September 1


Driving with License Revoked Charge VS. Driving While Suspended Charge = HUGE Difference in Penalties

By Mike DeYoung

September 1, 2020

Driving with License Revoked or Driving While License Suspended, are they the same thing?  Many people use the two interchangeably.  A person typically has their license revoked for multiple driving under the influence convictions.  A revoked license means you do not get your license back, ever, until you make a formal request for a hearing with Michigan Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD).  If your license has been revoked for 1 year or 5 years, it does not mean you will automatically have your license returned to you at the end of that time.    You must make the effort to get your license back by requesting a hearing.  This differs from a suspended license. A suspended license can be the result of too many points, failing to pay off your traffic tickets, conviction of a drug crime or a whole host of other reasons.    A suspended license is reinstated after a period of time and/or after specific money has been paid.  You never have to file an appeal with the state to get your suspended license back. While it is true the two violate the same rule of law the penalties can be hugely different.  

Let’s say you had your license revoked in 2009 for a drunk driving charge.  You were eligible a year later to make a formal request with the DAAD to get your license restored, but you never did anything about it. In 2015 you are caught driving with your license revoked and ticketed for this.  You hire an attorney to try and get you out of this charge.  Your attorney gets a deal with the prosecutor and the charge is lowered to failing to display a valid license (referred to as “no ops” or you did not have a driver’s license with you when pulled over).  This is a violation that gives you no extra points on your license and would seem to be a pretty good deal.  However, in a few weeks you receive a letter from the Secretary of State (SOS) informing you your license is being revoked for a period of one year.   The SOS must impose what’s called a “mandatory additional” revocation for the same length of time for which your license was revoked in the first place. Even though there is no criminal license penalty listed for the reduced charge or the “plea bargain,” the Secretary of State must add another term of 1 years’ revocation to your license (if you were initially revoked for 5 years then it will impose another 5 year revocation). Your license is once again revoked and you must wait a year (or 5 years) before you can make a formal request to have your license restored.  Not to mention at your formal hearing, the hearing officers will not look favorably on anyone who continued to drive while their license was revoked. It turns out the deal was not much of a deal at all.  Contrast this to being caught driving on a suspended license. The “mandatory additional” would be the same number of days you were suspended for in the first place.  A suspended license is typically for 30-180 days after which it is automatically reinstated after the specific period of time and/or money has been paid.  You can see the punishments differ quite dramatically for driving with a revoked license vs. a suspended license. This is one reason you need to hire an attorney familiar with these distinctions and familiar with driver’s license issues in general.  Call Mike DeYoung at 616-377-7012 to help you with your issue. 

Mike DeYoung

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