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Q for MI: Any way to find out if someone has unpaid moving violations?

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by steveksux, May 17, 2011.

  1. steveksux

    steveksux Massive Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    Pretty sure the answer is no, checking of LEIN for non-official purpose can result in firing, (criminal charges?) and possible loss of LEIN privs for the agency involved.

    I'm sure I can request a copy of MY record. The problem is checking the record of a family member.

    I have a family member that needs to get a copy of their record from the Detroit police to prove its clean.

    Some time ago he got a ticket that he didn't pay, and his license was suspended as a result.

    At one point he said he finally paid the ticket, so license should not be suspended anymore.

    On the other hand, the day before he said that, he said he was afraid the Sec of State would find the suspension and said there was a checkbox on the application for DL that states "under penalty of perjury, I certify my license is not revoked/suspended", so he applied for the personal ID instead of the DL. I don't remember seeing a checkbox like that, but I never had to worry about stuff like that, so probably just don't remember seeing it.

    I don't believe much of anything he says. Partly because I don't trust him not to lie, and partly because I don't trust his memory when he's trying to tell the truth, there are some mental issues, hard to tell where the crazy stops and the lazy starts. And of course the 2 stories he gave me can't both be true. He either applied for the PID or the DL.

    He got DL in the mail a week ago. BUT! Does that mean the ticket was paid, the suspension is cleared up? Or does it mean the Sec of State doesn't bother checking DL renewals to make sure the license holder is suspended and renewed the DL regardless?

    My understanding is unpaid tickets result in a bench warrant. You get pulled over with one on your record, you go to jail. So when he waltzes into the police station and asks them for a copy of his record.... if he really hasn't paid that ticket, he'll be going to jail.

    Not that I'm totally opposed to that. I've sort of taken him on as a project, try to drill it into his head that decisions have consequences, and bad decisions... you get the idea. In short, my mission is to be "Ghost of Christmas Future", give him a taste of what life will be like if he doesn't change. Unpleasant is good for him right now. Consequences. Its what's for dinner. So this would fit right in.

    However, he's already suffering enough for right now, and as much as the evil little man inside me would probably get a chuckle out of his dumb ass waltzing into the police station asking for a copy of his record, and getting jailed as a result, I'm afraid a night in jail might be too much for him to handle right now. Besides which I'm already taking time off work to take him there, don't want to have to take more time off to bail him out.

    Ideally I'd like to know a few things so I can simply be prepared:

    1) Does Sec of State verify a license renewal is not suspended/revoked before sending out the renewal? Maybe I'm worried for nothing.

    2) How long will he be jailed if he has an outstanding ticket, and what's the procedure for me getting him released, how long does he have to stay in jail?

    3) Is there any way for me to verify wants/warrants beforehand, make sure he clears that up before he goes down there? Pretty sure that's impossible.

    Yes, I told him he HAS to have that ticket paid for before he goes down to request his record or else. He has a history of ignoring obvious stuff to his own peril. I plan on reiterating that to him. But I'd rather know for sure so he can take care of it ahead of time without the jail part. I don't mind teaching him a lesson, but he's already costing me too much time off work already.

  2. merlynusn


    Nov 16, 2007
    Here, if you don't show up to court (or don't pay a ticket) they suspend your drivers license for the first offense. Subsequently failing to show up to court will result in the order for arrest.

    In order to get a license, it'll show that his license is suspended and he won't get a new one. Especially if he's in the same state. Best way would be to go to the DMV and request a copy of his driving record. It'll tell him if it's suspended or active.

    ETA: If he thinks he has a warrant. In some places, they have a website for the county sheriff's department which lists all active warrants. Just search under his name. I don't know how Detroit does it, but it's an option. He can always call the police up and ask them. Or go turn himself in and get a bond.
    Last edited: May 17, 2011

  3. OldCurlyWolf


    Aug 7, 2010
    Another option is to assign power of attorney to someone to get a copy of his DMV record.
  4. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

    Jan 2, 2008
    Lost Coast, Cali
    Does the court that handled that particular case have a website with a search feature? If so, it should be simple to see what the status of the case is. Locally, everything that happens in the course of a case is logged, so you can pull up a person and see when the got the ticket, what officer cited them, every court appearance / continuance / FTA, fine amount, whether it is paid, suspension status, warrants, and so on. I use the county court and surrounding county court websites all teh time to call BS on people... and check probation status, warrants not in LEADs, and so forth...

    It's all public record so even without the website search, you can just go to the clerk of courts and file a records request. In Ohio, at least, they have to comply.
  5. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.

    We have a state website that allows you to look up (for free) all cases and, among other things, check to see what is owed on them. It's like a mini criminal history a lot of the time.
  6. Randy,

    In Michigan you can do an ICHAT search for criminal records on anybody. It costs $10.00. I'm pretty sure it only shows crimes that someone has been convicted of, not anything pending so it probably won't show a warrant. On the other hand it might show traffic violations. For ten bucks you could give it a try.
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  7. furioso2112


    Dec 12, 2007
    There are records, and there are records. I applied for law school and was told I had to provide a record of every known offense; I knew I had a traffic offense from 12 or 15 years previous (in Michigan), but when I called the court it was in, they said they had no computer record, and thei hard copies were in a warehouse, don't worry about it. it wouldnever show up. I reported this to the school - they said they would not give me a spot unless I could prove that I had taken care of the offense. Called the court back, explained, they sent someone over, said they didn't have it - school said 'not acceptable - when you sit for the bar, the board of bar examiners in your state will have access that you were pulled over and what the offense is - you must show that you took care of the issue' - told the court - re-searched - found it misfiled under my misspelled name. This was not an arrest ticket, mind you - a minor traffic offense.

    So, depending on what you ned to know and why, it's worth getting to the bottom of. If you know the jurisdiction, you can call or look up on their website. I had to look up several tickets (had to do everyone I've ever had) in several jurisdictions in MI and NC, and the process and fee varies - some did not charge at all, got it done quickly. Others took a while and charged.

    To get a driving report sent to an address other than the one on file, you must sign why you are requesting the report. I had to call the Sec of State, they guided me to the form, fax number, etc. - not a big deal. If you are an employer, agency, etc., you can get one with the licensee's approval.

    I did all these things in the last couple of weeks. I recommend calling Sec of State, tell them what's up, what you want, they'll let you know if you can and how to do it. This is the first step - find out if there is any lingering record of the violation with the Sec of St. RE: court, it might have gone off the books, not made it in a switch from paper to computer (one jurisdiciton - Lansing, IIRC, told me this was possible). Follow up with jurisdictional search of where the violation took place.
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  8. steveksux

    steveksux Massive Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    Thanks guys... I think the ticket was within a year or two, pretty recent. ICHAT says it doesn't do warrants, so it would miss a bench warrant for unpaid ticket. I'll give the Sec of State a try.