If you live in Macomb County, you probably consider your driver’s license to be a necessity in your daily life, not a luxury. However, you’ve also likely heard the statement – which, as in most states, is accurate in Michigan – that a license to operate a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. As a privilege, it carries a number of legal responsibilities, including keeping your vehicle in good repair and maintaining adequate insurance.
Most important, of course, it requires that the holder observe the many “rules of the road” that are contained in Michigan and intended to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians. Even the most careful and responsible driver may run afoul of one of these numerous rules and be faced with a so-called “moving violation” citation for:
- Exceeding the Posted Speed Limit (or Driving Too Fast For Conditions)
- Careless and Reckless Driving
- Failure to Stop at a Signal or Stop Sign
- Failure to Signal
- Passing a Stopped School Bus
- Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
When a law enforcement officer stops your vehicle, you’ll typically receive a citation, which is an order for you to appear in court at a stated date and time. In many cases, you’ll have the option of simply mailing in the court fines and costs prior to your court date. Understand, however, that by doing this you are considered to be admitting you’re guilty. Depending upon the offense, this can have an impact on both your driving privileges and your insurance premiums. Therefore, for even a relatively minor infraction it is almost always worthwhile to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer in order to understand your rights, possible defenses to the citation, and the consequences of a guilty verdict or plea.
License Suspension and Reinstatement
While the penalty for most motor vehicle violations is a fine, there are infractions that can result in incarceration. Primary among these are vehicular homicide and drunk driving offenses. Moreover, a drunk driving or other serious traffic violation, may result in suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. Once your license is suspended, you must request a reinstatement hearing before the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) of the Michigan Secretary of State.
To convict you of a drunk driving offense, the state had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you operated your vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Not so in your DAAD hearing. There, you’ll need to prove to the hearing officer that your use of alcohol or drugs is now under control and that you won’t be a significant risk to other drivers if you are allowed back on the highway.
As such, you should prepare for your DAAD hearing as though it is a criminal trial. That’s because you may file only one reinstatement request per year. If the DAAD isn’t convinced you are now a safe driver, you’ll have to wait another twelve months before you can try again.
Lucido & Manzella P.C. lawyers know what kind of evidence works with the DAAD and have helped many Macomb County residents with license reinstatement issues. If you are ready to apply for license reinstatement, call us today at (586) 842-0198.