Lawyer for Driving While License Suspended Ticket

Driving while license suspended, revoked, or denied (also called DWLS or DWLS/R/D) is a criminal offense that is treated seriously by many courts.  This offense can be prosecuted under State law by a county prosecutor or under local ordinance by a city attorney.  The possible penalty for a first offense DWLS, or a DWLS prosecuted under a local ordinance, is up to 93 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, court costs, possible probation with conditions (driver safety class, community service, no driving without a valid license, etc.), 2 points added to driving record, a driver responsibility fee of $500 for 2 consecutive years, and a mandatory suspension of driving privileges.  DWLS prosecuted as a second offense carries up to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, court costs, possible probation with conditions, 2 points added to driving record, and a driver’s responsibility fee of $500 for 2 consecutive years.  Additional DWLS offenses can lead to license plate confiscation and vehicle immobilization.

The philosophy that many Courts employ is to try and encourage Defendants to find ways to obtain a valid driver’s license.  In some cases this is possible (if the DWLS conviction is not entered) by paying off outstanding tickets, paying reinstatement fees, and going to the Michigan Secretary of State office.  However, in many cases it is impossible for the Defendant to obtain a valid license in a timely manner.  Reasons for this include that the person’s license was revoked due to prior drinking an driving convictions, the length of the person’s current suspension does not allow for the person to get their license back in the near future, the person has health or vision issues that prevent the Secretary of State from issuing a valid license, financial issues, or the person is not a citizen or a green card holder and the State of Michigan will not issue a valid license.

One of the problems with Michigan are the cost and limited options for public transportation.  In most cases driving is the only solution for a person to be employed, support their family, and otherwise get to and from different locations.  Judges are by and large not sympathetic to this.  For persons with bad driving records, or with a history of DWLS, jail is often ordered along with probation.  For persons without bad driving records, probation is common.  However, a common condition of probation is to not violate any laws, which includes not driving a car without obtaining a valid license.  The person is placed in a catch-22 situation.
For persons accused of Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, or Denied (DWLS) the best course of action is to hire an experienced criminal attorney.  How can a criminal lawyer help when it comes to DWLS:
1.  The experienced criminal lawyer can look at the case from all possible angles, and properly defend the case at trial if necessary;
2.  The experienced criminal lawyer may be able to convince the prosecutor to amend the charge (plea bargain) to an offense that does not carry the same penalties that a DWLS conviction would have;
3.  The experienced criminal lawyer, in some cases, is able to negotiate with the Judge concerning the sentence that the Judge imposes;
4.  The experienced criminal lawyer may be able to help you obtain a valid driver’s license by handling outstanding matters at other courts, or petitioning for relief through the Michigan Secretary of State (DLAD) and/or Circuit Court.
5.  For persons that are not United States citizens, the experienced lawyer may be able to have the matter handled in a way to create less immigration related consequences.
The bottom line is that, when it comes to DWLS, it is a mistake to handle the case on your own without the experience and expertise of a lawyer that practices this type of law.  Your best bet is to retain attorney Daniel Hilf of the law firm of Hilf & Hilf, PLC.
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