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How Can Your Operator’s License Get Suspended In Michigan?

 

Driving is a privilege in Michigan.  If a person with an operator’s license is convicted of certain crimes, fails to pay fines and costs in non-criminal traffic matters or even fails to pay child support, then the Michigan Secretary of State will suspend your operator’s license for a certain period of time.  This sanction will take effect immediately upon the Secretary of State receiving a record of the person’s conviction for any crime subject to suspension.

 

FRAUDULENTLY ALTERING OR FORGING MOTOR VEHICLE DOCUMENTS

A person convicted of any crime for fraudulently altering or forging documents pertaining to motor vehicles (e.g. proof of insurance, registration, vehicle titles) in the Michigan Vehicle Code will have his or her operator’s license suspended for ONE YEAR.  MCL 257.319(2)(a).

 

UNLAWFUL DRIVING AWAY OF AN AUTOMOBILE (MCL 750.433)

A person convicted of unlawful driving away of an automobile contrary to MCL 750.433 will have his or her operator’s license suspended for ONE YEAR.  MCL 257.319(2)(b).

 

JOYRIDING (MCL 750.434)

A person convicted of joyriding contrary to MCL 750.434 will have his or her operator’s license suspended as follows:

  • FOR 90 DAYS if the person has no prior conviction for that offense within 7 years. MCL 257.319(6)(a).
  • FOR 1 YEAR if the person has 1 or more prior convictions for that offense within 7 years. MCL 257.319(6)(b).

 

FELONY WHERE A MOTOR VEHICLE WAS USED

A person convicted of a felony during the commission of which the person convicted operated a motor vehicle and while operating the vehicle presented real or potential harm to persons or property will have his or her operator’s license suspended for ONE YEAR if 1 or more of the following circumstances existed (MCL 257.319(2)(d)):

  • The vehicle was used as an instrument of the felony.
  • The vehicle was used to transport a victim of the felony.
  • The vehicle was used to flee the scene of the felony.
  • The vehicle was necessary for the commission of the felony.

 

THIRD-DEGREE OR FOURTH-DEGREE FLEEING AND ELUDING

A person convicted of fourth-degree fleeing and eluding, contrary to MCL 257.602a(2) or MCL 750.479a(2), or convicted of third-degree fleeing and eluding, contrary to MCL 257.602a(3) or MCL 750.479a(3), will have his or her operator’s license suspended for ONE YEAR.  MCL 257.319(2)(e).

 

MOVING VIOLATION CAUSING SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH (MCL 257.601d)

A person convicted of moving violation causing serious impairment of bodily function contrary to MCL 257.601d(2) or convicted of moving violation causing death contrary to MCL 257.601d(1) will have his or her operator’s license suspended for ONE YEAR.  MCL 257.319(2)(f).

 

FAILING TO STOP AND DISCLOSE IDENTITY AT SCENE OF ACCIDENT RESULTING IN INJURY (MCL 257.617a)

A person convicted of failing to stop and disclose identity at the scene of an accident resulting in injury contrary to MCL 257.617a will have his or her operator’s license suspended for 90 DAYS.  MCL 257.319(3)(a).

 

RECKLESS DRIVING (MCL 257.626(2))

A person convicted of reckless driving contrary to MCL 257.626(2) will have his or her operator’s license suspended for 90 DAYS.  MCL 257.319(3)(b).

 

MALICIOUSLY DESTROYING LANDSCAPING WITH VEHICLE (MCL 750.382)

A person convicted of maliciously destroying landscaping with a vehicle contrary to MCL 750.382 will have his or her operator’s license suspended as follows:

  • For 30 DAYS if the landscaping damaged or injured had a value less than $200.00. MCL 257.319(4).
  • For 90 DAYS if the landscaping damaged or injured had a value of $200.00 or more. MCL 257.319(3)(c).

 

FRAUDULENT IDENTIFICATION TO PURCHASE ALCOHOL FOR MINOR (MCL 436.1703(2))

A person convicted of using false identification to purchase alcohol for a minor, or a minor convicted of using false identification to purchase alcohol contrary to MCL 436.1703(2) will have his or her operator’s license suspended for 90 DAYS.  MCL 257.319(3)(d).

 

PERJURY OR FALSE CERTIFICATION TO SECRETARY OF STATE (MCL 257.324(1))

A person convicted of perjury or making a false certification to the secretary of state under any law requiring the registration of a motor vehicle or regulating the operation of a vehicle on a highway, contrary to MCL 257.324(1), will have his or her operator’s license suspended as follows:

  • FOR 90 DAYS if the person has no prior conviction for that offense within 7 years. MCL 257.319(5)(a).
  • FOR 1 YEAR if the person has 1 or more prior convictions for that offense within 7 years. MCL 257.319(5)(b).

 

OPEN INTOXICANTS IN VEHICLE OR MINOR TRANSPORTING OR POSSESSING ALCOHOL (SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE)

A person convicted of open intoxicants in a vehicle contrary to MCL 257.624a, or a minor convicted of transporting or possessing alcohol in a vehicle contrary to MCL 257.624b will have his or her operator’s license suspended as follows:

  • For 90 DAYS if the person has 1 prior conviction for either of these offenses. The Michigan Secretary of State may issue the person a restricted license after the first 30 days of the suspension.  MCL 257.319(7)(a).
  • For 1 YEAR if the person has 2 or more prior convictions of either of these offenses. The Michigan Secretary of State may issue the person a restricted license after the first 60 days of the suspension.  MCL 257.319(7)(b).

 

OPERATING WHILE INTOXICATED (MCL 257.625(1)) OR OPERATING WITH PRESENCE OF SCHEDULE 1 OR 2 DRUG (MCL 257.625(8))

A person convicted of operating while intoxicated contrary to MCL 257.625(1)(a) or MCL 257.625(1)(b), or convicted of operating with the presence of a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drug in his or her system contrary to MCL 257.625(8) will have his or her operator’s license suspended for 180 DAYS if the person has no prior convictions within 7 years.  MCL 257.319(8)(a).  The person convicted under these statutes may receive a restricted license after the first 30 days of the suspension.

 

OPERATING WHILE VISIBLY IMPAIRED (MCL 257.625(3))

A person convicted of operating while visibly impaired contrary to MCL 257.625(3) will have his or her operator’s license suspended for 180 DAYS if the person has no prior convictions within 7 years.  MCL 257.319(8)(b).  The person convicted under these statutes may receive a restricted license at any time during the suspension.

 

MINOR OPERATING WITH ANY BODILY ALCOHOL CONTENT (MCL 257.625(6))

A person under 21 convicted of operating a motor vehicle with a bodily alcohol content of 0.02 or greater contrary to MCL 257.625(6) will have his or her operator’s license suspended as follows:

  • For 30 DAYS if the person has no prior convictions within 7 years for this offense. The Michigan Secretary of State may issue the person a restricted license during all or a specified portion of the suspension. MCL 257.319(8)(c).
  • For 90 DAYS if the person has 1 or more prior convictions within 7 years for this offense. MCL 257.319(8)(d).

 

CHILD ENDANGERMENT (MCL 257.625(7))

A person convicted of child endangerment contrary to MCL 257.625(7) will have his or her operator’s license suspended for 180 DAYS if the person has no prior convictions within 7 years.  MCL 257.319(8)(e).  The person convicted under this statute may receive a restricted license after the first 90 days of the suspension.

 

OPERATING COMMERCIAL VEHICLE WITH BODILY ALCOHOL CONTENT OF 0.04 OR MORE (MCL 257.625m).

A person convicted of operating a commercial vehicle with bodily alcohol content of 0.04 or more contrary to MCL 257.625m will have his or her operator’s license suspended for 90 DAYS if the person has no prior convictions within 7 years.  MCL 257.319(8)(b).  The person convicted under this statute may receive a restricted license at any time during the suspension.

 

MICHIGAN’S “SUPERDRUNK” LAW (MCL 257.625(1)(c))

A person convicted of operating a motor vehicle with a bodily alcohol content of 0.17 or more per 210 liters of breath contrary to MCL 257.625(1)(c) will have his or her operator’s license suspended for ONE YEAR if the person has no prior convictions within 7 years or not more than 2 convictions within 10 years.  MCL 257.319(8)(g).  The person convicted under this statute may receive a restricted license after the first 45 days of the suspension.

However, if the person violates the terms of the restricted license OR attempts to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.025 grams per 210 liters of breath, then the Michigan Secretary of State will impose an additional like period of suspension for ONE YEAR.  MCL 257.319(8)(i). 

 

THEFT OF MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL (MCL 750.367c)

A person convicted of theft of motor vehicle fuel (by pumping into the tank and driving off without payment) contrary to MCL 750.367c will have his or her operator’s license suspended as follows:

  • If the person has no prior conviction for this offense within 7 years, for 6 months. MCL 257.319(9)(a).
  • If the person has 1 or more convictions for this offense within 7 years, for 1 year. MCL 257.319(9)(b).

 

REPORTING FALSE ADDRESS TO THE MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE (MCL 257.315d(4))

A person convicted of knowingly reporting a change of address to the Michigan Secretary of State that is not the residence address contrary to MCL 257.315d(4) will have his or her operator’s license suspended for SIX MONTHS.  MCL 257.319(10).

 

THREAT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST SCHOOL

A person between 14 years and 21 years old convicted to threatening to use explosives (MCL 750.327 or MCL 750.328), place harmful substances in food (MCL 750.397a) or poisoning a food or drink (MCL 750.436) against a school will have his or her operator’s license suspended for THREE YEARS after the date of the conviction or juvenile disposition of the offense.  MCL 257.319(11).

 

SELLING OR FURNISHING ALCOHOL TO MINOR (SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE)

A person who is not a retail licensee or a retail licensee’s clerk, agent, or employee convicted of selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor for a second or subsequent time will have his or her operator’s license suspended for 180 DAYS.  MCL 257.319(12).

 

OUT-OF-STATE SUSPENSION OF LICENSE FOR SIMILAR OFFENSE IN MICHIGAN

“The secretary of state may suspend or revoke the license issued under [the Michigan Vehicle Code] upon receiving notice of the conviction of that person in another state of an offense in that state, or the determination of responsibility of that person in an administrative adjudication in another state for a violation in that state which, if committed in this state, would be grounds for the suspension or revocation of the license of an operator or chauffeur.”  MCL 257.318(1).

“The secretary of state shall suspend a license issued under [the Michigan Vehicle Code] upon receiving notice of the license holder’s failure to comply with a citation issued by another state until the secretary of state receives satisfactory evidence of compliance from the other state.”  MCL 257.318(2).

 

FAILURE TO ANSWER CITATION, COMPLY WITH ORDER OR JUDGMENT, OR APPEAR IN COURT

28 days or more after a person fails to answer a citation, or a notice to appear in court for a violation reportable to the Michigan Secretary of State or for any matter pending, or fails to comply with an order or judgment of the court, including, but not limited to, paying all fines, costs, fees, and assessments, the court shall give notice by mail at the last known address of the person that if the person fails to appear or fails to comply with the order or judgment within 14 days after the notice is issued, the Secretary of State shall suspend the person’s operator’s or chauffeur’s license. If the person fails to appear or fails to comply with the order or judgment within the 14-day period, the court shall, within 14 days, inform the secretary of state, who shall immediately suspend the license of the person.  MCL 257.321a(2).

If the person is charged with, or convicted of, an alcohol-related driving offense (MCL 257.625) or MCL 436.1703 of the Michigan Liquor Control Act and the person fails to answer a citation or a notice to appear in court, or for any matter pending, or fails to comply with an order or judgment of the court, including, but not limited to, paying all fines, costs, and crime victim rights assessments, the court shall immediately give notice by first-class mail sent to the person’s last known address that if the person fails to appear within 7 days after the notice is issued, or fails to comply with the order or judgment of the court, including, but not limited to, paying all fines, costs, and crime victim rights assessments, within 14 days after the notice is issued, the Secretary of State shall suspend the person’s operator’s or chauffeur’s license. If the person fails to appear within the 7-day period, or fails to comply with the order or judgment of the court, including, but not limited to, paying all fines, costs, and crime victim rights assessments, within the 14-day period, the court shall immediately inform the Secretary of State who shall immediately suspend the person’s operator’s or chauffeur’s license and notify the person of the suspension by first-class mail sent to the person’s last known address.  MCL 257.321a(3) and (4).

A suspension imposed under these statutes remains in effect until both of the following occur:

  • The secretary of state is notified by each court in which the person failed to answer a citation or notice to appear or failed to pay a fine or cost that the person has answered that citation or notice to appear or paid that fine or cost. MCL 257.321a(5)(a).
  • The person has paid to the court a $45.00 driver license clearance fee for each failure to answer a citation or failure to pay a fine or cost. MCL 257.321a(5)(b).

 

FAILURE TO PAY CHILD OR SPOUSAL SUPPORT

If a friend of the court notifies the Michigan Secretary of State that a licensee has failed to appear for a hearing, comply with a repayment plan order, or respond to a license suspension notice under the Support and Parenting Time Enforcement Act, the Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the operator’s or chauffeur’s license of the licensee and shall notify the licensee of the suspension by first-class mail.  MCL 257.321c(1).  A suspension remains in effect until ALL of the following occur:

  • The person obtains a certificate from the friend of the court showing that the person is complying with the custody, parenting time, or support order, and provides that certificate to the secretary of state.
  • The person pays to the circuit court clerk a $45.00 driver license clearance fee.
  • The person pays the reinstatement fee.

 

PENALTIES FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED

If a person is convicted of driving while license suspended contrary to MCL 257.904 and MCL 257.212, he or she is subject to the following consequences:

  • For a first offense, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail or a fine up to $500.00, or both. Additionally, vehicle registration plates will be cancelled. There will also be 2 points added to that person’s driving record and additional license sanctions.
  • For a second or subsequent offense, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine up to $1,000.00, or both. Additionally, vehicle registration plates will be cancelled. There will also be 2 points added to that person’s driving record and additional license sanctions.  There may also be license plate confiscation and vehicle immobilization consequences.
  • For a person who operates a motor vehicle while license suspended or revoked and causes the serious impairment of a body function of another individual is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison or a fine between $1000.01 and $5000.00, or both. Your license will be revoked and 6 points will be added to your driving record.
  • For a person who operates a motor vehicle while license suspended or revoked and causes the death of another person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison or a fine between $2,500.01 and $10,000.00, or both. Your license will be revoked and 6 points will be added to your driving record.

A person charged with driving while license suspended will have to appear in court before a judge.  Even if the evidence against you is strong, you may be able to negotiate a resolution with the prosecutor that involves pleading to a reduced traffic offense with no points (e.g. no valid operating license on person).  A skilled traffic attorney can help guide you in making the right decision for your situation.

If you or a loved one are charged with any traffic offense and need legal representation, do not hesitate to contact the traffic offense lawyers at Kershaw, Vititoe & Jedinak PLC for assistance today.

 

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