Driving While License Suspended (DWLS/DWLR)

Driving While License Suspended or Revoked in Michigan (DWLS & DWLR)

Unlike a speeding ticket which is a civil infraction, driving while license suspended (DWLS) or driving while license revoked (DWLR) is a serious criminal offense. A ticket for DWLS/DWLR in Michigan can have major consequences both in the long and short term. Amongst those, defendants who are convicted of DWLS or DWLR will face criminal court penalties (fines, costs and possible jail) and mandatory Secretary of State sanctions which include driver responsibility fees in the amount of $1,000.00, additional license suspension or revocation and points will be added to the offender’s driving record.

Revocations/Suspensions based upon multiple DUI or financial responsibility

Here is what the criminal defense lawyers at ABDO LAW are seeing: DWLS and DWLR are among the most prevalent misdemeanor criminal charges that we see in every Macomb County District Court where we frequently practice. In Michigan, driving privileges are suspended or revoked due to the following circumstances:

Multiple drinking and driving offenses: Driving privileges are indefinitely revoked in Michigan when a person has obtained:

  • 2 or more offenses for driving under the influence/impaired within 7 years
  • 3 or more offenses for driving under the influence/impaired within 10 years
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Negligent homicide
  • Operating while impaired or intoxicated causing death or injury
  • Fleeing & eluding in the first or second degree

What we are seeing at ABDO LAW is that many individuals that are revoked under these circumstances are otherwise eligible for a driver’s license restoration appeal. Unfortunately, many fail to undertake the process to file a license appeal before Administrative Hearings Division of the Michigan Secretary of State. Many falsely believe that the process is hopeless or corrupt, while others lack the financial resources to retain a lawyer, obtain a substance abuse evaluation and pay for the ignition interlock device which is required should driving privileges be awarded. If you find yourself in this position, contact the ABDO LAW firm for complete driver’s license restoration advice and services.

Financial Responsibility Suspensions, Unpaid Tickets: Financial related suspensions are another prevalent reason that automatically result in the loss of driving privileges. Financial related suspensions include failure to comply with judgments, driver responsibility fees and unpaid tickets which have gone into default status. Financial related suspensions can usually be cured by paying off any financial obligation(s) that caused the suspension. However, many people are unemployed or suffer from other hardships and the financial obligation is often greater than a person can handle. Driver responsibility fees are big part of the problem. According State Rep. Joe Haveman (R-Holland), these fees have been called a “death penalty for drivers”. Haveman favors legislation which would phase out all driver responsibility fees and he has called the law a “cash grab” for the state at the expense of motorists, who can lose their license for non-payment.

Penalties for Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, or Denied

First Offense DWLS/DWLR

  • Up to a $500 fine plus *costs, or up to 93 days in jail, or both.
  • Mandatory additional license sanction.
  • 2 points added to the offender's driving record.
  • Driver Responsibility Fee of $500 for 2 consecutive years.

Second Offense DWL/DWLR

  • Up to a $1,000 fine plus *costs, or up to 1 year in jail, or both.
  • Mandatory additional license sanction.
  • Vehicle may be immobilized for up to 180 days.
  • 2 points added to the offender's driving record.
  • Driver Responsibility Fee of $500 for 2 consecutive years.

Third Offense DWL/DWLR

  • Up to a $1,000 fine plus *costs, or up to 1 year in jail, or both.
  • Mandatory additional license sanction.
  • 2 points added to the offender's driving record.
  • Driver Responsibility Fee of $500 for 2 consecutive years.
  • If there are 2 prior convictions within 7 years, license plate confiscation & vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days.

Fourth Offense DWL/DWLR

  • Up to a $1,000 fine plus *costs, or up to 1 year in jail, or both.
  • Mandatory additional license sanction.
  • 2 points added to the offender's driving record.
  • Driver Responsibility Fee of $500 for 2 consecutive years.
  • If there are 3 prior convictions within 7 years, , license plate confiscation & vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days.

Fifth Offense DWL/DWLR

  • Up to a $1,000 fine plus *costs, or up to 1 year in jail, or both.
  • Mandatory additional license sanction.
  • 2 points added to the offender's driving record.
  • Driver Responsibility Fee of $500 for 2 consecutive years.
  • If there are 4 prior convictions within 7 years, license plate confiscation & vehicle immobilization for 1 to 3 years.

*Approximate court costs can range between $200.00 to $1,000.00.

Negotiating DWLS/DWLR to Avoid Jail, Penalties, Secretary of State Sanctions

We set several goals when retained to represent someone charged with DWLS/DWLR:

  • Avoid jail
  • Reduction of the charge
  • Reduction in points
  • Avoidance of additional suspension or revocation

ABDO LAW makes many references within our website about getting criminal charges dismissed or reduced. There are several legal benefits when we can negotiate a plea bargain to a lower offense. When it comes to reducing a DWLS or DWLR, court penalties, along with mandatory Secretary of State sanctions, are usually lowered as well. Harsh license sanctions are just one benefit that is immediately measurable when we are able to get favorable plea bargains for clients charged with DWLS or DWLR. In exceptional cases, we have avoided the stigma of a criminal drunk driving conviction, jail and license sanctions altogether by getting the matter amended to a non-criminal offense.

Essentially, getting professional legal help for a DWLS/DWLR charge in Michigan is a question of economics. With reductions you will save money and points, bottom line. Alternatively, those who choose either not to deal with these charges or do so inadequately can end up in a vortex of unpaid tickets, Secretary of State fees, and eventually further license suspension or revocation.

Contact ABDO LAW for aggressive legal representation in all Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Wayne County Courts if you face driving while license suspended or driving while license revoked charge. We can also provide you with representation if your license is revoked because of multiple DUI cases and you are eligible for a driver’s license restoration hearing before the Administrative Hearings Division of the Michigan Secretary of State.

FREE PHONE & OFFICE CONSULTATION Call the ABDO LAW FIRM 24 Hours Phone: 586-412-5555 Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo

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