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State of Driver’s License after Michigan OWI

Question: What is the state of my driver’s license after an OWI arrest in Michigan and what will happen to it?

Answer: In regards to a driver’s license, this is individualized to the individual stop for drunk driving. In most cases, those parties have a  fully valid license. In the state of Michigan, you have to take a test if offered after an arrest. If you don’t take that test, then there can be an implied consent violation. If there is a violation, a person has 14 days to request a hearing. This is something that we would do as your attorney. After that, they would schedule it for a hearing approximately a month out. At that hearing, there would be a determination as to whether or not someone has violated the implied consent statute. If so, their license could be suspended for up to a year. As for the regular OWI, no action would be taken on your driver’s license until there was a decision on the case itself.

That means that until there is a guilty plea or a finding of guilt, there would be no license sanction taken against a person. However, depending on the final resolution of a case, whether by plea or by finding of guilt at a trial, the license sanction could vary dramatically from an extensive period of suspension all the way down to possibly no suspension. It is very important to go through in detail with your attorney all of the possible penalties of each individual charge because in the state of Michigan, all driving sanctions follow specifically from the charge that is either pled or found guilty to. The Secretary of State here in Michigan does not have any authority to grant anything outside of the automatic penalties. The judge does not determine the license sanction. Therefore, it is important to get an attorney who understands not only the penalties, but also how to get different offers so that someone’s license can be protected.