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Driving While Suspended/Revoked

Driving While Suspended or Revoked – What You Need to Know

Getting charged with driving while your license is suspended or revoked can be scary. Believe me, I know. I’ve worked with tons of folks in this situation. It happens more than you’d think in Michigan, just ’cause we need to drive everywhere here.

Let me break it down nice and simple-like. I’m not a lawyer, just someone whose been there. I’ll walk you through the basics so you know what to expect.

The Charges

There’s two main charges – DWLS and DWLR. DWLS is driving while license suspended. DWLR is driving while revoked. They fall under the same law, MCL 257.904.

To be convicted, the prosecutor’s gotta prove three things:

  1. You were driving a vehicle
  2. You were driving on a public road or somewhere public like a parking lot
  3. Your license was suspended or revoked

They also gotta prove you knew your license was suspended. More on that later.

Penalties

These are criminal charges, not just traffic tickets. That means potential jail time and fines.

For a first offense DWLS or DWLR, you can get:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to a $500 fine

For a second offense, it’s:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to a $1000 fine

Not fun. But there’s things a lawyer can do to help, which we’ll get to.

Suspension vs Revocation

Now this part’s real important. There’s a big difference between a suspended license and a revoked one.

Your license can get suspended for things like:

  • Unpaid tickets
  • Too many points
  • Violating a restricted license

So with these, you might not even know your license got suspended til you get pulled over.

Revocation is different. It’s for serious stuff like multiple DUIs. When your license is revoked, you no longer have a valid license at all.

So if you get popped for DWLS when it was suspended for tickets, you got a better case than if it was revoked for DUIs, ya know?

Defenses

Even if you get caught red handed, a good lawyer can help. Here’s some common defenses:

  • Violation of rights – did the cop have a legit reason to pull you over? This can get evidence thrown out.
  • Not actually driving – were you really “operating” the vehicle? What if it was parked and turned off? Gray area.
  • Didn’t know license was suspended – they gotta prove you knew. Just sayin’ “I didn’t know” can sometimes work.
  • Emergency exception – you can drive with a suspended license if it’s an emergency and you’re getting help. Medical emergency, car accident, etc.

Not every case can get dismissed. But a lawyer can often plea bargain it down to a lesser charge like:

  • Allowing Unlicensed Driver – this is a misdemeanor but no license suspension
  • No Valid License on Person – also a misdemeanor, but no suspension or probation

Way better than a straight DWLS/DWLR conviction. Trust me on that.

How Long Does it Stay on Your Record

This sucks, but DWLS and DWLR convictions stay on your criminal record forever. They never go away.

Other misdemeanors like DUIs eventually become non-public after awhile. But not these. They stick around to haunt you.

So it’s really important to fight the charges if you can. I can’t stress that enough. Don’t just plead guilty to make it go away. Talk to a lawyer.

Getting Caught Again

Man, I wish I didn’t have to say this, but I gotta keep it real. If you get caught driving when your license is already suspended or revoked, you can get in even more trouble.

If it’s revoked for DUIs and you get caught driving, they can revoke it again for another 1-5 years. Plus it looks really bad when you eventually try to get your license back.

I know it’s hard when you gotta drive to work and stuff. But do whatever you can to not get caught again. Take back roads, drive an old beater, whatever. If you’re revoked, look into getting a restricted license so you can at least drive legally for certain things.

Finding a Lawyer

If you got popped with one of these charges, don’t go it alone. Hire a lawyer who knows their stuff. Shop around and find someone experienced with DWLS and DWLR cases.

A good lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome. I’ve seen it a million times. They know all the ins and outs of plea bargaining and getting charges reduced or dismissed.

Well I hope this helps give you a good overview of what to expect with these kinds of charges. Let me know if you have any other questions! Stay strong and keep your head up.

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