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Q

What is the penalty for a second offense of driving with a suspended license suspended (Driving While Suspended) in Michigan?


A

According to the Michigan Driver's Manual for a first offense of Driving While License Suspended is:

  • Up to $500 fine, up to 93 days in jail, or both.
  • A Mandatory like additional suspension.
  • Mandatory additional 30-day suspension if convicted of driving while suspended due to failure to pay tickets or appear in court; reinstatement fee due.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility fee for two consecutive years.

The specific violation of Michigan law that you asked about was a second (2nd) offense of Driving While License Suspended. If this offense comes within 7 years of the first infraction of driving with a suspended license then penalties can consist of:

  • Up to $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • Mandatory additional suspension.
  • Vehicle may be immobilized for up to 180 days.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility fee for two consecutive years.

The penalties continue to get harsher if you continue to drive with a suspended license and are cited for this violation of Michigan law.

Driving While License Suspended (third offense—must have two priors within seven years—misdemeanor) have penalties of:

  • Mandatory additional suspension.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilized 90 to 180 days.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility fee for two consecutive years.

Driving While License Suspended (fourth offense—must have three priors within seven years—misdemeanor)

  • Same as for third offense.
  • Registration denial of all owned and leased vehicles if conviction generates a fourth or more additional suspension.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility fee for two consecutive years.

Driving While License Suspended (fifth offense—must have four priors within seven years—misdemeanor) have penalties that include:

  • Mandatory additional suspension.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilized one to three years.
  • Registration denial of all owned and leased vehicles if conviction generates a fourth or more additional suspension.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility fee for two consecutive years.

If you are receive three (3) or more convictions for driving while your license is suspended or revoked within a seven (7) year period then you will be considered a repeat offender under Michigan's Repeat Offender laws.

If you are arrested as a repeat offender, the law enforcement officer will destroy the metal license plate of the vehicle you are driving, whether you own the vehicle or not. A temporary paper license plate will be issued allowing the vehicle to be legally driven. A new metal license plate cannot be issued until your case is resolved in court.

Sanctions under the Repeat Offender laws include additional driver's license suspensions or revocations, metal license plate confiscation, vehicle immobilization or forfeiture, registration denial, the use of ignition interlock devices, and mandatory substance abuse treatment. Repeat offenders who cause an accident resulting in a long-term injury or death are charged with a felony and face thousands of dollars in fines and years in jail in addition to other penalties.

When drivers lose driving privileges after being convicted of a third drunken driving violation, or receive a fourth additional suspension because they drove while their licenses were suspended or revoked, these repeat offenders are subject to registration denial.

Registration denial includes any vehicles that are registered, co-registered, leased, or co-leased by the repeat offender. During registration denial, it is a crime to attempt to purchase, lease, or obtain a vehicle. Unless a circuit court order is requested and issued, a repeat offender may not transfer a vehicle to any family member if that vehicle is carrying a temporary plate, is immobilized, forfeited, or subject to registration denial. Registration denial continues until the repeat offender is eligible to reapply for a driver's license.

As you can tell the penalties for driving with a suspended license can be harsh and continue to go up if a person is convicted of the violation subsequent times. If you become a "repeat offender" in the eyes of Michigan law then penalties can be quite severe. For more information on penalties for traffic violations in Michigan you can contact the MI Secretary of State.


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