The Failure to Stop Within Assured Clear Distance
Rear-end car collisions are one of the most common forms of accidents. During the course of a rear-end accident investigation, a party involved may be issued a ticket referred to as the Failure to Stop Within Assured Clear Distance. This is because Michigan law creates a presumption that the person who hit the rear end of another car is at fault. Under MCL 257.627(1), “A person operating a vehicle on a highway shall operate that vehicle at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the highway and of any other condition existing at the time. A person shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than that which will permit a stop within the assured, clear distance ahead.”
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How is this traffic violation classified?
Under Michigan law, a traffic violation may be classified as a civil infraction or a criminal misdemeanor. The Failure to Stop Within Assured Clear Distance (FTACD) is classified as a civil infraction and is not considered a crime. Examples of other civil infractions include speeding, failure to signal, and disobeying a traffic device.
What are the penalties?
Michigan traffic violations vary in the severity of the offense and penalty assessed. Penalties for traffic offenses may include fines and costs, license suspension, and in most serious cases, jail. More commonly, points may be placed on your driving record. In Michigan, each traffic violation has a point value assigned and can be found in the Michigan Vehicle Code. Failure to Stop Within Assured Clear Distance carries two points on one’s driving record. Points are placed on your driving record after you have been convicted of the misdemeanor or responsible for the civil infraction. These points will remain on your driving record for two years.
Why should I hire an attorney for this traffic offense?
Hiring an attorney can reduce fines, keep points off your record, and save you hundreds of dollars on your car insurance. Most traffic violations are negotiable. This means an attorney can work with the prosecutor to amend the principal charge to a different charge, reduce the penalties, or defeat the charge altogether.
If you have been charged with this offense, you should speak to an attorney before pleading responsible. For more information on how we can help, Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.