New Legislation Coming to Michigan Regarding Driver’s License Suspensions
In the State of Michigan, a person can have his or her driver’s license suspended for reasons completely unrelated to driving safety. For example, courts can actually suspend your driver’s license for failing to appear in court or simply possessing a controlled substance.
Having a license suspended not only immobilizes an individual, but it affects his or her ability to earn an income. The Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, created in 2019 to bring criminal justice reform to Michigan, reported that in 2018, over 350,000 Michigan drivers had their licenses suspended for failure to appear in court, or failure to pay court fines and fees. In the same year, traffic violations made up nearly half of all criminal cases statewide.
Some traffic violations are civil infractions, like failing to stop or yield, while others are criminal and punishable by more than just fines. Criminal traffic offenses, excluding drunk driving offenses, account for six of the top ten most common charges. The Michigan Joint Task Force also reported that driving without a valid license was the third most common reason for jail admission in Michigan.
Due to the Michigan Joint Task Force’s findings, Michigan implemented legislation (effective October 2021) to reduce jail sentences that involve driving with a suspended license, and ultimately help keep offenders from losing employment. These new laws will not only eliminate license suspensions as a punishment for vehicle code violations (unless they’re related to driving safety), but will eliminate license suspensions for selling or purchasing alcohol to minors, having a controlled substance, or failing to appear in court on a civil infraction. This new legislation also opts Michigan out of the federal requirement for license suspension upon a drug conviction. Effective October 2021, this means a person will no longer face license suspension for drug possession charges.
If your license has been suspended due to an offense that’s unrelated to driving safety, and have questions about how these new laws will affect you, please consider consulting Geherin Law Group in Ann Arbor. We’re a law firm specializing in criminal, DUI and license cases throughout Michigan.
Dan Geherin, dui attorney and owner of the firm, specializes in criminal defense but is also a driver’s license appeals specialist. Dan, a former prosecutor and board-certified criminal trial attorney, is also the founder of MiLicenseLawyer.com and author of The Michigan Drunk Driving and Driver’s License Restoration Handbook. Dan has dedicated his career to both defending criminal allegations and helping put clients back on the road following a license revocation/suspension.
Geherin Law Group: We’re the key to putting you back in the driver’s seat.