What Is Punishment For Driving Without A License, If I Have Never Got In Any Trouble Before?

Asked over 4 years ago - Saint Clair Shores, MI

I Was Having A Bad Day, And I Was Nervous To Make An Appointment To Get My Permit, Iam 18 And I Have Been Afraid To Get It Because I Dont Like To Drive. My Friend Let Me Drive Down A Side Street, No Main Roads And We Got Pulled Over. I Got A Driving W.Out A License(misdeamonor) And She Got Letting An Unliscensed Driver Operate Her Vehicle. We Live In Michigan And Iam Freaking Out. Iam A Good Teenager, I Dont Drink Or Drugs And I Have Never Been In Trouble With The Law What So Ever. My Friend Is Only 17 And She Is Freaking Out. I Know It Was Wrong, And I Wish I Could Take It Back, But I Cant. Will We Go To Jail ?!?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Clinton J. Hubbell

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . The Driver:

    This answer comes in two parts, (1), the statutory maximum punishments and (2), what is more likely to happen.

    First, In Michigan, driving without a license (first offense) is a misdemeanor, punishable by up 93 days in jail, imposition of a $500.00 fine for the offense, up to $1,000.00 in driver responsibility fees over two years, and the administrative costs with the Secretary of State associated with obtaining your drivers license. This is the absolute worst that can happen.

    Second, what is more likely to happen is a different matter. It depends on the city or township in which the DWLS occurred, the judge's temperament, and the city attorney's level of understanding of your situation. Usually, a fine will be leveled against you if you can show that you obtained your driver license before the case concludes, accompanied by some term of probation during which you can commit no crimes. Your main goal should be to get that driver license! Go to the Secretary of State, explain what happened, bring your checkbook, and get a license. At the first opportunity at a scheduled court date, show the license to the City attorney.

    The worst thing you and the other person can do is nothing. So,
    1. Hire a lawyer;
    2. Appear timely at all scheduled court dates;
    3. Enter a plea of not guilty at the arraignment on the ticket;
    4. Pay the fees associated with obtaining your driver license at the Secretary of State;
    5. Be prepared to pay the fine on the date of your pretrial.

    The Person Lending the Car

    This is a different matter. That person should hire a lawyer, and should consult directly. The lawyer should be able to give them odds of certain outcomes based on a number of factors, including prior criminal history, their financial situation, the city attorney, the judge and court, and whether they are currently on probation for any other wrongful conduct. Unfortunately, the judges can vary greatly on how this charge is dealt with. If the person has a clean record, the judge should be willing to consider a fine and a term of probation during which the person can commit no crimes or lend vehicles to unlicensed drivers.

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