Sometimes, we all have a bad day. It could be anything from waking up on the wrong side of the bed to getting pulled over on the way home from happy hour. The problem with the latter is that what started out as a bad day can quickly turn into a bad future. Ask anyone convicted of DUI and they will tell you that it has affected them long after the day they were arrested. In the unfortunate event that a person is also found to be driving with a suspended or revoked license, they will be charged with aggravated DWI. Driving on a public highway with a suspended or revoked license is considered a serious offense and a violation of the order of a court or administrative agency.
Short- And Long-Term Consequences
This “extreme DUI” carries with it severe penalties such as increased prison terms and expensive fines. It can also affect you long after your conviction and may prevent you from obtaining future employment, enrolling in school or applying for housing. This is why it’s so important to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Defenses Against Susepended or Revoked License DUI
As a DUI defense lawyer will explain to you, there are several defenses both for a DUI and driving with a suspended or revoked license. First, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were guilty of both offenses in order to convict you of an aggravated DUI. This means they must present evidence. If your chemical test and/or field sobriety test results were not administered properly, any evidence the state may have collected against you may be suppressed in court.
Secondly, if your license suspension was restored at the time of your arrest but was not entered into the state’s records properly, your attorney can build you a solid defense. The same is true if your license was mistakenly suspended or revoked due to a person having a similar name as you. In the event that this has happened to you, your attorney will request a document with a statement from the state.
DUI License Suspension or License Restoration
There are two types of administrative hearings for DUI cases. There is the implied consent hearing, which occurs if you refused to take a chemical test, and the driver’s license restoration hearing.
The implied consent law says that if you are pulled over for a traffic stop, and properly arrested for drunk driving, then you must comply with the officer’s request to take a breath, blood, or urine test to determine your blood alcohol level. When you applied for your driver’s license, you automatically gave this consent. Refusing to take the test is a violation of this law. Keep in mind that this law does not apply to roadside or “PBT” testing for which there is simply a fine and no driver license sanctions and no points.
If you were recently arrested and charged after refusing to take the chemical test after your arrest, then you have 14 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing. Failure to request a hearing within this time frame will result in a one or two year driver’s license suspension. During this suspension you will not be allowed any kind of driving unless restricted driving is allowed by a circuit court judge.
It is in your best interest to consult with a lawyer before making any decisions about your administrative hearing. A DUI defense lawyer can explain the rules to you and ensure that you meet the deadline to request a hearing.
If you have multiple DUI convictions on your record, you must request a hearing with the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) in order to have your driver’s license restored.
In a driver’s license restoration hearing, it is crucial that the rules are followed the first time because if you lose, you must wait one full year to request another hearing.
Unlike your DUI criminal case, where the burden of proof laid was on the prosecution, the burden of proof falls squarely on you during this hearing. The state begins the restoration hearing with the presumption that they will NOT restore your license. This is because Michigan has lifetime revocations for multiple offenders. After your minimum applicable revocation period, you have the right to request a hearing, but you do not have a right to get your license back.
There is necessary proof that you must supply at your restoration hearing. First, you must prove that your substance abuse problem is under control. Second, you must show that the probability of you drinking and driving again is low.
To prove these things, you must submit a persuasive substance abuse evaluation. You must show that you have abstained from alcohol and drugs for a minimum of six to twelve months. You must also have three to five letters of reference from friends, family, clergy, or other members of the community. Your sworn testimony and proof of participation in a support group, such as AA, will also be used as evidence on your behalf.
In order to win your case, you and your attorney must review your materials to ensure that there are no inconsistencies that might be used against you. The hearing officer will be combing over your case to discover even the smallest reason to deny your license restoration, so it is important to be totally prepared.
If you win the case, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for up to one year. After this year, you will still have a restricted license for a year until your next hearing. If you win this hearing, you will be given full license restoration.