Driving on a Suspended License in Michigan

Driving on a suspended or revoked license is serious in Michigan. Depending on the situation, an individual who violates their suspended license may face misdemeanor or felony charges. Keep reading today’s blog to learn more details about a suspended license sentence in the state.

Suspended Licenses in Michigan

Like all states, Michigan may suspend or revoke an individual’s driving privileges. In many cases, a license may be suspended if the driver:

  • is convicted of a felony if a vehicle was used;
  • fails to stop at the scene of an accident involving injury;
  • does not appear for court or answer a citation for certain crimes; or
  • fails to appear for a child support hearing or doesn’t comply with a child support order or repayment plan.

A license may also be suspended if a driver accumulates a certain number of points on their driving record, such as through speeding tickets and other driving offenses.

Note that a license may be suspended for either a definite or indefinite amount of time. A definite suspension carries a "from" and "through" date. If no additional violations occur during the period of the suspension and the through date has passed, the driver may go to their local branch office and pay the reinstatement fee to restore their license.

An indefinite suspension is a suspension that will not terminate until the driver is approved for relicensure by the Department or a court. By nature, indefinite suspensions have no through date. One example could be if an indefinite suspension is imposed by a Department analyst for a medical reason, where the driver must submit a favorable medical statement for evaluation before their relicensure is authorized.

Some common reasons why a driver could have an indefinite license suspension are:

  • outstanding tickets and fines;
  • not paying child support;
  • no proof of car insurance;
  • alcohol and drug related driving offenses;
  • failure to appear in court for a misdemeanor hearing for a traffic violation;
  • failure to comply with a judgment.

Driving on a Suspended License

Individuals who drive with a suspended or revoked license may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime. In many cases, those caught driving on a suspended license will be charged with a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence will depend on whether the offender has prior convictions for operating with a suspended or revoked license.

Upon a first violation, the maximum sentence may be:

  • up to 93 days in jail;
  • a $500 fine; and
  • cancellation of the relevant vehicle registration plates.

For subsequent violations, the maximum sentence may be:

  • up to 1 year in jail;
  • a $1,000 fine; and
  • cancellation of the relevant vehicle registration plates.

The charges will increase from misdemeanor to felony if a person drives with a suspended or revoked license and injures or kills someone. If the driver causes serious injury to someone, the sentence may be:

  • up to 5 years in prison; and
  • a fine between $1,000 and $5,000.

If the driver causes someone’s death, the sentence may be:

  • up to 15 years in prison; and
  • a fine between $2,500 and $10,000.

In addition, the vehicle involved in the offense may be forfeited or immobilized if the offender is convicted under these circumstances. Note that a person may also be charged with a misdemeanor or felony if they permit someone to drive a vehicle while knowing that they do not have a license.

Reinstating Your License

To reinstate a license, the individual, after the suspension period, will need to pay all their fines owed and up to a $125 reinstatement fee depending on the circumstances, as well as fulfill any other conditions. In some cases, a driver may need to request a hearing before they can get your license back.

Be aware that if a person cannot pay all the fines and fees they owe at once, they can ask a judge for alternative sanctions, which could be:

  • reducing the fines and fees and being put on an affordable payment plan;
  • forgiving some or all of the fines and fees; and/or
  • allowing the driver to do community service instead of paying the fines and fees.

Questions? Contact an Attorney Today.

If you have been accused of driving on a suspended license, the legal repercussions can be very serious, depending on the severity of your offense. An attorney can evaluate your case and potentially argue a felony charge down to a misdemeanor, if appropriate. Whether you have questions about a suspended license violation or how to reinstate your license, consult White Law PLLC for legal guidance in your case.

Schedule a case evaluation with White Law PLLC today for more information.