Civil infraction traffic violations such as going through a red light, speeding, illegal turn, etc., are less serious traffic offenses that are non-criminal in nature.
What happens if I receive a ticket for a civil infraction traffic violation?
The ticket that you received will include a number at the top and will indicate the violation you were ticketed for, how you can respond to the ticket, where you need to appear to settle the matter, what your rights are, and the badge number of the issuing officer. Your options are:
- To admit responsibility for the violation and pay the fine in person, by the mail or over the internet.
- To admit responsibility with an explanation attached to the ticket describing any special circumstances. A magistrate will review the ticket and your explanation. You will be notified by mail of the magistrate’s decision.
- You must contact the court within 10 days by mail, telephone, representation or in person to deny responsibility and schedule an informal hearing. No attorney for either side is allowed at the hearing.
- Deny responsibility and request a formal hearing before a judge. A representative of the prosecutor’s office and the issuing officer will be present. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this hearing.
Can I appeal a decision from an informal hearing?
Yes. You have seven days after an informal hearing to request an appeal. You must post a bond in the amount of the fine. A formal hearing will be scheduled in front of a judge. You may wish to have an attorney present for this hearing.
What if I fail to show up for the hearing or do not pay the ticket on time?
If you have been issued a ticket for a civil infraction and do not respond in one of the four ways indicated, a default judgment will be issued against you by the court. This could result in your driver’s license being suspended by the Secretary of State’s office. You have 10 days from the date of the ticket to either pay it or schedule a hearing. On the 45th day following the 10th day, your license will go into suspension. If your license is suspended, it will cost you additional money to have it reinstated. The court will give you a clearance form which you must carry for two months until the Secretary of State clears your license on the statewide computer system.
Misdemeanor Traffic Violations
Misdemeanor traffic violations are more serious offenses that can result in your arrest. The maximum penalty for crimes under this category is $l,000 fine and/or one year in jail.
Misdemeanor traffic violations, such as driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, etc., are more serious offenses and can result in you being issued a ticket or placed under arrest. In either case, you must appear in court for arraignment, be informed of your legal rights, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this and all other hearings. If you cannot afford one, the court may appoint one for you, depending on the likelihood of a jail term being imposed.
If you fail to appear for your scheduled hearing, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest and your driver’s license may be suspended.
If you plead guilty to a misdemeanor, you will be required to pay a fine and points will be assessed to your driving record. Some violations can result in being sent to jail for up to one year. If, at your arraignment you plead not guilty, you have the right to request a trial by a judge (bench trial) or a jury. A date will be set for your pretrial hearing. You may also post bond at your arraignment if you did not do so following your arrest.
What happens if I am arrested on a traffic misdemeanor?
You will be taken to the county jail, processed and allowed to post bond. If you do not post a bond, you will spend the night in jail. For those who post bond, arraignment is usually held within one week.
What happens if I post a bond for someone and they don’t show up for their court date?
When you post a bond for someone it is your responsibility to see that they make all required court appearances. If they miss any of them you will loose your money by forfeiture.
What if I am a minor and I receive a traffic ticket?
If you are under the age of 17 and receive a misdemeanor traffic violation you must appear at the Family Court Offices.
If you are under age 17 and receive a civil infraction citation, you must appear at the District Court Offices.
What if I am ticketed or arrested for a local ordinance violation?
If you are ticketed or arrested for a local ordinance violation, your case will be processed in the same manner as traffic misdemeanors are handled.
What can I do if there is a warrant for my arrest?
You must appear in court.
What can I do if my driving privileges have been suspended?
To reinstate driving privileges, you must settle all pending cases and pay all reinstatement fees.
Can I get a copy of a case?
How can I get a copy of my court record?
You may be required to fill out and submit a copy request form. Please note that the court will charge $1.00 per page for copies requested. Contact the court at (989) 731.0201 for additional information.
Can I change my court date?
You are allowed, under certain circumstances, one court date change on a civil infraction violation.
You must appear in court in order to change your court date for a misdemeanor violation.
How many points do traffic violations have?
You must contact the Secretary of State’s office for point information.
Will a traffic ticket affect my insurance premiums?
It could. You should contact your insurance company for further information.
Does the District Division process parking tickets?
In the City of Gaylord, parking tickets can be paid at the City Police Department on Main Street. If you are contesting a City Police parking ticket, the ticket will be transferred to the District Court. All other parking tickets are handled in District Court. Court fees are assessed to all parking tickets processed by the Court.
How do I pay a ticket with cash or a credit card?
Go to the District Court Clerk’s office for cash or credit card payments. You can also pay your traffic ticket with a Visa or MasterCard using the court’s web site. You will receive an electronic receipt if you pay over the Internet.
How do I pay a ticket over the Internet?
How do I pay a ticket by mail?
DO NOT MAIL CASH
- Mail the payment to the District Court address, located at the bottom of your ticket)
- Place citation number on your cashier’s check or money order
- Allow 10 days for processing.