Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) in Michigan

Dedicated, fearless, and effective criminal defense lawyers representing clients with driving while license suspended (DWLS), revoked, restricted, or never obtained charges.

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A driver’s license might be suspended or revoked for many reasons.

Fail to pay a ticket? Behind in child support? Habitual alcohol-related driving convictions? License suspended or revoked for any reason? Your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked in Michigan for many reasons. A great criminal defense lawyer is your best hope to avoid a permanent criminal conviction if you face Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) charges.

“What if I didn’t know my license was suspended?”

Some people charged with DWLS never knew their license was suspended or revoked. Prosecutors and judges have a zero-tolerance policy relative to defendants claiming, “I didn’t know!” At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we have a zero-tolerance policy for judges and prosecutors who want to abuse our clients and deprive them of their rights! If you have Driving While License Suspended charges because you did not receive notice, we will fight to get your charges dismissed if possible.

“What is the worst thing that can happen with a DWLS?”

Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, or Never Acquired is a misdemeanor charge that carries up to 93 days in jail, court costs, fines, and up to 2 years of probation. It also carries a longer or additional term of suspension.

We have successfully represented hundreds of clients charged with DWLS. Through aggressive, fearless, and zealous representation, we have a track record of success in achieving dismissals, reduced charges, civil infractions that carry no points, and civil infractions that are unreported to the Secretary of State.

We know that the most critical factor for most of our clients is to avoid jail. Many inexperienced lawyers and defendants are often shocked and amazed when judges impose a jail sentence for DWLS. Although it is not common, some judges in Michigan routinely hand out jail time. We fight to protect our client’s rights and will do everything humanly possible to keep them out of jail.

“How many points to suspend a driver’s license in MI?”

You can be called in for a license reexamination if you have accumulated 12 or more points within two years. If you have a driver assessment reexamination scheduled with the Department of State, you will receive a notice telling you when and where to appear. Your reexamination will include reviewing your driving record with a Driver Assessment Analyst, who will discuss your driving behavior. After your driver assessment reexamination, your driver’s license might be restricted, suspended, or revoked, depending on several factors.

“How long do points stay on your license in Michigan?”

Points remain on a driving record for two years from a conviction. If you do not fight a ticket, the conviction date is the same as when the officer put the offense on your driving record. If you fight a ticket and settle for an offense carrying points, the two-year period runs from your hearing date. Points for insurance purposes are different than points on your driving record. Insurance laws dictate the point system used by insurance companies.

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Driving While License Suspended – A Common Offense

The tough economy in Michigan has prevented many people from paying off or otherwise dealing with child support payments or traffic tickets (which then results in an “FCJ” or Failure to Comply with Judgment” suspension of their license). When the driver’s license responsibility fee is unpaid, the Michigan Department of State will also suspend the driver’s license.

Suspended License Michigan vs. Restricted License Michigan

A suspended Michigan license temporarily removes all driving privileges. A restricted license permits the individual to drive but for limited purposes. A person with a suspended or revoked license cannot legally operate a vehicle. Driving While License Suspended is also called Driving While License Invalid, Driving While License Revoked, or Driving in Violation of Restricted License. Driving Without a License in Michigan is a crime that carries the same penalties as DWLS.

Arrested for DWLS – Here is What You Need to Know

First Offense Driving While License Suspended – DWLS 1st Degree

A driver accused of a first offense for driving with a suspended, revoked, or denied license will face up to 93 days in jail, probation, and fines/costs. The judge may also impose a probation period of up to 2 years with terms and conditions that can include a prohibition against the use of drugs or alcohol, testing, therapy, community service, and much more.

2nd Offense Driving on Suspended License or DWLS 2nd Degree

A DWLS 2nd carries a maximum $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, or both. The potential for jail time increases exponentially with one or more prior convictions for Driving While License Suspended. The defendant’s driving record and the reason for the initial suspension (especially an OWI or DUI) can complicate matters. A second offense includes a mandatory additional suspension and possibly vehicle immobilization for 180 days.

3rd Offense Driving on Suspended License Suspended or 3rd Degree DWLS (or 4th Offense)

A 3rd offense driving on a suspended license, or a fourth offense, will increase the mandatory additional suspension. The license plate will be confiscated and destroyed. The judge will immobilize the car for 90 to 180 days. The maximum sentence is up to one year in jail.

Driving While License Suspended – 5th or Subsequent Offense

A fifth or subsequent offense of DWLS (four priors within seven years) carries a mandatory additional suspension, license plate confiscation, and vehicle immobilization for a minimum of one and up to three years. As with DWLS second and third-offense charges, the maximum sentence is up to one year in jail.

Seeking Driver’s License Restoration

Doing everything possible to avoid a DWLS conviction and keep a charge off your record is essential. The best way to prevent a DWLS charge in the future is to get your driving privileges restored or reinstated. Whether too many points caused your suspension, restrictions or revocation, OWI/DUI convictions, or something else, a license restoration lawyer will know how to reinstate your full driving privileges to drive legally in Michigan.

“Is driving with a suspended license a felony?”

Regardless of the number of prior convictions, DWLS alone is never a felony. However, a person driving with a suspended license causing an injury or death would face felony charges. DWLS Causing Death is a 15-year felony. DWLS Causing Injury is a 5-year felony.

Aggressive, Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Because DWLS is so common, having a skilled defense attorney can be extremely helpful. It is often possible to get these charges completely dropped or reduced. A conviction for DWLS will result in a permanent criminal record.

Suppose an officer accuses you or a loved one of driving with a suspended license or a similar offense, misdemeanor, or traffic misdemeanor. In that case, you need a skilled and proven criminal defense attorney on your side. Don’t hesitate to contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience defending people accused of or charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses, including DWLS. We will employ our vast resources to minimize or eliminate the penalties you potentially face.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

We Can Help You with a Charge of Driving While License Suspended

If you have Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, or Denied charges, you want a lawyer who will fight for you and not minimize the case’s importance. If you call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation, we will take the time to hear your whole story, answer all of your questions, and develop the best strategy to help you. We have an unparalleled track record of success defending against DWLS charges in courts throughout Michigan. We can help you!

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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