Careless Driving In Michigan Analyzed
Here in the State of Michigan, like many other states, there is a traffic infraction known as careless driving. If an individual is found responsible for careless driving, her or she will face a civil infraction, attaching other possible risks and repercussions. Because careless driving is a civil infraction this means that this type of infraction is not criminal, and thus your criminal record will not be tarnished if found responsible for careless driving. Therefore, the next question becomes: what constitutes careless driving here in Michigan?
Careless driving is controlled and defined by statute. MCL § 257.626b delineates and explains that “[a] person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public including an area designated for the parking of vehicles in a careless or negligent manner likely to endanger any person or property, but without wantonness or recklessness” is responsible for careless driving. I would like to point out at this time that the last phrase “wantonness or recklessness” is the fine line that differentiates careless driving between reckless driving. It is important to make this distinction due to the fact that an individual convicted of reckless driving will have a misdemeanor placed on his or her criminal record along with repercussions to his or her driving record. As noted earlier, the careless driving infraction is a civil infraction, and again not a criminal misdemeanor or charge.
Moving back to the issue of careless driving, if an individual is found responsible for the civil infraction her or she will be ordered to pay a civil fine. The amount of the civil fine will be dependent on the District Court the individual is in at the time that they admit responsibility. Moreover, the fine can also be determinate on the type of resolution that the individual came too with the prosecutor, if the situation and circumstances call for such a situation and resolution. The other concern individuals should be aware of is the accumulation of points on an individual’s driving record if they admit responsibility to the infraction of careless driving. The total amount of points that can be attributed to an individual who has admitted responsibility to careless driving is three (3) points, which means that those points will be placed on the individual’s driving record. Again, remember that this is not a criminal charge, but admission does bring about an impact to the driving record. Once the driving record is impacted, an individual’s insurance coverage and premiums will also likely be influenced.
At the end of the day, even when you are issued a civil infraction, such as careless driving, it is imperative to know the possible repercussions and risks associated with admitting responsible for such an offense or infraction. This is why it is always advisable to contact and even hire counsel. Civil infractions can and do add up, which can then impact your ability to drive.
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