If you’re caught speeding, you only get a ticket, right? Not necessarily. There are some situations where Michigan drivers can face misdemeanor charges for speeding.
Here’s a breakdown of when speeding may be considered a crime.
Speeding: Infractions vs. Crimes
Speeding itself is defined as driving above the posted speed limit. It can also occur when a person drives too fast for the current road or weather conditions. A driver who is pulled over for speeding may face a civil infraction or, in serious cases, a criminal charge.
A civil infraction is a non-criminal violation of an ordinance or statute. With traffic offenses, civil infractions may be punishable by:
- Points on one’s license
- License suspension
- Traffic school
When traffic violations are considered criminal offenses, the driver will face charges in criminal court, with the possibility of penalties that include:
- Fines and court fees
- Jail time
When Is Speeding a Crime?
Driving several miles per hour above the speed limit is probably not going to get you a misdemeanor charge, but there are situations where speeding can be considered a crime. Reckless driving, for example, is a misdemeanor offense defined in Michigan Vehicle Code § 257.626 as operating a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Excessive speeding may be considered a form of reckless driving. Drag racing is another misdemeanor involving speeding, between two or more vehicles in competition with one another. Speeding can also be involved in a crime involving DUI/OUI or vehicular manslaughter.
When excessive speeding or racing is involved, you face the possibility of being charged with a misdemeanor instead of receiving a simple traffic ticket. The penalties will vary but may include up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Felony charges will apply if someone was injured or killed because of reckless driving or racing.
Facing Misdemeanor Charges for Speeding? I Can Help.
A conviction for a speeding-related crime can affect your life in many ways. It goes beyond serving time and paying fines. You’ll live the rest of your life with a criminal record, which can affect job opportunities, professional licenses, and more. Your best bet is to keep a misdemeanor off your record in the first place.
If you were pulled over for speeding and have been charged with a misdemeanor related to reckless driving, drag racing, DUI, or vehicular manslaughter, you need someone in your corner to fight for your rights. As a criminal defense lawyer, I’ve helped drivers in Farmington Hills and throughout Oakland County face some of the most serious charges—and come out on top. I’ve been fighting for my clients for over two decades and know exactly how the police and prosecutors think when it comes to misdemeanor speeding charges.
Now is the time to find out how I can build a strong defense to protect your interests. Call (248) 599-0054 today for a free, confidential consultation.