Criminal Law

Traffic Crimes

Criminal Law
Traffic Crimes

Grand Rapids Traffic Offense Attorneys

We at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office understand that a traffic offense can cost you time in jail, hefty fines and the loss of your driver’s license. No matter how minor your traffic offense may appear, traffic offenses and the points on your record can add up, especially if you don’t challenge them in court.

Competently Defending Your Best Interests

With more than 20 years of defending traffic offenses in Michigan, our legal team is highly effective in protecting your rights and your record. We handle a wide range of traffic-related offenses, including the interests of businesses who have an employee commit such an offense in a company vehicle. Examples of charges we routinely fight are:

  • Speeding. Many people believe it is easier to simply pay their speeding ticket than to fight it. This could end up being very costly to you. If you hire a criminal defense attorney to fight your ticket, we work to eliminate or reduce the penalty for you. In many cases, you are not even required to appear in court.
  • Reckless driving. Under Michigan law, the term “reckless driving” includes any violation that involves a disregard for driving laws. This is an extremely broad charge that can result in punishments ranging from fines to jail time.
  • Hit and run. A “hit and run” occurs when the driver leaves the scene of an accident and it is a very serious offense. A hit and run causing injury to another person may result in misdemeanor charges and up to one year in prison as well as up to $1,000 in fines if convicted. Leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury or death is a felony offense. A conviction may result in up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Helping You Understand Your DUI/OWI Charges

Michigan law refers to drunk driving offenses as operating while intoxicated (OWI), but most people still call it driving under the influence (DUI). DUI is a criminal offense related to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content over 0.08. A DUI may be punishable by jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, community service, probation and more. Most DUI offenses are misdemeanors but may be charged as felonies in certain circumstances.

What if the Traffic Offense Occurs in a Company Vehicle?

If you get a DUI while driving a company-owned vehicle such as a fleet car, delivery truck, police car or school bus, it can have serious consequences. Your company’s auto insurance covers you in its car. Thus, if your rates for coverage increase because of your DUI, your employer will likely take away your company car. If driving a company vehicle is a requirement of your job, this could be grounds for firing you. Additionally, if you apply for a job that requires you to drive a company car or truck, you may be denied employment because of your DUI.

CDL Violations

If you drive a bus, tractor-trailer, tanker, or other truck carrying cargo or hazardous materials, your job requires a commercial drivers license (CDL) and a clean driving record. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we provide the professional legal representation you need when traffic violations threaten your ability to work. Our Grand Rapids traffic crimes attorneys have over 27 years of experience in protecting clients’ interests and can help defend you against these charges.

CDL Violation Categories

The Michigan Commercial Driver License Manual outlines the requirements for obtaining a CDL in our state. It also highlights the different types of traffic violations that could result in fines and the loss of your license. These are divided into two categories:

Category One-Serious Violations

  • Speeding 15 mph or more over the limit, or driving too fast for conditions;
  • Reckless driving behaviors, such as tailgating and failure to yield;
  • Changing lanes erratically or passing improperly;
  • Texting or using a handheld phone while driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV);
  • Driving without a CDL in your possession;
  • Traffic violations associated with fatal accidents.

Category Two-Major Violations

  • Operating a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Refusing to take an alcohol BAC test;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident;
  • Causing a fatality through reckless operation;
  • Using a CMV to commit a crime;
  • Operating a CMV while your CDL privileges are suspended or revoked.

Penalties for CDL Violations In Michigan

Penalties for CDL violations can be severe, jeopardizing your ability to work in the industry. The Michigan Secretary of State advises that these penalties include the following:

  • For category one violations: CDL suspension for 60 days for two or more violations over a three-year period. CDL suspension for 120 days for three or more violations within the same timeframe, along with additional points on your driving record.
  • For category two violations: CDL suspension for one year on a first offense. If traveling with hazardous substances, the suspension period is three years. Revocation of your CDL for a second offense in any time period.  

For a felony conviction on the manufacture or distribution of controlled substances, your CDL will be revoked for ten years.

Contact a Skilled Traffic Offense Attorney to Discuss Your Case

If you have been charged with a traffic offense, it is important to discuss it with a qualified attorney. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we work to protect your driving record and your rights. Call us at 616-698-0000 or contact us via our online inquiry form. We are also available on Skype by appointment.

Contact a Knowledgeable Grand Rapids Attorney

For An Initial Consultation

To talk with our attorney about your legal concerns, contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office by calling 616-698-0000. You may also complete our online contact form. After-hours consultations are available by appointment. We are also available on Skype by appointment.

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