License Suspension/ Revocation

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The problem with leaving the State of Michigan with unfinished license issues of the "revoked" nature, is that they never go away!! No passage of time will result in a free pass. The only positive thing the passage of time will accomplish is to put more time between the last time you drank/did illegal drugs and the time you petition the Secretary of State for driving privileges.

The longer your sobriety the better your chances of getting your desired relief.

But, the long and short of it is..

Read more . . .

Monday, October 26, 2015

Driver's License Suspensions and Revocations in Michigan

What are the differences between driver's license suspensions and revocations?

Driving, while often considered a right by the general population, is actually a privilege which you have to earn and which can be taken away. There are a number of reasons that the state may deprive you of your driver's license, including certain serious traffic violations and/or your unwillingness to comply with certain recommendations or requirements.

Actions that may be taken against you for unsafe driving range from restrictions to revocations. The most serious action is a revocation -- the termination of your license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle. When your license is revoked, you are only eligible to reapply for license restoration after 1 year following a first revocation, and after 5 years for a subsequent revocation within 7 years of a prior revocation. Even after the appropriate time period has elapsed, there is no guarantee that your license will be returned. You must prove that you can be considered a safe driver based upon verifiable evidence and testimony.

A driver's license suspension, on the other hand, is for a shorter period of time and includes both a beginning and an end date. Instead of having to reapply for a license, as after a revocation, the driver is only required to appear at a branch office and pay the reinstatement fee in order to be relicensed. Of course, this presumes that the driver has not violated any driving laws during the period of suspension.

There are also, however, restrictions or suspensions that are considered "indefinite," meaning they will not terminate until so approved by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or by a court. An example of an "indefinite" suspension would be a suspension imposed for a medical reason. No end date for the suspension is established unless and until the driver provides medical data substantiating that he or she is again fit to drive.

If you, or a loved one, are threatened with license suspension or revocation in the state of Michigan, you should promptly engage the services of an experienced attorney like Martin T. Lievois, who can handle your case with skill and efficiency. He can be reached at 248-419-1566 or 810-250-4550.

Monday, October 12, 2015

“Habitual Alcohol Offenders” under Michigan Law

What is a “habitual alcohol offender” and why does it matter?

Under Michigan law, a “habitual alcohol offender” is a designation given to a person who satisfies certain criteria. Once a person is labeled as a “habitual alcohol offender,” the individual's driver’s license must be revoked, and can only be reissued upon the satisfaction of certain conditions.

The designation is given to those who have two of the following convictions within 7 years, or three of the following within 10 years:

  1. Operation of a vehicle while intoxicated
  2. Operation of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both
  3. Operation of a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or greater
  4. Operation of a vehicle while under the age of 21 with any alcohol present in the body other than alcohol present due to a generally recognized religious ceremony

According to this definition, “intoxicated” means that one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or greater. Note that only one conviction of the fourth type (4) can be counted. Also important to note is that a conviction under a local code or a similar code from another jurisdiction can be used to satisfy the combination.

The consequence of such a designation depends on whether the person has had their license revoked in the past. If this is the person’s first license revocation, the license is revoked for one year. If it's a subsequent revocation or denial within 7 years, the revocation lasts for a minimum of 5 years.

Once a person's license has been revoked under this provision, he or she must wait until the revocation period has expired before applying for reinstatement. In order to be considered for a driver’s license again, the person must attend a hearing in Michigan's Driver Appeal and Assessment Division of the Secretary of State. At the hearing, the habitual alcohol offender must prove to the hearing officer that she or he is no longer a threat to other drivers on the road. The Hearing Officer has the authority to issue a restricted driver’s license, or a full driver’s license, depending upon the proof offered. Restricted driver’s licenses are commonly used to allow the habitual alcohol offender to drive to and from the individual's place of employment, and to other strictly necessary destinations.

If you reside in Michigan and are concerned you may be a “habitual alcohol offender,” you should seek an experienced attorney to represent you. Call Martin T. Lievois, Attorney at Law, at either his Troy office: 248-419-1566 or his Flint office: 810-250-4550.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Minor DWI/DUIs are NOT Minor Offenses

What consequences can minors face if convicted of DWI/DUI?

Minors get caught drunk driving during spring and early summer at a much higher rate than any other time of the year. Prom, graduation, and those first few weeks home from college for the summer are wonderful things to celebrate, but getting charged with DWI/DUI is anything but fun. 

In Michigan, we have zero tolerance law when it comes to minors and driving under the influence. 

• If you are under 21 years old, and are found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02 or greater, you are in trouble. 

• The 0.02 limit that applies to minors is significantly lower than the 0.08 limit drivers of legal age face, meaning virtually any amount of alcohol is going to put you over the limit. If you are a minor caught with a BAC over 0.08, you can be charged under the regular DWI/DUI laws and face stiffer penalties. 

• People also think that you have to be actually driving to get charged with DWI/DUI. That is typically the case for adults, but not true for minors. Minors can be charged with DWI/DUI for just sitting in a car in a parking lot. 

• Some people think that the 0.02 limit does not apply if the alcohol was consumed in Canada where the legal drinking age is 19. That is not true. The 0.02 limit applies to all drivers under the age of 21, even if they legally consumed the alcohol that put them over the limit. 

• Getting an underage DWI/DUI can dramatically increase the penalties you face if you are convicted of other offenses later in life. 

Getting convicted of DWI/DUI as a minor can change the course of your life, so it important to get good legal advice as soon as possible after being ticketed or arrested. If convicted, the judge can revoke your license, impose fines and/or jail time, require you to do community service hours and add points to your license. 

There will also be consequences outside of the legal system. Beyond the social stigma you will face, your insurance rates will increase, you could have some scholarships revoked, and you might even have trouble finding a job or renting an apartment. These serious repercussions are the reason you need an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side. 

If you or your child has been charged with DWI/DUI don’t waste any time. Call experienced driving under the influence attorney Martin T. Lievois today to schedule your free consultation. The number is (248)419.1566 in Troy and (810)250.4550 in Flint.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Habitual Offender Appeal Rights Under Michigan Law

The Secretary of State (DAAD) denied my request for license restoration. I'm considered a habitual offender; can I appeal this decision? 

Under Michigan law, the Secretary of State (more specifically the DAAD; Driver's Assessment and Appeals Division of the Secretary of State) determines whether a habitual offender is eligible to have his or her driver's license restored. For certain crimes, including repeat DUIs, a license revocation is mandatory and can last for a minimum of one to five years. However, the law does not mandate an indefinite license revocation, and drivers may be able to restore their driving privileges following a revocation review and reexamination. Unfortunately for some, the restoration attempt may not be successful, and the Department may order a continued period of revocation. In this situation, the petitioner may seek an appeal of this decision through a Michigan Circuit Court, which maintains exclusive jurisdiction over revocation appeals. 

To appeal the decision, the petitioner must submit a Petition for Reinstatement no later than 63 days from the entry of the Department’s decision regarding the revocation. In the Petition, the petitioner must give his or her reasons why the Department’s decision was invalid or unlawful, and the Circuit Court may overturn the Department’s final order only upon a showing of one or more of the following: 
 The Department’s decision was unconstitutional
 The Secretary of State exceeded its authority
 The decision was rendered based upon flawed procedure that placed a great hardship on the petitioner
 The denial was not supported by substantial evidence
 The Department’s denial was arbitrary or an abuse of power
 The denial was affected by a substantial error of law.

Unlike an administrative hearing where a petitioner may enter evidence and testimony, a Circuit Court appeal is limited to the record only. This means that the judge will review the evidence and transcripts from the initial hearing and make a determination based solely on this information, and the petitioner will not have an opportunity to present new or additional evidence.

If you are considering an appeal and would like to discuss your options with a knowledgeable license restoration lawyer in Michigan, contact Martin T. Lievois today by calling his Flint, Michigan office at (810)250-4550  or the Troy, Michigan office at (248)419-1566.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Driver In Deadly Accident Just Had Driver’s License Reinstated

What requirements does Michigan law impose for reinstatement of a revoked or suspended driver's license?

When a driver's license is revoked in Michigan, getting it reinstated can be an arduous and complex process. The driver seeking restoration of his or her license typically must produce extensive documentation and undergo either a hearing or administrative review.

Government caution in reinstating a driver's license might be understood when considering a recent Michigan accident in which a car struck an ambulance carrying a patient to a hospital. The patient, suffering from cardiac arrest, died moments after arriving at the hospital in a replacement ambulance. The driver of the car, Shirley Ann Stokes, and her passenger were killed on impact.

Ms. Stokes, who had a lengthy criminal history, had lost her driver's license but had managed to have it restored. A mere twenty-four hours after the reinstatement of her license, she ran a red light and crashed into the ambulance, causing fatalities and injuries. Speed and alcohol were both suspected factors in the crash, though an investigation is ongoing.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OWI) and similar charges are serious offenses, and not all who seek reinstatement of a suspended or revoked license are eligible. Once eligibility is established, a petitioner must submit paperwork to the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD), including an affidavit and supporting exhibits and evidence. He or she may have to testify at a hearing or await administrative review of the petition. There must be clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner has met the requirements essential to reinstatement of a license.

If you find yourself in need of having a suspended or revoked license restored, having knowledgeable counsel at your side may make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful petition. Michigan attorney Martin T. Lievois has more than 20 years of experience handling license restoration, drunk driving cases and criminal law. With offices in Troy and Flint, he and his staff are ready to assist you. Call today at (248)419-1566 or (810)250-4550 for a free phone consultation.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Michigan's Implied Consent Law and Blood Alcohol Testing

What happens if I refuse testing for DUI?

If you are pulled over by law enforcement for suspicion of operating while intoxicated (OWI), you will likely be required to take a chemical test (breath or blood) to determine if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit. If you take a test, it may show you are not intoxicated; it may also show (accurately or not) that you are legally intoxicated, which may lead to criminal charges. Alternatively, you could refuse to take the test.

Under Michigan's implied consent law, someone driving on a public road is giving his or her implied consent to be tested for OWI (often referred to as DUI). If you are pulled over because a police officer believes you are intoxicated and asks you to take a chemical test and you refuse, there are penalties.

If you refuse a breath test, there will be a fine of $150, and the officer could use this refusal (with other evidence) as probable cause to arrest you for OWI. Once arrested, you should be told you can take additional tests and the results could be used against you at trial. If you make further refusals in police custody, your license will be revoked and you will be issued a temporary paper license. You will then be given a written notice indicating that you have 14 days to request a hearing to challenge the suspension.

The penalties for those refusing blood or urine tests start with a one year suspension of your license. This increases to two years if this is your second refusal or any subsequent refusal within the past seven years.

Just because you refuse to give consent to a chemical test does not mean you will not get one. The officer can get a court order that requires you to take a test.

If you or a loved one has been charged with OWI, you need an experienced defense attorney who can help protect your rights and prevent the suspension of your license. Call Martin T. Lievois today for a free phone consultation. In Troy, call (248)419-1566, and in Flint, call (810)250-4550.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Depending on Your Offense, You May Lose More Than Your License

It’s becoming more common that law enforcement officials seize vehicles as a result of a criminal investigation or simply pulling a driver over and deciding the person is suspicious. In Michigan, depending on what you’re convicted of, your vehicle may be seized by law enforcement. Given how important your vehicle is to your life, and that of your family, if you find yourself in this situation you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

If you repeatedly drive while your license is suspended/revoked/denied, or if you’ve committed multiple substance abuse-related offenses, you may be subject to vehicle forfeiture

• The court may order the vehicle be sold if you own the vehicle in whole or in part. 
• Proceeds from the sale would be distributed according to priorities defined by state statute, first to pay loans secured by the vehicle.
• If the vehicle is leased, it may be returned to the lessor. 

Vehicle forfeiture is possible and at the court’s discretion if:

• You are charged with your first DUI offense and a death or injury occurred because of your intoxicated driving.
• The DUI offense is your second such offense or if you have committed a prior DUI in the past seven years, if the offense was not a “zero tolerance” offense.
• It’s your third DUI offense or your third criminal offense in the past ten years.

The judge will decide during the sentencing phase of your trial if vehicle forfeiture is appropriate. Forfeiture only applies to a vehicle owned by the offender, not an innocent individual whose vehicle was borrowed.

A vehicle can be seized at the scene of the alleged crime before a trial occurs.  If so, you may ask the court to require the seizing agency to file a lien against the vehicle and return the vehicle pending conclusion of the case.  You would have to convince the judge the vehicle is needed for you or a family member while the case is pending.
You may be tempted to hide, sell, give away or transfer the vehicle order to avoid forfeiture. If so, you could be charged with an additional misdemeanor.

If you are in the Flint or Troy, Michigan area, have been charged with a crime and have had your vehicle seized, or you may lose it as part of your sentence, contact Martin T. Lievois today to defend your rights, your freedom and your ability to keep your vehicle.  He can be reached in Troy at (248)419-1566 and Flint at (810)250-4550.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Woman With Checkered Driving History Charged With Two Crashes in One Day

For some of use, driving is nothing but trouble.  Whether we are not talented drivers or make poor decisions, driving offenses can lead to serious criminal liability.  A great example of this is the story of a Michigan woman who was recently involved in two accidents in one day and who will face criminal charges in both of them.

Crystal Louise Rincones of Wyoming, Michigan, has a less than perfect driving record.  Over the past 16 years, her license has been suspended multiple times for reasons such as driving under the influence, failure to pay parking tickets and license restoration fees. Rincones was also involved in a crash in which three people were hurt. She also has a criminal history and was convicted of a drug crime.

Now, again with a suspended license, Rincones was involved in not one but two crashes in the same day.  In the early morning hours of this particular day, she was a party to a minor accident in a Walgreen’s shopping center. No one was injured in the accident and only property damage occurred.  The police found that Rincones had a suspended license and after evaluating her sobriety drove her home instead of charging her.  Later in the same day, at around 10:00am, Rincones was driving and SUV down Highway U.S. 131 when she struck another car head on.  Rincones and the other driver, Vickers Charles Hansen, were seriously injured.  Police subsequently charged Rincones with reckless driving and driving with a suspended license, second offense, both charges stepped up due to the bodily injuries that resulted.  They also decided to charge her for the accident she was involved in at Walgreen’ earlier in the day.  These are serious crimes and could lead to five years of incarceration for the woman.

If you have a less than perfect driving history or a criminal record and have been implicated in another crime, it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  Contact Michigan attorney Martin T. Lievois by calling him in Flint at (810)250-4550 or in Troy at (248)419-1566 for a consultation today.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Michigan Man Could Lose License Due to Medical Marijuana Charge

Being arrested and convicted of a crime can have consequences that you might not think are possible.  A conviction can affect your right to vote, your ability to get a job and many of the privileges you enjoy.  For example, some crimes, even ones that are not driving related, may result in the mandatory suspension of your driver’s license, as evidenced by a recent Michigan case.

Stephen Olin Lothamer is a medical marijuana user.  During an investigation by the Michigan State Police, he was found to be advertising marijuana plants on  An investigator responded to the ad claiming to be an authorized medical marijuana user and met Lothamer at his home. There, the undercover officer purchased 31 plants from Lothamer without showing any proof of his authorization to use marijuana.  After the sale, the officer returned, revealed himself and asked to search the suspect’s home.  Lothamer agreed to the search of his home and greenhouse which turned up almost 500 plants.  

Under Michigan law, a medical marijuana patient is allowed to possess 12 plants for personal use, with the rarely invoked exception that allows as many plants as are necessary for treatment.  Medical marijuana caregivers are allowed to possess 72 plants and to distribute them to patients.  In other words, there are no circumstances under which a private individual is allowed to possess more than 72 plants.  

As Lothamer and his wife are medical marijuana patients, they are each entitled to possess 12 plants.  It is unclear whether Lothamer was authorized to act as a caregiver and distribute the plants to others.  He claims that he would start the plants and then give them to others patients that were in need.  Lothamer was charged with controlled substance delivery-manufacture of marijuana and, since he would not respond at his arraignment, the judge was forced to enter a not guilty plea for him.   He is facing four years in prison, a $20,000 fine and the suspension of his driver’s license.

Contact Troy and Flint, Michigan criminal defense attorney Martin Lievois if you are facing charges that might result in the temporary suspension or permanent revocation of your driver’s license.  Call us in Troy at (248)419-1566 and in Flint at (810)250-4550.

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