Under Michigan law MCL 500.3101, a driver of a car must have valid insurance or else the driver can be charged with operating a motor vehicle without security. Believe it or not, the penalty for driving a car without security or insurance is punishable by up to one year in jail and fines ranging from $200-500. Seems harsh considering that if you drive drunk and actually place innocent people’s lives at risk the worst punishment you face is 93 days in jail. If you have valid insurance but you failed to have proof of it in your car, you can be citied for a civil infraction with a fine of $25. The court can require you to surrender your license up to 30 days until you provide proof that you have insurance. Michigan treats driving without insurance very seriously. The good news is that there are no longer driver’s responsibility fees associated with driving without insurance like in years past.
Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License (No Ops)
If you are driving a car without a valid operator’s or driver’s license you face a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum penalty of up to 93 days in jail and/or $500 in fines. This is different than the driving while license suspended (dwls) charge. The “No Ops” charge is when you have never had a valid license. The driving while license suspended charge is when your license has been suspended, revoked, or denied. If you had a valid driver’s license but didn’t have it in your possession when you were pulled over, you face a minor misdemeanor charge that is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $100 fine. If you can prove that you had a valid license at the time you were stopped but just didn’t have it in your possession, some prosecutors will dismiss the charge or plead it down to a civil infraction.
If you have been charged with driving without insurance or driving without a valid operator’s license, you need to have an experienced Michigan traffic defense attorney representing you to mitigate the damage to your criminal and driving records. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can look for deficiencies in your case that can lead to a dismissal or can negotiate with the prosecutor to avoid costly court fines, driver’s responsibility fees, higher insurance premiums, and a permanent criminal record (remember, traffic convictions cannot be expunged).
Call Austin Legal Services, PLC at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a Michigan traffic defense attorney today!
Defending traffic charges throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Jackson, Shiawassee, Kent, Washtenaw in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Brighton, Howell, Jackson, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Corunna, Durand.