When an individual is pulled over for a minor traffic offense, they will likely be ticketed for the infraction and have to pay a fine. Sometimes, these traffic offenses will also result in a person having points assessed on their license. When a traffic offense is more serious in nature, it may be classified as a criminal traffic offense, which carries criminal penalties. Some examples of a criminal traffic offense include:

  • Driving on a suspended license
  • Causing a hit-and-run accident
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Reckless driving
  • Causing an accident that results in the death of another


Depending on the type of crime that was committed, a driver may be arrested. It is important to remember that when a person is first arrested for a criminal offense, they are merely being accused of committing a crime(s). This means a defendant (i.e. the person accused of committing a crime) is innocent until they are proven guilty by the prosecution. In the event a driver has been arrested for DWI, hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license, or any other criminal traffic offense, and a ticket was not issued, they will be taken to the district court for an arraignment [Source: Michigan Courts].

Typically, an individual who has been arrested for allegedly committing a criminal traffic offense will remain detained until the arraignment is held or bond has been set. The department in which made the arrest should have all the information pertaining to when and where the arraignment will be held.


The Arraignment


When it comes time for the arraignment, it will be held before a district court judge or magistrate. During this formal meeting, the judge or magistrate will explain to the defendant the following:

  • The charges that have been filed against him/her.
  • Their constitutional rights.
  • The potential consequences they may face if they plead guilty or are convicted after trial.


The defendant will then be given the opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty, or stand mute. In the event bond was not set, the court may determine during the arraignment if the defendant should be granted this.

Anytime a person is charged with a criminal offense in Michigan, they or their family should contact an Ingham County, MI criminal defense lawyer for legal advice and guidance. A criminal lawyer in Ingham County, MI can help an accused person understand their legal rights as well as how they should plead. The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. is a criminal defense law firm located in Lansing that defends individuals who have been charged with a crime and is looking to fight or beat their charges.


You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:


1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, MI 48906

Phone: 517-487-6603

Website: www.stushafer.com

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