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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Unhappy Michigan Speeding ticket - Washtenaw county

    I did a quick search, but feel that my ticket has special circumstances. I was on 94E near US12. There was a cargo van directly behind me and a white truck to my right. I was in the left lane, going with the flow of traffic and not maybe going 75 in a 70. The white truck to my right (I may have been in its blind spot?) was swerving all over the road. The driver was on a cell phone, and may even have been drinking. The truck attempted to merge into my lane, pushing me into the concrete median (only about half a lane). I laid on the horn and the guy kinda backed off into his lane, but kept swerving around. I could not slow down (Van behind me), and was not comfortable being next to this joker. So, I hit the gas to get out of there... and just as I got clear of the white truck... Yup... Copper sitting on the side of the road. DOh.

    I slowed down and pulled over. Tried being nice to the police officer. I asked if I could explain the situation, but he seemed aggrivated with me. I did try to explain... Wrote me up at 92/70 (actual speed he claims). I certainly do not know what speed I was going, as I was only concerned with getting out of a bad situation.

    What are my options here? It looks like this is a 4 point ticket! And I do not feel that it is justified. I mean, I wasn't hauling down the road in excessive speed. I was just in a bad spot. Doesn't seem right to me.

    My ticket shows a few options:
    -Admit responsibility
    -Admit with explanation

    Do I want to admit with explanation in hopes they reduce the fine or eliminate points? Or do I deny responsibility and schedule a court date?? If I go to court, would I just explain what I put here, or is there a better route to go? I assume I would be admitting to speeding, if I state that I accelerated to get out of the situation... but it is a tricky spot.

    I do not know the details of the Michigan traffic law. Can someone offer some advice on this one?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Michigan Speeding ticket - Washtenaw county

    What is sounds like is you may have a defense of justification, assuming such a defense is recognized under Michigan law. In a nutshell you were speeding but it was only because of the conduct of the other driver--in essence, you had to speed to avoid the possiblity or probability of a more serious crime that could have been perpetrated upon you or your vehicle such as criminal mischief, possibly an assault or battery, etc. This defense can be a tough sell in traffic situations and the judge would have to believe you were speeding only to avoid a potentially more serious harm. I have seen it work in some situations (such as road rage)--you have to be ready to explain why you were unable to take other evasive measures which were lawful and could have avoided the potential harm.

    You should begin by finding out what disposition you would receive if you simply admitted your guilt--the clerk of the Court where your ticket is pending may be able to provide you with that information.

    You may also wish to call the prosecutor who will be handling the case in that Court--maybe with your explanation you will receive a break and a favorable recommendation from the prosecutor upon a plea of guilty.

    If these measures turn out unsatisfactory then you could plead not guilty and put your case before the judge at trial. Whatever you decide to do, your driving record (or lack of one) will probably be important regarding your final disposition.

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