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xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
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My friend just had and accident where she took a left hand

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My friend just had and accident where she took a left hand turn and a motorcyclist in oncoming traffic clipped the rear of the car and wiped out.....the motorcyclist had scrapes but no major injuries.....police issued friend a ticket for failure to yield causing an accident. This is the state of michigan.....what can my friend expect in terms of fines and possible legal actions?
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Do you know what your friend's driving record is like? Do you know if s/he has had any tickets in the last few years?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I believe so....she had a rear end collision 2 years ago that she was at fault.
Hi Mike,

First, your friend should go to court. There should either be a court date on the ticket OR there are instructions for how long (usually 10 days) he has to call the court to make a court date. Your friend SHOULD NOT just pay the ticket.

When your friend goes to court, if the other person involved in the accident (the motorcyclist) doesn't show up, your friend can plead NOT RESPONSIBLE when his/her case is called. If the other person isn't there, the case will most likely be dismissed.

If your friend goes to court and the other person does appear, both persons will tell their side of the story. The officer can only testify as to his/her accident investigation and how s/he came to the decision to write the ticket to your friend. Also, if there were any other witnesses to the accident, they may be notified to appear. If any show up, they can testify as to what they saw. After all the testimony is heard, the magistrate/judge will decide "by the preponderance of the evidence" if your friend is responsible for the violation or not.

The preponderance of the evidence is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. It is a MUCH lesser standard than "beyond a reasonable doubt." In the case decided on the "preponderance of the evidence," the scale just has to tip a tiny bit one way or the other such that the magistrate/judge can make a decision.

If your friend has a hearing and is found responsible, 2 points will be added to his/her driving record. The points will stay on his/her record for 2 years. The fines and costs vary from city to city. Your friend can call the court and ask what the fine/cost is for the violation.

Even if the motorcyclist doesn't show up and the case is dismissed, that doesn't mean that s/he won't bring a civil action against your friend. If that happens, your friend needs to contact his/her auto insurance company ASAP. Hopefully, the attorney for his/her insurance company will handle the matter. If the insurance company denies coverage, then your friend needs to contact his/her own civil attorney to assist in his/her defense.

Your friend may wish to contact an attorney who specializes in traffic/criminal law. Sometimes, an initial consultation is free or at a minimal cost. S/he can discuss the specific facts of the case, evaluate his/her options and decide how to proceed. It is possible that attorney may be able to get the violation reduced to a "0" point violation without the necessity of a hearing. Again, your friend's driving record will be important in determining if a "0" point resolution can be made. An example of a "0" point violation that is sometimes used is called "impeding traffic."

I hope you find this information useful.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Thank you for your business!

***Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice or assistance of an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you!

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Hi Mike,

Thank you so much for the "excellent service" rating! It is greatly appreciated and I am glad that you found the information useful.

If you have future questions, you can specifically request me by name as the expert.

Thanks again,


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the GENEROUS bonus too! I appreciate it VERY much!

Best wishes,