Last week I was issued a ticket for "Operating Vehicle While Texting/Reading/Typing". It was a bs ticket since I had just pulled out of a parking lot and was merely plugging my phone in to charge it. Regardless, I probably don't have a shot at winning that since I was still looking down with a mobile device in my hand. My question is regarding the cost of this ticket.

Ordinance 257.602b states it's just a $100 fine for the first offense. The magistrate told me it was going to cost me $240. I didn't pay it because her GPS was down and I don't carry around $240 in cash on me...

The ticket was issued in Tuscola County, Michigan. I did a bunch of digging around and found this: http://www.14adistrictcourt.org/traffic_court/traffic_fines.html

It shows $240 as the total for the ticket, which is ridiculous to begin with, but what is the difference in the Fine and Cost and what are SMCO and BLDG? How can a fine cost $100 but I end up having to pay $240?


Consider that stuff "court costs" or "court fees." They are actually often things not related to the court, like environmental fee, or emergency medical something or other, or park poop bag fee. Pretty much whatever either the legislature or administrative decision makers what to put on there.

And FWIW, if you were not texting get your phone records and bring them to court to prove that you did not send any texts in or around that time.

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