Driving while your license is suspended is a serious offense in Michigan and can lead to severe consequences. Unlike a traffic ticket, which is a civil infraction, driving while your license is suspended or revoked is a criminal offense. Understanding the reasons behind the suspension and the potential repercussions of such actions is crucial.
Suppose you are convicted of driving while your license is suspended (DWLS). In that case, you may be required to appear in court and face fines and possible jail time. Furthermore, the Michigan Secretary of State might take action against your license, which could result in additional suspensions and points.
What is a suspended license?
Michigan follows a point system where drivers accumulate points for traffic violations. When you reach a certain threshold, your license can be suspended. Additionally, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your license can be suspended immediately. A suspended license means your driving privileges have temporarily been revoked. It can occur due to various reasons, such as:
- Accumulating too many points on your driving record
- Failing to appear in court or pay fines
- Operating while intoxicated (OWI) convictions
- Reckless driving
- Vehicular manslaughter
When your license is suspended, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle until the suspension period is over or specific conditions are met.
Penalties for driving with a suspended license
Driving with a suspended license is considered a misdemeanor offense in Michigan. If convicted, you may face fines, probation, community service or even imprisonment, depending on the circumstances. This would result in a criminal record, which can negatively impact your employment prospects, as many employers perform background checks.
Additionally, your license suspension period can be extended, meaning you would have to wait even longer before you can reinstate your driving privileges. Furthermore, law enforcement may also impound your vehicle, and you would be responsible for the associated costs, including towing and storage fees. Driving with a suspended license can also have long-term financial implications. Insurance companies may view you as a high-risk driver, leading to higher insurance premiums.
Driving with a suspended license is a serious offense with severe consequences. Therefore, you should comply with license suspension regulations to avoid the risks and hardships of a DWLS charge. If you are facing charges, it may be time to seek legal guidance about your possible defenses.