ticket

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If you’ve received a speeding ticket in Michigan, you have the option to plead guilty and pay the fine, plead guilty with explanation, or plead not guilty and fight the ticket in court. 
The consequences of a speeding ticket can be anywhere from an inconvenience to a serious problem. Fines, points on your license, increased insurance rates, or even suspension of your license are all possible punishments for exceeding the posted limit.
If you’ve been ticketed for speeding, the first thing you need to do is brush up on your state’s process for handling speeding violations. Every state has its own procedure and understanding it is crucial for keeping your insurance costs low.  
Fortunately, the car insurance super app Jerry is here to help. This guide will walk you through the Michigan speeding ticket process and ensure you know your options for dealing with your speeding ticket.

What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Michigan? 

If you’ve been caught speeding in Michigan, be prepared to present the officer with your driver’s license and vehicle registration. If you have no prior speeding tickets, there’s a chance you may be let off with a warning. However, it’s more likely you’ll be written a ticket.
Once the officer has filled out your ticket, you’ll be asked to sign it. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt. You are simply agreeing to either appear in court or pay your fine by the listed date.
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What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Michigan? 

There is no state-wide rate for speeding ticket fines in Michigan. Your fine will depend on the county you are in when the ticket is written.
In Branch County, for example, the fines are as follows:
  • 1–5 mph over the speed limit: $115
  • 6–10 mph over: $125
  • 11–15 mph over: $135
  • 16 mph or more over: fine is at the discretion of the local court system
You should keep in mind that these rates are only for speeding on a normal roadway. If you are caught speeding through a construction, school, or other restricted zones, expect to receive a much higher fine. The same is true if you have previous convictions for speeding.

Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Michigan

Once you’ve been issued a speeding ticket in Michigan, there are three ways to handle it:
  • Plead guilty
  • Plead guilty with explanation
  • Fight the ticket in court
If you choose to plead guilty or guilty with explanation, you can file your plea through the mail or in person. In both cases, you will be required to pay the fine and receive a conviction. Demerit points will then be added to your driving record, which can raise your insurance rates.
If you choose to fight the ticket in court, you will need to request a court hearing to plead not guilty. Check your traffic ticket for instructions on how to do so.
Don’t forget to respond to your traffic ticket promptly. When you are issued a ticket, there is a deadline for entering a plea. Failing to respond to the ticket or pay the fine before the due date listed on it will result in a guilty plea and your license being suspended.

How to pay a speeding ticket in Michigan

To pay the fine, check your ticket or contact the appropriate Michigan traffic court for specific instructions. The process for paying a fine may vary by the district court, so it’s important to follow the correct procedure.
Paying your fine online may be an option, but only certain district courts allow it. Check this online application to see if the option is available to you.
When your fine payment has been received, your case will be closed. The conviction will be added to your driving record, as well as applicable demerit points based on the severity of the offense. 

How to fight a speeding ticket in Michigan

There are several ways to fight a speeding ticket in Michigan if you don’t believe you’re guilty, don’t want the points on your driving record, or are unable to pay the fine.

Plead not guilty in court

To plead not guilty, you will need to request a court hearing. To do so, refer to the instructions on your ticket.
When the day of your hearing arrives, you or your lawyer will have a chance to present evidence and witnesses to prove that you were not speeding. There is a chance that the officer who issued your ticket will not appear. In cases like that, your ticket could be dismissed—but don’t count on this happening.
If the officer does appear and you’re unable to convince the judge that you weren’t speeding, you will have to pay the fine along with applicable legal fees. A conviction (and demerit points) will be added to your driving record.

Traffic school

If you can pay your fine but don’t want demerit points added to your driving record, you can attend a Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC).
To attend a BDIC, you must receive permission from the Michigan Secretary of State or the court and meet the following requirements:
  • You received a non-criminal traffic ticket
  • You do not have a commercial driver’s license
  • Your license is not currently suspended or revoked
  • You have less than two points on your record
  • Your ticket has less than three points
  • You have never taken a BDIC before
Typically, the course takes four hours to complete. You or the course provider will submit proof of course completion to the court and two points will be removed from your record.
It’s important to note that the BDIC can only be taken once. Since demerit points only remain on your record for two years and you must request permission from the court to attend, be sure that you want to use up this opportunity.

What if you can’t afford to pay your speeding ticket?

There is no simple way of reducing or eliminating a speeding ticket fine in Michigan and partial payments are not accepted.
If you cannot pay the fine, you will need to:
  • Plead not guilty and prove you were not speeding—but you will risk losing your case and facing legal costs along with the speeding fine
  • File a plea of guilty with explanation and request taking the BDIC in place of the fine
Simply ignoring the ticket and not paying the fine is not an option. Failure to respond to the ticket and pay the fine will result in a guilty plea and suspension of your driver’s license.

Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance? 

If you’ve been found guilty of speeding, expect your insurance costs to increase by around 37%. These rate increases will stay so long as you have demerit points and speeding convictions on your record.
It may be possible to find cheaper rates by switching insurers. To find car insurance quotes quickly, download the Jerry app.
Jerry is a car super app that browses quotes from more than 50 insurance companies to find you the best deals. Once you pick a new policy, Jerry handles all the paperwork to finalize it and helps you cancel your old one.
“My past tickets were making it hard to find affordable insurance. With Jerry, I went from paying $450/month to $273/month. They took care of everything—such a relief!” —Josephine R.
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FAQs

You may lose your license if you have a history of speeding or other traffic violations on your record. The only way to reduce the demerit points on your record is to wait for them to expire in two years or take Michigan’s BDIC.
It’s important to remember that you can also have your license suspended for failing to pay your ticket fees. Always respond to a traffic ticket on time to avoid worse penalties than you’ve already received.
You should only fight your ticket if you have evidence that you were not speeding. Otherwise, it’s easiest to simply pay the ticket fine or file a guilty with explanation plea.
There is a chance that the officer who issued your ticket will not appear in court, which could result in your ticket being dismissed. However, you should never count on this happening.

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