If you have received a traffic violation in Redford Township, the 17th District Court has jurisdiction over the case. Traffic offenses are either Civil Infractions or Misdemeanors.
Civil Infraction or Misdemeanor: Your ticket states the infraction for which you were cited. In the column preceding the offense, the type of infraction is designated, either C/I (for Civil Infraction) or Misd (for Misdemeanor). A civil infraction is a civil action against you which may result in fine and costs being assessed against you. The Secretary of State may also assess points on your driverís license. This offense is not a crime. A payable misdemeanor is a criminal offense which the Court has deemed to be a payable offense for which a fine and cost schedule has been established. The Fine/Cost Schedule you received with your ticket and that is listed here designates which Misdemeanor offenses are payable and which require court dates.
If you have received a Civil Infraction, you have the following options:
- To admit responsibility and pay the fines and costs, and accept points added to your record as determined by the Secretary of State. You may pay the ticket - If the violation which you received is listed on the fine/cost schedule attached to your ticket or on the Fine & Cost Schedule adopted by the 17th District Court, you may admit responsibility by paying the violation in person at the court, by placing a check with your ticket number in the 24 hour drop box located on the north side of Town Hall or by mail. If you choose to pay the ticket at the court, you may pay by cash, a personal check (no starter checks, or checks less than 200, or checks that do not have the name imprinted can be accepted) or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). If you choose to pay by mail or drop box, only personal checks or money orders will be accepted.
- To admit responsibility with an explanation is an acknowledgment that the ticket was proper, but you believe you have a legal excuse. For example, you are charged with parking in a handicapped spot without a permit. Your explanation is that "I did park there, but I am in a wheelchair and my spouseís car is without a permit." You may explain your reasons to the magistrate or judge in one of two ways, by a letter or in person at a hearing.
- Writing a Letter - If you wish to admit that you are responsible to a civil infraction offense for which you were ticketed but you believe there are extenuating circumstances, you are entitled to write a letter admitted responsibility but explaining the circumstances to the presiding judge. If you choose this course of action, you may still be assessed the fines, and points from the ticket, or the judge may waive part or all of the sanctions against you.
- Scheduling a Hearing - You must call the court within 20 days from receipt of the violation to schedule a hearing. You have the right to either an Informal or Formal Hearing. At an informal hearing you do not have the right to have an attorney present. The officer that issued your ticket will be present for the hearing and you will be allowed to state your case to the magistrate or judge, who will determine if you are responsible for the offense. If you are found responsible, the magistrate or judge will impose the penalties as allowed by law, including a fine, costs, and points may be assessed by the Secretary of State. If you are found not responsible, the ticket will be dismissed. At a Formal Hearing, you may hire an attorney to represent you. Either you or your attorney will meet with the Prosecutor before the hearing is held. If a Formal Hearing is held, it will be conducted in a manner similar to a trial. If a hearing is conducted and you are found responsible, the judge will impose the penalties as allowed by law.
- To deny responsibility and to have an informal or formal hearing. See Scheduling a Hearing above.
If you have received a Payable Misdemeanor, you have the following options:
- To plead guilty and pay the fine and costs, and accept points added to your record as determined by the Secretary of State. See Paying the Ticket above.
- To plead not guiltyand schedule a Pre-Trial: You must send in a copy of the back of your ticket indicating that you are pleading not guilty or a letter stating that you are pleading not guilty. No pre-trial requests will be granted via the phone. This matter will then be set for a pre-trial in front of a judge and a notice will be mailed to your home. You have the right to have an attorney for all court proceedings.
If you receive a traffic violation, it is best to resolve the matter immediately. There are no payment extensions given on tickets. If you allow the 20 day period for resolving the ticket to expire, a default judgment will be entered against you and you will automatically be determined to be responsible for a civil infraction violation. Your driverís license will be suspended and late costs will be assessed. A warrant will be issued for your arrest if the violation was a misdemeanor offense. A warrant can also be issued if you fail to respond to a civil infraction ticket after an opportunity for a show cause hearing has been allowed.