Driving While License Suspended
Many civil authorities will remind citizens that being able to drive is a privilege, not a right. As such, your ability to drive in Michigan can be taken away temporarily or permanently. When your driving privileges are taken away for a specific period of time, your driving privileges are said to be suspended. Driving while your driving privileges are suspended is a criminal offense that can create significant difficulties for you and your family in addition to the fines and potential jail time that a conviction causes.
What Causes a Driver’s License to Be Suspended
In Michigan, government authorities will often suspend a person’s driving privileges because that person has failed to comply with some legal order or obligation. For example, failing to appear in court when ordered to do so in connection with certain offenses can lead to a suspension of your driving privileges. If you are convicted of a felony involving the use of a vehicle, or of leaving the scene of an injury accident, you may also find your driving privileges suspended. Also, individuals who fail to take care of their child support obligations can be penalized with a suspension of their driving privileges.
Finally, drivers who commit traffic offenses and thereby accumulate a certain number of “points” on their driving records within a certain period of time can have their license suspended.
Penalties for Driving While Suspended
If you drive while your license is suspended, you may be convicted of a misdemeanor. If this is your first offense of driving on a suspended license, you may face up to 93 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. If you are convicted of driving on a suspended license and you have previous convictions for the same offense, you may face up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Any conviction for driving while suspended can also result in the cancellation of your vehicle’s registration and plates.
Driving while suspended can be punished as a felony if you cause serious injury or death to another person while driving on a suspended license. In the event another person suffers a serious injury, you may face a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine that is between $1,000 and $5,000. In cases where a death results, you may face up to 15 years in prison and a fine between $2,500 and $10,000. In either case, your car can be forfeited or immobilized.
Contact an Experienced Michigan Traffic Defense Lawyer
Driving while suspended is a serious crime with consequences that can escalate very quickly. If you know your driving privileges are suspended, you should not drive until you are able to have those privileges reinstated. If you find yourself charged with driving while suspended in Michigan, contact the experienced defense law firm of Van Den Heuvel Law Office. Not only are we able to help you get your license reinstated, we can also help you avoid some of the consequences that can result from a conviction for driving while suspended. Call our office today at (616) 698-0000 or contact our office online for assistance.