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Traffic ticket in Detroit for failing to stop at stop sign - want to contest, live in Chicago and can't attend court date. Help?

Chicago, IL |

I live in Chicago and have an IL drivers license but don't own a car, and therefore don't have auto insurance, and only rent a car on occasion when needed, as when I traveled to Detroit this past summer (WI plate) where I received a traffic ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign. I want to contest the ticket, but can only do so in person at a future court date in Detroit, but for obvious reasons cannot afford (time and money) to attend since I live almost 300 miles away. My driving record is clean, and haven't received a moving violation ticket in over 10 years. I plan to write a letter to the Detroit 36th District Court Judge to explain and defend my predicament in the hope that he may discard the ticket. What can I expect to happen if I don't attend the court date and ignore the fine?

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Attorney answers 4


Dont write a letter, its not allowed. You either hire an attorney to resolve case, go yourself or pay the ticket.


This is a Michigan issue. I suggest you post there


It is very inappropriate to write a letter to the judge and the judge will probably never see your letter anyway. Your argument that you live too far away/cannot afford to come to Detroit/etc. will not be accepted. Hire a MI attorney to handle this for you, or bite the bullet and make the trip.

You will receive more responses from Detroit area attorneys if you report using a Detroit location. You have targeted Illinois lawyers.


Writing a letter to the judge will not help you. If you are set on contesting the ticket, your best options are to either get yourself to court (check out Amtrak, Megabus, or Greyhound for affordable transportation from Chicago to Detroit) or contact a Detroit based attorney. Depending on the court, they may be able to handle the ticket without you present but it is best to ask a lawyer in the area about local rules. Many lawyers offer free consultations. Try giving them a call. From there you will be armed with information and ready to make the most educated decision you can. Best of luck!