Just like any other misdemeanor, a Driving While License Suspended ("DWLS") is a CRIME punishable by 93 days in jail, even if this is your offense. It's not a civil infraction ticket such as, speeding or running a red light/stop sign. It is serious and should not be taken lightly. If convicted of DWLS, the conviction stays on your record for life and can never be expunged. If you get a subsequent charge of DWLS, it can impede your driving privileges for a long time.
Do Not Ignore a DWLS Ticket
If you just ignore a DWLS Ticket, the Court (Judge) will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and you can be picked up during subsequent contact with the police, at your home or job.
Once you receive a DWLS ticket, contact a good Traffic Defense Lawyer and if you truly can't afford one, you will need to go to Court (usually within 10 days) to be arraigned. Because a DWLS ticket is a misdemeanor charge, the Court must inform you of the charge brought against you, the maximum amount of time you can be sent to jail if convicted and the maximum fine. In most cases, your plea should be NOT GUILTY at the arraignment. The Court will then set it for a Pre-Trial followed by a Trail (bench or jury- your choice).
The likelihood of getting jail on a first DWLS ticket is rare and several factors are considered before a Judge makes that determination. For example, if you have prior DWLS on your record, the chances of getting jail time from the Judge increase. If you were ticketed for a subsequent DWLS charge, it would be wise to hire a good traffic defense attorney in Michigan right away. A good Traffic Defense Attorney can help you by attempting to dismiss the DWLS charge and keep it from damaging your driving record as well as reduce or eliminate the fines and driver responsibility fees that follow.
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