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Driving With A Suspended Or Revoked License

One of the most common and frequently prosecuted criminal charges in Michigan is for driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license or DWLS. There are a variety of reasons that your driver’s license can be suspended and/or revoked, including prior DUIs, accumulating too many points, nonpayment of child support, etc. Regardless of the reason, having your driver’s license taken away for any period of time will undoubtedly have a profound effect on your ability to live your normal life and make a living. Facing a DWLS charge will only make matters worse.

Suspension Vs. Revocation

The most serious action is a revocation, defined in MCL 257.52, as the termination of the operator’s license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle. Once your license has been revoked, you must wait for a period of time, typically at least one year for your first revocation, before being eligible to reapply for your license restoration. Applications are made to the Secretary of State Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD).

A suspension is for a definite period and has a “from” and “through” date. When the “through” date is reached, you only need to appear at a branch office and pay the reinstatement fee for the suspension to be lifted.

Penalties For DWLS

If you get caught driving while your license is suspended or revoked, you will likely face a charge that carries harsh penalties.

A first offense for DWLS in Michigan carries a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and

$500 in fines, plus court costs and fees.

A second or subsequent DWLS charge carries a maximum of one year in jail and up to

$1,000 in fines, plus court costs and fees.

Perhaps even more serious than the threat of jail and fines is that the Secretary of State will be notified of your conviction and will extend the suspension or revocation period.

Available Defenses

It is important to know what defenses are available to you when facing a DWLS charge. Some effective defenses might include that you didn’t receive notice of the suspension, that the traffic stop was unlawful, or that an emergency required you to drive. Unfortunately, prosecutors and courts hear many excuses for why people are driving on a suspended license on a daily basis, so knowing how to assert the defenses available to you effectively is crucial.

Our attorneys will work with you to develop an effective defense against DWLS charges. We will ensure that you are given a fair shot and will fight to reduce the consequences of your ability to drive in the future. Call McDonald Pierangeli Macfarlane, PLLC at 616-426-9609 today in Grand Rapids.