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Moving Violation Causing Death

In 2009, the state of Michigan repealed their felony driving statute as well as their negligent homicide statute. They replaced that statute with the moving violation causing serious injury or death law, which ended up making the prosecutor’s job even easier as they no longer needed to prove the driver was negligently operating their vehicle. While this is good news for the prosecution team, it’s terrible for defendants who just made a simple mistake while driving that had devastating consequences.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a moving violation causing death, it’s imperative you call an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You could be facing upwards to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine even though the crime committed was non-violent and could potentially happen to anyone. Not only that, but you’ll have points added to your driving record and insurance spikes if you’re convicted of a moving violation causing death. For these reasons and more, we urge you to obtain legal representation immediately.

Oakland County Lawyer for Moving Violation Causing Death

Do not plead guilty or speak to law enforcement until you’ve secured legal counsel with Dallo Law, P.C.. J. Dallo is an experienced Michigan traffic offense lawyer who can analyze your case and determine a defense plan tailor made for your charges. His aggressive approach in the courtroom paired with his detailed-oriented work ethic has given J. Dallo an unparalleled track record that just can’t be beat. To learn more about your legal options, call his office at (248) 283-7000.

Dallo Law, P.C. is located in Bloomfield Hills, but we accept clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area. Some cities include but are not limited to Pontiac, Birmingham, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Sterling Heights, West Bloomfield Township, Royal Oak, Novi, Eastpointe, Clinton Township, Warren and Roseville.

Information Center:

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What is a Moving Violation Causing Death?

Moving violations where another person has died are considered a serious traffic offense in the state of Michigan. The crime is defined under the Michigan Vehicle Code Section 257.601d(1), which states a person is guilty if they commit a moving violation while operating a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public, including, but not limited to, an area designated for the parking of motor vehicles, and if the violation was the proximate cause of another person’s death.

It’s important to note a moving violation is simply any traffic infraction where the vehicle is in motion. For example, speeding is a moving violation because you’re breaking the speed limit and the car is moving at the time of the infraction. Some examples of moving violations include:

  • Careless driving
  • Failure to stop within assured clear distance
  • Improper lane passing
  • Failure to stop for a school bus
  • Failure to yield
  • Running a stop or red light

The wording “proximate cause” is very important in relation to the statute. It means the prosecutor only has to show the driver was operating a vehicle and committed a traffic code violation at the time of the accident. They do not need to prove any negligence on the driver’s part that ultimately caused the other person’s death.

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Issues with Moving Violations Causing Death

One of the most controversial crimes prosecuted under Michigan legislature is moving violations causing death. The reason the crime is so hotly debated is it punishes both negligent and safe drivers who simply made a mistake. In the past, the offense was reserved for drivers who were negligently operating a vehicle and exposing others to their dangerous reckless driving. Now, the offense can be applied to any person involved in a fatal accident who happened to break a rule of the road. No matter how minuscule the violation is.

Michigan prosecutors don’t have to prove you were negligent or that the violation was the reason for the accident. The only element they must prove is you were driving and committed the infraction at the time the accident occurred.

For example, imagine you are driving 5 mph over the speed limit on a highway. Technically at that moment you’re committing a moving violation. Now, imagine another vehicle is traveling adjacent to you in the other lane and they’re following the speed limit. If that vehicle hits a patch of ice and swerves into your car, then it could cause a devastating accident that ultimately kills the other driver. In that case, you could be charged with a moving violation causing death because you were committing a traffic violation at the time of the collision.

Although this would be legally correct, it would be morally unjust. Obviously, it was the ice that would cause the other driver to get in an accident, not your traffic violation. However, according to Michigan law you’d still be charged with a moving violation causing death.

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Punishment for Moving Violations Causing Death

In the majority of cases, a moving violation is simply a traffic infraction and will result in a ticket. However, if someone dies as a result of the violation, then you’ll be charged with a criminal offense. You’ll instead be facing a misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Six points added to your driving record
  • One “hard” license suspension, meaning you cannot appeal the suspension

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Additional Resources

Offense Code for Traffic Infractions – Visit the official website for the Michigan Government to read their index code for traffic violations. Access the site to read up on the various types of traffic violations a person can face, the statutory license sanctions, and if there’s an ability to file a hardship license appeal.

Moving Violation Causing Death | Michigan Statutes – Visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature to read up on their laws surrounding moving violations causing death and the penalties for committing the crime. Access the site to read what the penalties for committing the crime are, penalty enhancements, and other important information you may need.

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Oakland County Traffic Lawyer, MI | Moving Violations Causing Death

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a moving violation causing injury or death, call Dallo Law, P.C.. J. Dallo has helped numerous people fight traffic crime allegations using his experience, skills, and resources as a defense lawyer. He can assess your case and develop a defense strategy that’s effective and efficient enough to secure reduced or dismissed charges.

Call Dallo Law, P.C. today at (248) 283-7000 to set up your first consultation free. Dallo Law, P.C. is located in Bloomfield Hills, but we accept clients throughout Oakland County and Macomb County, Michigan.

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