License Restrictions Abolished for Offenses That Do Not Involve Driving
A new law that takes effect on October 1, 2021, eliminates driver’s license sanctions for offenses that do not directly involve a vehicle’s operation, including suspension, revocation, or restriction.
Elimination of Driving License Sanctions in Michigan
Before October 1, 2021, many criminal convictions in Michigan having nothing to do with a motor vehicle’s operation resulted in driver’s license sanctions. These license sanctions precipitated a downward spiral for many individuals, including difficulty obtaining employment, family hardship, and a higher likelihood of new criminal charges. A new law has eliminated driver’s license sanctions for non-driving offenses.
Driver’s license sanctions are no longer permitted for the following offenses:
- Having two or more moving violations in the previous three years.
- Failing to answer citations for three or more parking violations or two or more for citations that involve parking for persons with disabilities.
- Failing to appear in response to a citation or to comply with an order or judgment, including failing to pay all fines, costs, fees, and assessments for several civil infractions under the code.
- Failing to appear in response to a citation or to comply with an order or judgment, including failing to pay all fines, costs, fees, and assessments for state civil infractions under Chapter 88 of the Revised Judicature Act.
- Failing to pay a driver responsibility fee or engage in the alternative workforce training.
- Failing to report a change of address, falsely reporting a change of address, or reporting a change of address for someone else without their permission.
- Perjury or making a false certification to the Secretary of State.
- Fraudulently altering or forging documents pertaining to motor vehicles.
- Failing to provide proof of insurance.
- Unlawful use of a driver’s license (among other things, altering a license, having a fake or altered license, letting someone else use it, or using someone else’s).
- Making a false report of a crime or emergency at a school (e.g., a false school bomb threat).
- Using a fake ID to buy alcohol as a minor, purchasing alcohol as a minor, and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
- Selling alcohol to a minor.
- Open alcohol in a vehicle.
- Using a motor vehicle without permission of its owner and without the intent to steal it (joyriding).
- Malicious destruction with a vehicle of trees, shrubs, grass, turf, plants, crops, or soil.
- Committing motor fuel theft.
- Missing payments under a support order or obligation or failing to comply with a parenting time order.
Avoiding Jail, Probation, and Criminal Convictions
Before October 1, 2021, the driver’s license sanctions for various criminal charges increased the complexity of plea negotiations. When defendants face charges having nothing to do with operating a vehicle, prosecutors were quick to offer a plea bargain to a criminal charge without driver’s license sanctions. Many of these people felt they had no other option but to accept a criminal conviction, including the possibility of jail and probation, because they were desperate to keep their driving privileges intact. Because driver’s license sanctions are off the table and cannot be used by prosecutors as leverage, criminal defense attorneys have greater negotiating power to help their clients avoid jail, probation, and even conviction.
Lawyers for Driver’s License Sanctions and Restoration
The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience helping clients avoid needless driver’s license sanctions. We recognize that losing driving privileges can be devastating to a person’s life, family, employment, and criminal record. Restrictions, suspensions, and revocations can trigger a downward spiral of sanctions, jail, and employment problems.
If you face felony or misdemeanor criminal charges in Michigan, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is a power law firm that can help you avoid license sanctions, probation, and jail. In many cases, we can persuade prosecutors to dismiss criminal charges altogether. If your driver’s license is suspended, restricted, or revoked, we can seek the restoration of your driving privileges.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.