Driving on a Suspended Driver's License in Lansing

Just when Michigan police officers thought they heard or seen it all, they get an interesting case like this one. According to a report in the Saline Reporter, a police officer in Michigan, was sitting in his parked car in the downtown area when a 2013 Kia Rio caught his eye. The vehicle, driving westbound on Michigan Avenue, had its parking lights on, but its headlights were off. Intrigued, the cop followed the car and pulled it over near Whitlock Street.

When the officer walked up to the window to confront the driver, the driver immediately admitted that he did not have his license with him. He was caught, he said, on the one day that he did not have the license with him. The officer asked for the driver's name, and for reasons no one understands, the driver decided to give him a fake name.

The game, however, didn't last very long. The driver finally admitted that no, that his not his real name, and yes, he technically did have a license, but it was suspended.

Naturally, the cop arrested the driver, had the car impounded and took the driver to the Saline Police Department. After having his photo taken to create a temporary ID, the driver was allowed to leave, although he certainly was not able to leave in his own vehicle. Amy Bell of The Saline Reporter wrote that the driver intended to call his mother-in-law, who lived nearby, for a ride home.

No Michigan driver should ever give a police officer a false name or leave a driver's license at home, but more than that, drivers with suspended licenses shouldn't be driving at all. The consequences are severe, and if caught, you could lose your license indefinitely and have to pay fines. In some extreme cases, you may have to serve time in jail and pay exorbitant fines as well.

Having a suspended license is a little like being suspended from school. For a period of time, you are not allowed any driving privileges. Like school suspensions, the time is definite, meaning it begins on one date and ends on another. These dates are usually set by the Secretary of State, who will decide how long the suspension should last. Once the time period is over, the license will be reinstated and all your privileges will be returned as soon as you pay the reinstatement fee at your local Secretary of State.

A license can be suspended for a number of reasons. Drivers who have too many points on their driving record may find them suspended, or if a driver has an OWI violation or has not paid traffic tickets within the allotted time, a court may suspend the driver's license. Secretary of State can also suspend your license for failure to pay court costs. The situation gets even more complicated if an OWI or a DWI caused the license suspension as it means you will need a Lansing driver’s license attorney to get your license back.

The consequences of being caught while driving with a suspended license are harsh, and you will probably need legal assistance. Drivers with good records and no convictions will usually be charged with a misdemeanor. For the first offense, you will, at most, have to pay roughly $500 and spend up to 93 days in a jail. Additionally, your car's registration plates may be cancelled. On your second violation, the charges will be a bit worse. You could spend up to one entire year in jail, and you might have to pay a $1,000 fine. Your plates will also be cancelled, and you will have to reapply for them once your sentence is over and your license is valid once more.

For more serious cases, you could be charged with a felony for driving on a suspended license and face even greater penalties. This is usually the case for drivers who injure or kill another person while driving a vehicle, and the consequences will be different for each scenario. In a driver injures a person, he or she may spend up to five years in a prison and will have to pay a fine between $1,000 and $5,000. A driver who kills another person could spend a maximum of 15 years in prison and have to pay anywhere between $2,500 and $10,000 in fines. For both of these cases, you may also be forced to forfeit your vehicle if you are convicted.

Even knowing that someone is driving with a suspended license could get you in trouble. The courts could charge you with either a misdemeanor or felony (depending on the situation) if you allow someone to drive a vehicle and you are entirely aware that this person does not have a valid license.

Suspension and convictions go on your personal record, and they can make maintaining a job and a car insurance carrier extremely difficult. If your license is suspended, do not try to drive and think that you can get away with it. It is not worth the risk, and you may be even more trouble, like the driver in Saline, if you are caught. A lawyer can help you get your license back and behind the wheel before you know it. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation.