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Birmingham License Suspension and Driving without a License Lawyer

Driving without a license is a significant offense, as is driving on a suspended license. A license may be suspended as a punishment for other traffic offenses such as too many points on your license or for a DUI. A suspended license could have a massive effect on your life, restricting your ability to work, travel, or transport your family where they need to go.

If you are facing an offense for driving without your license or with a suspended license, reach out to a seasoned traffic attorney today. A dedicated Birmingham license suspension and driving without a license lawyer can advocate for you.

Defining Unlicensed Driving in Birmingham

The most common form of driving without a license is when someone operates a motor vehicle with a suspended or restricted license. Many Michigan drivers have their license restricted or suspended due to other charges or civil infractions, such as a DUI. Any violations of these conditions could be grounds for driving without a license charge.

Another common occurrence is if a driver does not have a license on them while they are driving. If a person has a license but does not have it on them when they are stopped in Michigan, it is a misdemeanor offense that will go permanently on their record. The person also faces the possibility of jail time, probation, and significant fines and costs. If the driver can prove in court that they had a valid license at the time and simply did not have it on them, they may be able to fight for a reduction of charges.

It is also a criminal charge to knowingly lend a vehicle to a person who is not a licensed driver. While not an exception to either of these charges, penalties may be mitigated if the driver was unaware that their license was suspended. This may occur if a driver has unpaid parking tickets with no notification of the subsequent suspension.

The least common charge is when a driver never had a license issued. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Michigan without a driver’s license issued either by Michigan or one of the other 49 states. Driving without ever having a license issued is a misdemeanor offense.

Depending on the number of prior violations a driver has, driving without a license in the Birmingham area will likely get them jail time, but the judge could also order them to obtain a license or make a good-faith effort to do so. For more information, contact a knowledgeable license suspension and driving without a license lawyer in Birmingham.

DUI License Suspension and Reinstatement

There are many levels of operating while intoxicated (OWI/DUI) offenses each with their own consequences. Drunk-driving cases such as driving while visibly impaired carry the potential of three months with a restricted license. For common DWIs, there is usually a 30-day suspension followed by 150-day restricted period, but with a higher blood alcohol content level, there may be a 45-day suspension with a 320-day restricted period and the requirement of installing a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). Depending on the potential for serious bodily injury or death, the presence of minors, or drugs in the vehicle, the penalties could be even greater.

In Michigan, most of the process for dealing with a license suspension is automatically taken on by the secretary of state. If a license was suspended due to a drunk-driving offense, the driver generally receives a letter in the mail approximately two weeks after a plea or filing of an appeal to trial. All relevant information about a trial such as dates and times will be delivered, as well as for instructions for the period of license restriction. In most cases, at the end of that restriction period, $125 to the local branch office secretary of state will return a full and valid driver’s license.

However, if there are other crimes or violations on a person’s record, their license may be revoked entirely. A revocation of one’s license would not terminate on a specific date and instead, the driver must go through a very lengthy and detailed process to get driving privileges returned.

Driver’s License Suspension from Fines

Generally, there are two ways to go about suspending a license for failure to pay a fine, beginning with the court likely holding a hearing to determine whether the person made a good-faith effort to pay said fine. If a person fails to appear at that hearing, the court will suspend the license immediately. The other way it can occur is if the ticket is issued, it will set a deadline for making paying the ticket or requesting a hearing and if that timeline is exceeded, the license may be suspended.

Challenging a Suspension in Birmingham Traffic Cases

To challenge a license suspension in Birmingham, drivers must go through the court process. One of the problems many people have in dealing with traffic tickets is that they tend to try and take responsibility immediately, effectively admitting guilt and acquiescing to any consequences. Once a driver has accepted a plea or there is a finding of guilt, it is extremely difficult to challenge a suspension. Instead, once the suspension is entered, it generally must be served. Challenging the suspension after the fact is possible, but for most suspensions, the period will be over by the time the challenge will be heard in the court.

Building a Defense

Charges of driving on a suspended or revoked license are generally difficult cases to defend, as these are offenses against the office of the secretary of state. Drivers are not required to have received notice of a suspension or revocation; the only requirement is that the secretary of state has sent such a notice. The primary defense an attorney could make is to challenge the reason that the driver was pulled over in the first place.

A suspended or revoked license is generally discovered after the initial traffic stop, and there should be appropriate justification for the stop that led to discovering the license status. Drivers are generally not pulled over for driving without a license as it is not really something that can be observed by law enforcement.

Although ignorance of a suspended license is not a defense, it is an explanation if the driver may have reasonably not known that their license was suspended. Prosecutors like to see people make an effort to try and obtain full driving privileges, and it allows them to be a little bit more lenient in a plea offer with that individual before the person has addressed whatever it was that may have caused a suspension in the first place. A dedicated license suspension and driving without a license attorney in Birmingham could help build a strong defense.

Contact a Birmingham License Suspension and Driving without a License Attorney

If you have been charged with driving without a license, on a suspended license, or you have been notified that your license was suspended, you may need the help of a skilled traffic attorney. License suspensions and driving without a license are serious criminal charges with long-reaching consequences. Call a Birmingham license suspension and driving without a license lawyer today to start working on your case.