Read Traffic Issues Brochure text version

Q. What can I do if there is a warrant for my arrest? A. You must appear in court and request an appointment to see a judge, and you may be requested to post a bond to have the warrant removed. Q. What can I do if my driving privileges have been suspended? A. To reinstate driving privileges, you must settle all pending cases and pay all reinstatement fees. Q. Can I get a copy of a case?

Glossary of Terms

Arraignment ­ A court hearing at which the

defendant is informed of the specific Criminal and Traffic charges for which he or she is being charged. This is the first step in your case being processed by the court.

General Information

There are several parking lots within a couple of blocks of the Madison Center Building that allow all-day parking. Entrance into the building requires you to go through a metal detector security system. Weapons and illegal substances will be confiscated. No camera phone are allowed.

Cr imin a l

Cr imin a l /Tr a f f ic & Tr a f f ic & Or d in a n c e D iv isio n

Bond, Bail or Bail Bond ­ A promise that the

defendant in a misdemeanor will appear in court when required. This promise is normally guaranteed by the defendant or someone else posting money or property with the court. There are four types of bonds: personal recognizance bonds; cash bonds; ten-percent bonds; and surety bonds.

T o ra d fi inc a nsc u e s r f i se d iv isio n


Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. ­ 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 12:00 (noon ) for Felony Arraignments only. *Felony Arraignments are conducted 365 days a year; including Holidays.

A. Yes. A certified copy of a case can be purchased for $10 or an uncertified one for $2. Q. A. Q. How can I get a copy of my court record? Pay a fee of $1. Can I change my court date?

Defendant ­ The person against whom a lawsuit

is started or a crime charged.

Docket ­ A list of cases set for a hearing by a

court on a specific day. The T & O Division prepares court dockets for cases involving traffic and ordinance violations.

A. You are allowed, under certain circumstances, one court date change on a civil infraction violation. You must appear in court in order to change your court date for a misdemeanor violation. Q. Do you have court on Saturday?

Misdemeanor ­ A crime in which the maximum

punishment is no more than one year in jail.

S t a t e o f M i c h i ga n

Plea ­ A defendant's response to a criminal charge,

A. No. The Court's Hours of Operation are from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Court is open 365 days a year for Criminal Arraignments. Q. How many points do traffic violations have? either guilty, not guilty, or no contest (nolo contendere). A no contest plea is treated the same as a guilty plea, except the defendant does not have to admit guilt.

36th District Court

Phone: 313.965.2200 TDD/TTY: 313.965.4158 Fax: 313.965.3951 Email: [email protected]

Pretrial ­ Hearing in a criminal, traffic or civil case

between the judge and the attorneys to discuss any questions or matters that can be resolved prior to the trial itself to assist in expediting or simplifying the trial.

A. You must contact the Secretary of State's office for that information. Q. Will a traffic premiums? ticket affect my insurance

Warrant of Arrest ­ An order issued by a judge

or magistrate to a police officer requesting the arrest of the person named in the warrant.

Criminal/Traffic & Ordinance Division

Karen Y. Travis, Director 421 Madison Avenue Madison Center Building 1st Floor Detroit, Michigan 48226 313.965.5112

3 6 t h

D i st r i c t

Co u r t

A. Yes, but you must contact your insurance company for further information. Q. Does the 36th District Court Criminal/Traffic and Ordinance Division process parking tickets? A. No. These are handled by the City of Detroit, Parking Violation Bureau. Please call 313.963.9630. The court conducts hearings and processes license holds.

Criminal/Traffic & Ordinance Division

Karen Y. Travis, Director 421 Madison Avenue Madison Center Building 1st Floor Detroit, Michigan 48226 313.965.5112

We're on the Web!

Rev. 2-4-08

Hon. Marylin E. Atkins Chief Judge

J. Otis Davis Court Administrator

Common Questions

Cr imin a l /Tr a f f ic & Or d in a n c e D iv isio n ­

Q. Can I hearing?

appeal a decision from an informal

Q. What happens if I receive a ticket for a civil infraction traffic violation? A. The ticket that you received will include a number at the top and will indicate the violation you were ticketed for, how you can respond to the ticket, where you need to appear to settle the matter; what your rights are; and the badge number of the issuing officer. Your options are: To admit responsibility for the violation and pay the amount indicated on the ticket in person or by mail or via To admit responsibility with an explanation attached to the ticket describing any special circumstances. A magistrate will review the ticket and your explanation. You will be notified by mail of the magistrate's decision. You must contact the court within 21 days by mail, telephone or in person to deny responsibility and schedule an informal hearing. No attorney is allowed. Deny responsibility and request a formal hearing before a judge. A representative of the Prosecutor's Office and the issuing officer will be present. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this hearing. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one for you. Q. How do I pay a ticket by mail? A. DO NOT MAIL CASH!!! Mail payments to: 36th District Court T & O Division 421 Madison Avenue Detroit, MI 48226 Make check or money order payable to the 36th District Court. Be sure to place the ticket number on the check or money order. All other correspondence should be mailed to: 36th District Court Criminal/T & O Division 421 Madison Ave. Detroit, MI 48226 *Please allow 10 days for processing.

Tr a f f ic

Issu es

A Yes. You have seven (7) days following an informal hearing to request an appeal. You must post a bond in the amount of the fine. A formal hearing will be scheduled before a judge. You may wish to have an attorney present for this hearing. You will be given a scheduled date to appear in front of a judge. Q. What if I fail to show up for the hearing or do not pay the ticket fine? A. If you have been issued a ticket for a civil infraction and do not respond in one of the four ways indicated, a default judgment will be issued against you by the court. This could result in your driver's license being suspended by the Secretary of State's office. You have 21 days from the date the ticket was issued to either pay it or schedule a hearing. On the 45th day following the 21st day, your license will go into suspension. If your license is suspended, it will cost you an additional $45 to have it reinstated. This additional fee can only be paid at the 36th District Court. The court will give you a clearance form verifying that your traffic suspension has been lifted. The Court will clear your suspension on-line with the Secretary of State. Q. Can I request a hearing on a past due civil infraction? A. Yes. By filing a motion to set aside the default judgment issued against you and posting a bond for the total amount of the fine in default. Q. What if my traffic violation was a misdemeanor? A. Misdemeanor traffic violations, such as driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, etc., are more serious offenses and can result in you being issued a ticket or placed under arrest. In either case, you must appear in court for arraignment, be informed of your legal rights, and be asked to plead guilty or not guilty. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this and all other hearings. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one for you.

Arraignments for traffic misdemeanors are held at 8:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. If you fail to appear for your scheduled hearing, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest and your driver's license may be suspended. If you plead guilty to a misdemeanor, you will be required to pay a fine and points will be assessed to your driving record. Some violations can result in your being sent to jail for up to one year. If, at your arraignment, you plead not guilty, you have the right to request a trial by a judge (bench trial) or a jury. A date will be set for your pre- trial hearing, at which time the judge will determine if there is sufficient evidence to go to trial. You may also post bond at your arraignment if you did not do so following your arrest. Q What happens if I am arrested on a traffic misdemeanor? A. You will be taken to a precinct station, processed and allowed to post bond. If you do not post a bond, you will spend the night in jail. For those who post bond, arraignment is usually held within two days. Q What happens if I post a bond for someone and they don't show up for their court date? A When you post a bond for someone, it is your responsibility to see that they make all required court appearances. If they miss any of them you will lose your money by forfeiture. Q. What if I am a minor and receive a traffic ticket? A. If you are under the age of 17 and receive a misdemeanor traffic violation, you must appear at the Juvenile Court. If you are under age 17 and receive a civil infraction citation, you must appear at the 36th District Court. Q. What if I am ticketed or arrested for a city ordinance violation? A. If you are ticketed or arrested in the city of Detroit for an ordinance violation, your case will be processed in the same manner as traffic misdemeanors are handled. The maximum penalty for conviction of an ordinance violation is up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

Criminal/Traffic & Ordinance

The Criminal/ Traffic & Ordinance Division (T & O) is located on the 1st Floor of the Madison Center Building. If you are ticketed or arrested in the city of Detroit for a traffic violation or a city ordinance violation, your case will be processed in this division.

Types of cases handled by T & O:

Civil infraction traffic violations, such as going through a red light, speeding, illegal turns, etc., are less serious traffic offenses that are noncriminal in nature. Misdemeanor traffic violations are more serious offenses that can result in your arrest. The maximum penalty for crimes under this category is a $1,000 fine and/or one year in jail. City ordinance violations and criminal offenses, such as gun law violations; accosting and soliciting; disorderly conduct and drug violations which violate city, rather than state law. Environmental cases, including building and safety, hazardous waste, littering, etc. If you appear for a traffic or ordinance violation, your first stop should be at the General I nformation Counter, located just inside the public entrance to the Madison Center Building. For your convenience, the lobby is equipped with an ATM (Comerica Bank) money machine. The building also has a 24-hour drop box for payment of tickets and a QTP Ticket Payment Kiosk system. Many of the questions you might have regarding your matter can be answered by calling 313.965.2200 or via You must wait at least seven days after receiving a ticket before calling the court to get information about your case or to schedule a hearing. Please call 313.965.8700 or visit


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Traffic Issues Brochure