My daughter (22) got a careless driving ticket near Standish Michigan, a week ago today. ON the paper ticket, she signed "admit responsibility with explanation". We mailed in the payment of $200. Today, she got a summons to appear in court. Why? I have never had this ticket before but I have mailed in and signed under "admit responsibility with explanation". In MI, is a court appearance mandatory for careless driving? She did admit to going 78 MPH - but she thinks the cop didn't believe she wasn't on her phone. She swears she wasn't. JUst in a hurry and going to fast. Her car clipped the back end of another car but no one was injured or went to a hospital. HELP
Not much - I tried to call the # XX the summons but it is after hours and no answer.
Do not worry, she got the summons because she admitted responsibility "with explanation." The effect of this is that she requested a hearing to go give that explanation at. In MI, careless driving is a civil infraction, whereas reckless driving is a misdemeanor. There is no mandatory appearance for careless driving (unless that box is checked or it's written on the citation), only for reckless driving. So, this hearing is not a danger to her, it's just an opportunity to explain the mitigating circumstances (including clean driving record) and, hopefully, get a penalty/points reduction from the judge.
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 a civil infraction.
Interesting but I have done that before (not for that offense) - but did not have to go to court. Can she change her mind now? She doesn't want to fight the ticket but she wants them to know she doesn't think it was necessarily fair. My experience with going to court has NEVER been successful - the cop shows up and the judge sides with him/her.
She needs to call the court clerk and explain that she accidentally chose the wrong option. They will probably let her change her response since the court mostly cares about taking the money and getting the respondents of there as quickly as possible. All courts are different, though, it will be up to them.
I will try to do that for her - she is at a remote camp and only has her cell phone which has no service there. This just didn't make sense to me AT ALL (the court thing). I have had speeding tickets and other tickets where I paid my $ and explained what I thought happened - but never once did I have to go to court unless I said - no, no responbility.
In MI, when you admit responsibility with explanation, you can make this explanation either at the hearing in person or by mail. However, the judge does not have to accept explanation by mail if it is insufficient. In that case, they either require the defendant to offer further explanation or mail out a summons to require personal appearance. Sounds like all your daughter did not really explain herself by mail, so it looks like that's what happened. Technically, you cannot change somebody else's plea. So, if you call and the court clerk finds out you are not your daughter, they may deny to make a correction.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).