So you have points on your driving record. Perhaps you previously paid a ticket not thinking that there were so many points involved with that particular infraction. Or perhaps you didn't even realize that payment of the fine for a particular infraction would result in any points at all. Or maybe you aren't familiar with the points system here in Michigan and the negative impact points can have on both your master driving record and your insurance premiums. Regardless of how those points found their way onto your master driving record, there is no question that – if you could - you would love to have those points removed. But can you actually remove points? In some instances, the answer might surprise you. So, here is a little background information about points as well as a creative remedy to that potentially solve the "points" problem.
WHAT ARE POINTS?
Each time you are found "guilty" or "responsible" for a traffic violation, you will have to pay certain court fines and costs. In addition, multiple points may be posted to your driver record. Under Michigan's point system, each traffic violation has a point value which is set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code. Here is a link to the Offense Code Index for Traffic Violations which sets forth the points for all moving violations:
Points are placed on your driver record only after you have been convicted or found guilty of a misdemeanor traffic violation or found responsible for a civil infraction violation. Some traffic violations are civil infractions, others are misdemeanors and some can even be felonies. Points placed on your driver record remain there for two (2) years from the date of conviction. The underlying moving violation, however, can remain visible for 7-10 years on your driving record even after the points drop off. The Secretary of State cannot set aside a court conviction or the points for it. Points can also result in a driver reexamination which may ultimately lead to the restriction, suspension or revocation of your driver's license.
CAN I EXPUNGE POINTS?
The very simple answer is no. Points may not be expunged by Michigan law as any traffic offenses are precluded from expungement.
ARE THERE OTHER OPTIONS TO REMOVE POINTS?
YES. There is a potential option to remove points depending upon several factors including the age of your ticket, the type of ticket that was issued (i.e. civil infraction or misdemeanor etc…) and the jurisdiction (city and court) in which the ticket was issued. The process to remove the points involves the filing of a document by your attorney in the court called a "Motion" where the ticket originated. A Motion is simply a request to the court asking for a specific type of relief. In this case, the relief requested by the Motion is asking the Court to set aside the original conviction on the ticket in question and further asking that the case be re-opened. If the Motion is granted, the Court would then allow for a hearing to be scheduled on the ticket itself. Once that hearing is scheduled, your attorney would then attend the hearing (generally without your presence being required) and use that opportunity to revisit the ticket with the prosecutor as well as the citing officer. In many instances, if the parties are agreeable, a negotiated plea may be reached whereby the original ticket is modified from a moving violation with points down to a non-moving violation without points. The benefit? Non-moving violations with 0 points, such as impeding traffic, blockading traffic, double parking etc...are non-abstracting which means that they are not reported to the Secretary of State and are not visible to your insurance carrier. In this case, where the points are currently on your driving record and a new agreement is reached via this method, the court is then obligated to contact the Secretary of State with an amended abstract indicating that the original ticket was dismissed. This effectively forces the Secretary of State to remove the original ticket along with the points. This not only removes the offending points from your driving record but also eliminates the original moving violation itself which would have remained visible on your driving record for at least 7 years despite the points dropping off after 2 years. If successful, this option could protect your driving record, your ability to drive and save you thousands of dollars in driver responsibility fees and insurance premiums.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I CURRENTLY HAVE POINTS?
You can visit any Secretary of State office and obtain a copy of your driving abstract for a nominal fee. You may also purchase a copy through the Record Look Unit of the Secretary State. Here is the link to the form to request a copy:
HOW DO I KNOW IF THIS OPTION IS GOOD FOR ME?
A simple and free consultation with our office. This may not be a viable option for everyone. Therefore, it is important to contact us, preferably with a copy of your driving record handy, so that we can personally analyze your particular situation and advise you of the best options available. Again, this is a free consultation and we would be happy to chat with you at any time to let you know if attempting to remove the points from your driving record makes sense in your particular situation.
As always, if you have any further questions regarding the above, or require any other type of legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time for an absolutely free and completely confidential consultation.