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Michigan Criminal Law Blog

Caught Speeding in Michigan? Here is What you Need to Know

It’s happened to most of us at one time or another – you’re cruising down the road, aware of safety, but also on “autopilot” mentally, going just a bit faster than permitted. One second you’re enjoying the peace of the open road and the next minute there are blue and red lights flashing in the rearview mirror.

Maybe when you had your first experience getting caught speeding you were running late for an important appointment. Traffic is unpredictable, and leaving enough time to account for delays is sometimes not enough.

Regardless what caused you to drive faster than the law allows, it’s important you have some idea how to handle the situation if you are caught in the act. What you do during a traffic stop for speeding can affect your situation long-term, and the better equipped you are to handle it the less risk there is a simple speeding ticket will escalate into something more serious.

What to Do If You are Pulled over Speeding

The first thing you should do if law enforcement is attempting to pull you over is to do so as soon as you can do so safely. Even if you feel it is unfair or there is no reason to pull you over, keep calm and greet the officer as pleasantly as possible. Polite, cooperative speeders are often treated better than those who are combative and hostile.

Once you are safely stopped, turn off your vehicle, roll down your window, and turn on your emergency lights. Keep your hands in view, preferably on the steering wheel, so the officer knows there is no danger. It’s also important to remain in your vehicle as the officer approaches. Even if you intend to do no harm by exiting your vehicle, this action can be perceived as a threat.

There is no need to retrieve your license or other paperwork until the officer requests you do so. It’s a good idea to keep your license and registration handy whenever you are driving, but wait until you are instructed to retrieve any information before doing so.

Guarded Honesty is the Best Policy

The officer will ask you a series of questions, most of which you can answer without incriminating yourself, but it’s important to use common sense. Be honest with your answers, but if you feel your answers could get you into trouble, decline to answer.

Remember, the traffic stop is not the time to plead your case. Accept the ticket without comment and be on your way. You’ll get your day in court if you believe the ticket was without justification. Arguing during the traffic stop can escalate a routine occurrence into something serious and you are better off defending yourself at the appropriate time.

If you have been accused of speeding and you believe you have been treated unfairly or simply want to discuss what options you have, an experienced speeding ticket lawyer can help. For more information or to discuss your case, Andrew W. Kowalkowski, PLLC at 248.974.9594.

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