Driving Without a License in Lansing
The Michigan Secretary of State's office (SOS) works hard to ensure that every driver on the road is a safe one. Driving is an honored privilege, not a right, and the state and the City of Lansing take all driving offenses very seriously.
Michigan recently adopted a pay-it-forward method of payment for individuals who are caught driving without licenses and other minor offenses in Lansing. The Driver Responsibility Fee Community Service program allows certain drivers to bypass their fines in lieu of community service. Individuals who are caught driving without insurance or proof of insurance or driving with an expired or invalid license may be eligible for this program, which requires them to work with local nonprofits to pay off their debts.
This program is only open to those who have committed very minor driving offenses, such as those listed above. Drivers who have been convicted of more serious violations – including speeding – may not be eligible. This program also excludes individuals who are convicted of driving on a suspended or revoked license.
Of course, the best way to avoid all fines, jail time, probation and community service is to always operate a vehicle with a valid driver's license.
Types of Driver's Licenses
There are several different types of licenses that will allow you to legally operate a vehicle. In Lansing and the rest of Michigan, drivers 14 years and nine months old can apply for a learner's permit, and anyone 16 and older can apply for a full driver's license. After passing the written and physical tests, you should be able to legally get behind the wheel.
If you plan on operating a bus, semi-truck or other large vehicle, you will need to apply for a commercial driver's license. This will allow you to drive delivery trucks and well as other large vehicles that transport property or large numbers of people.
Driving without a regular or commercial driver's license can get you into trouble if you are pulled over. You may face large fines or your license could be suspended or revoked entirely, making it illegal for you to drive on any Michigan road. If you find that your driver's license has been suspended or revoked, speak to a driver's license attorney at Grabel & Associates.
For some who are driving in Lansing without a license, the cause is a suspension. A license suspension is a set period of time during which you cannot legally drive or operate a vehicle until any applicable fees are paid. Suspensions can be given out for any number of reasons and getting a license back is not always an easy task. If you commit any of the following offenses, your license will almost certainly be suspended:
- Accruing too many points on your driver's license
- Hit-and-run accident, or leaving an accident which leads to a death or serious injury
- Driving while intoxicated
- Joyriding or other forms of reckless driving
- Committing a felony while operating a vehicle
Some drivers decide to take the risk and drive with a suspended license, and the consequences of being caught are harsh. Your suspension term might be extended or you might find yourself spending some time in jail.
Suspended drivers may have a way to get back on the road before their suspension is over. In certain situations drivers can apply for a restricted license, which will allow them to drive during certain times of the day. This helps drivers who need to get to work or school or take themselves to medical appointments. There are also certain types of suspensions, which do not allow for any restricted privileges, so this may not be an option for everyone.
One of the other major reasons that someone may be driving without a license is because their license has been revoked. A revoked license means that it is illegal for you to operate a vehicle on any public road in Michigan for an indefinite amount of time. There is no option for a restricted license in this scenario. A license can be revoked for any number of reasons, including multiple OWIs, and it can be taken away for a certain period of time, sometimes one to five years.
After the revocation period is over, your license will still remain revoked until you go to a Driver Assessment Appeals Hearing where you will prove that the reason you lost your license is no longer an issue.
If you want to get your license back in Lansing before the revocation period is over, you will need to go before the Administrative Hearing Section (AHS) and prove that you no longer have a problem. Depending on the nature of your conviction, you will need different documents to prove your case. A skilled lawyer will be able to help you gather the necessary information, including:
- Substance abuse evaluations
- Multiple community support letters
- Documentation of your support meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous)
- Clean report from Ignition Interlock company
Hire a Skilled Lansing Attorney for Your Fight
The State of Michigan treats driving without a license as a very serious offense. If you drive on a license that is suspended already, your suspension period could be doubled, or if revoked entirely, you could be charged with heavy fines and even jail time.
Grabel & Associates knows Michigan state laws as well as Ingham, Eaton and Clinton County laws inside and out, and we will be proud to fight in your corner. We will walk you through the administrative review process and help you build a solid case before you go before the AHS.
Contact our offices today at 1-800-342-7896 or online and get back on the road.