Ordinance violations in Michigan are misdemeanor criminal or civil law infractions enacted by a city, township, or village. These matters are prosecuted by an attorney or by a law firm hired by the city, township, or village where the offense allegedly occurred and usually not handled by a state or county prosecutor. The penalties for ordinance violations can range from a fine to up to 90 days in the county jail and can have an effect on a permit or license held by an individual or a business in some instances depending upon the particular ordinance violation. There are no ordinance violations that are considered felony offenses. Each city, township or village is responsible to enact their own local ordinances, so the violations may differ between different jurisdictions. Some of these offenses can also be prosecuted as state law misdemeanor offenses that in some instances carry a penalty greater than 90 days in jail, or even in some cases as state law felony violations depending upon the law in which the conduct in question is prosecuted (subject to double jeopardy limitations). Prosecutions in some instances can be a matter of discretion as to whether the matter is handled by a city attorney, township attorney, village attorney, state prosecutor, or attorney general.
A list of common (in most cases criminal) local ordinance violations include the following:
1) Alcohol violations – Public intoxication; Open house parties where alcoholic liquor is possessed or consumed by minors; Operating While Impaired (OWI); Operating Under the Influence (OUIL); Open Intoxicants in a vehicle; Consuming alcohol in public; Alcohol in Massage Premises; Operating snowmobile while intoxicated; Operating boat while intoxicated; Taxicab Driver Drinking on Duty; Sale of Alcohol to a Minor; Sale of Alcohol without a License; Improper Sale of Alcohol; Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.
2) Curfew Violations – Violation of Curfew by Minor; Aiding or Abetting Curfew Violation.
3) Drug offenses –Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Operating Under the Influence of Narcotics (OUIN); Maintaining a Drug House; Possession of Marijuana; Unlawful Use of a Controlled Substance; Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.
4) Offenses Against a Person – Assault; Battery; Assault and Battery; Domestic Violence; Jostling; Disorderly Person; Malicious Use of Service Provided by Communications Common Carrier; Refusing to Support Family; Viewing of Adult Materials by Minor.
5) Offenses Against Public Administration – Interference with City Officer, Employee, Agent; Interference with Police and Fire Telephone System; False Alarms; Excessive False Alarms; False Report of a Crime; Resisting or Obstructing a Police Officer; False Personation of a Police Officer; Breaking, Escape or Attempted Breaking, Escape from Jail; Assisting in Escape; Failure or Refusal to Submit to Fingerprint.
6) Offenses Against the Public Health – Spitting in Public; Tampering with Drinking Fountains; Urinating in Public; Defecating in Public; Prostitution.
7) Offenses Against Public Peace – Public Intoxication; Drunk and Disorderly; Disorderly Conduct by Persons under the Influence of Alcoholic Liquor, Controlled Substances; Immoral Conduct; Fighting; Offensive Conduct; Obstructing Passageways; Playing Games on Street and Sidewalks; Loitering; Collecting Crowds for Mischievous Purpose; Interference with Conduct of Business; Interference with Meetings of Public Body; Noise Disturbance; Amplified Sounds in Vehicle; Construction Activity without Permit; Construction Activity After Hours; Throwing of Missiles or Projectiles; Improper Fireworks; Indecent Exposure; Indecent Exposure while Swimming.
8) Offenses Involving a Weapon – Improper Transport of Firearms; Carrying a Concealed Weapon; Possession of Deadly Weapon; Improper Possession of Weapon by a Minor; Brandishing a Firearm; Discharge of a Firearm in Public.
9) Offenses on School Property – Entering School Building without Permission; Entering School Building or Grounds after having been Refused Permission; Refusing or Failure to Leave School Building or Grounds when Directed; Interfering with Use of School Buildings or Grounds; Disrupting School Activity; Damaging, Defacing, or Removing School Property; Use of Tobacco, Alcohol, or Drugs on School Property.
10)Massage Parlor – Unlawful Acts; Prostitution; Failure to Have Permit; Alcohol Beverages on Premises of Massage Parlor.
11)Motor Vehicle Related Offenses – Reckless Driving; Leaving the Scene of an Accident; Operating While Impaired (OWI); Operating Under the Influence (OUIL); Open Intoxicants in a vehicle; Consuming alcohol in public; Alcohol in Massage Premises; Operating snowmobile while intoxicated; Operating boat while intoxicated; Taxicab Driver Drinking on Duty; Sale of Alcohol to a Minor; Sale of Alcohol without a License; Improper Sale of Alcohol; Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor; PBT Refusal; Operating Under the Influence of Narcotics (OUIN); Improper Transport of Firearms; Log book violation; Failure to Stop for Inspection; No Operator’s License on Person (No Ops); Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, or Denied; Allowing someone to Operate a Motor Vehicle which Intoxicated, Suspended, Revoked, or Denied.
12)Property Offenses – Graffiti; Vandalism; Littering; Failure to Remove Refuse, Construction Debris; Improper Storage of Inoperable Motor Vehicles; Failure to Remove Snow from Sidewalk; Failure to Maintain Property; Injuring, Removing Property of Another; Destruction of Property; Malicious Destruction of Property; Damaging, Tampering, Meddling with Motor Vehicle; Damaging, Tampering, or Removal of Signs, Fire Alarm Boxes, Fireplugs, and/or Survey Monuments; Removal of Earth; Interference with Telephone Service by Device without Consent of Subscriber; Trespassing; Larceny; Shoplifting; Larceny by Trick; Larceny by Conversion; Embezzlement; Failure to Return Rental Property; Drawing Checks Without Sufficient Funds (NSF Check); Retail Fraud; Theft Detection Shielding Devices; Tampering with Theft Detection Device.
13)Tobacco violations - Sale of Tobacco Products to a Minor; Use or Possession of Tobacco Products by a Minor; Sale of Tobacco Products without a License; Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor; Interference with the Rights of a Parent or Guardian.
Traffic tickets also can be handled by city attorneys, township attorneys, village attorneys, and/or state prosecutors. There are some traffic tickets that are misdemeanor criminal offenses that are listed above which can result in incarceration, fines, and possible driver’s license sanctions. There are some traffic tickets that are civil infractions, which are not crimes and therefore not subject to incarceration (unless the fine accessed is not paid. In those circumstances the Court can exercise its contempt powers to possibly incarcerate an individual for failure to pay a Court ordered fine). Non criminal traffic ticket civil infractions, however, can have an impact on your ability to drive a motor vehicle.
A list of civil traffic offenses (with the points accessed by the secretary of state in parentheses) include the following:
1) Careless driving (3)
2) Failure to Yield or Stop - Accident from failure to yield to an emergency vehicle (2); Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle (2); Failure to stop in assured clear distance (accident) (2)
3) Driving too fast for conditions (2)
4) Drove without due care or caution (2)
5) Speeding - Speeding (non-expressway) 1-10 MPH over limit (2); Speeding (non-expressway) 11-15 MPH over limit (3); Speeding (non-expressway) 16-20 MPH over limit (4); Speeding (non-expressway) 21-25 MPH over limit (4); Speeding (non-expressway) 26 MPH or more over limit (4); Expressway Speeding 1-5 MPH over limit (0); Expressway Speeding 6-10 MPH over limit (1); Expressway Speeding 11-15 MPH over limit (2); Expressway Speeding 16-25 MPH over limit (3); Expressway Speeding 26 MPH or more over limit (4)
6) Parking violations - Parking in a handicapped space (0); Double parking (0) All other parking violations (0)
7) Seat Belt violations - Seat belt violation (0); Child restraint violation (0)
8) School Related tickets - Failed to stop for school bus (3); Disobeyed school crossing guard (3)
9) All defective equipment violations (0)(The fee may be waived if proof of repair is submitted to the Court by the appearance date on the ticket.)
10)Plate, License, Registration, and Insurance violations - Expired plate (0); Other license plate violations (0); Failed to display valid license (0); Failed to display valid registration (0)(The fees for the two violations immediately above may be waived if proof of valid license/registration on the date of the ticket is submitted to the Court prior to the appearance date on the ticket.); Violation of graduated license (2); Failed to change address on license or registration (0); No proof of insurance (0) With proof of insurance for date of incident provided
12) Improper or prohibited turn (2)
13) Impeding Traffic – this offense carries no points and will not appear on your driving record.
14) Failed to yield (2)
15) Improper or prohibited passing (3)
16) Improper lane use (2)
17) Improper crossing - divided highway/median (2)
18) Failed to signal or observe (2)
19) Followed too closely/tailgated (2)
20) Drove wrong way on one way street (2)
21) Disobeyed stop sign or traffic signal (3)
22) Disobeyed/avoided traffic control device (2)
23) Failed to dim lights/Failed to turn on lights (2)
24) PBT Refusal (0) – this offense can lead to the suspension of driving privileges for 1 year.
If your citation is a moving violation issued in a construction zone, school zone, or at an emergency scene the fine component of the fee is doubled. The amount of the fines can vary between different Courts, and therefore are not listed.