I was driving and slid into a ditch. No damage was done to anyone’s car or property, simply fell in a ditch. I got a tow and police came and gave me a speeding ticket. The roads were Icy, I wasn’t speeding, but apparently he said “too fast for conditions” or something. Anyways, the courts are closed and won’t take my not guilty plea due to the corona virus. I talked to the clerk and she said I just have to pay within 10 days or they will press charges. How do I fight this when apparently I can’t even have court during this time? Am I just required to plead guilty and not have a right to court? I don’t know what to do when I can’t even talk to someone or plead not guilty for the ticket.
When she says they will "press charges", I would think that this means that you will need to appear in court at a later time to fight the ticket. You probably want to hire an attorney, since you intend to fight the charges, therefore, if you hire one now then you can put the responsibility on your attorney's shoulders. We handle these types of cases, but on this website we are not allowed to directly tell you to call us, so you will need to decide on your own who to contact by using the information that you find here.
As Mr. Carron suggests, it is unlikely that the clerk meant you cannot ever fight the ticket. But you will need to be vigilant about keeping in touch with the court and finding out when your court hearing is scheduled or rescheduled. But the wisest course of action is to hire a lawyer. It's not as simple as telling a judge that you were not speeding. All drivers are expected to maintain a prudent speed under the prevailing weather conditions. That means that if it's freezing rain, you may need to drive at a slower speed than the posted speed limit. In other words, maintaining the speed limit is not a complete defense. That's why you are better off with an experienced lawyer. I hope you will find this information helpful. Mr. Carron sounds like someone you may want to consult. Good luck to you.
The response I have provided is general in nature, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. My practice is based in Rhode Island, and the law and practice in other states or jurisdictions may be different.
There are instructions on the ticket, either below the main part of the ticket or on the back or attached, giving instructions concerning how to handle a Civil Infraction. You need to follow the instructions, and request an Informal Hearing. Be sure you do this within the period stated on the ticket for how long you have in which to respond to the ticket. Since calling apparently didn't satisfy the clerk, you need to send the court a short letter stating that you want an Informal Hearing. Again, be sure you so it within the period of time stated for a response. A better idea, if there is time to do it, is to retain an attorney to handle this for you. In response to the COVID-19 situation, some attorneys are able to take new cases simply over the phone and using the internet or faxing. If you request an Informal Hearing, and then retain an attorney after that, the attorney can switch the Informal to a Formal Hearing. Stay well! Sincerely, Frank B. Ford
The information contained in this answer is intended to convey general information. Nothing contained in this answer is intended as specific legal advice. Although the content is believed to be accurate as to Michigan law, no guarantee is made that it is accurate and up-to-date. This is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
Due to the COVID outbreak many states they have extended all deadlines. I highly suggest you call the court in your area to determine if the deadlines have been extended. Each state and county has made different rules about that
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