Michigan law requires driver license suspensions for drug convictions.
Even with no prior drug violations, the driver’s license is suspended for six months following a drug conviction. No restricted license is allowed for the first 30 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 the 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 has 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’s license. Common examples of crimes 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, some statutes 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. In these cases, a highly experienced defense lawyer may argue for an acquittal or dismissal of all charges. Finally, a respected trial lawyer may 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’s license sanctions that might 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 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.