Michigan law requires driver license suspensions for drug convictions. With no prior drug violations, the driver license is suspended for six months. No restricted license is allowed for the first 30 days. If there is one or more prior drug convictions in the past seven years, the driver license will be suspended for one year with no restricted license for the first 60 days.
Hard Suspension for Drug Convictions
A “hard suspension” is a period of driver license suspension where there is no driving allowed, even on a restricted basis. For a first conviction for a drug offense in Michigan, the hard portion of the suspension is 30 days. In those cases where a defendant has a previous drug conviction, within 7 years, the hard suspension is 60 days. Neither the judge nor prosecutor have any discretion to grant or agree to a restricted license under these circumstances. The suspension is imposed when the Michigan Department of State is advised by the court that there is a conviction.
Restricted License following Drug Conviction
A restricted license means that the driver’s ability to operate a car is limited either in terms of time or the reason for traveling. Generally, the court may order that the driver is permitted by the Secretary of State to drive for any of the following reasons:
- to, from and during the course of employment
- to and from school
- to and from alcohol treatment or education
- to and from probation, court, and probation
- to and from a place of regularly occurring medical treatment for a serious condition
Here is an example of an Affidavit and Order for Restricted Drivers License
Common Drug Crimes Resulting in Driver’s License Sanctions
A conviction for committing a controlled substance offense or an attempt or conspiracy conviction for a controlled substance offense will trigger a suspension of your driver license. Common examples of offenses resulting in a suspension include:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance (such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, opioids, prescription medication, etc…)
- Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance
- Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance
- Obtaining a prescription drug by giving a false name
- Obtaining a prescription drug by falsely representing facts
- Falsely making, uttering, publishing, passing, altering, or forging a prescription.
- Knowingly possessing a false, forged, or altered prescription.
- Preparing or permitting the preparation of a prescription drug
Avoiding a License Suspension for a Felony or Misdemeanor Drug Offense
The only way to avoid a license sanction is to avoid a conviction. This can be done in several ways. First, there are statutes which provide ways for a youthful or first-time offender to plead guilty or no contest to an offense and still not be convicted. In some cases, a defendant may be innocent of a charge or the police may have violated a constitutional right, like an illegal search in violation of the 4th Amendment as an example. In these cases, a highly experienced defense lawyer may be able to argue for an acquittal or dismissal of all charges. Finally, a respected trial lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the charge to an offense that does not trigger a suspension.
Free Consultation for Felony or Misdemeanor Drug Offense
If you are concerned about a felony or misdemeanor drug crime or the driver license sanctions that may be imposed if you are convicted, we can help you. The defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully defending clients in state and federal court. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and a highly experienced defense lawyer will promptly contact you.