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How Arrests/Convictions Are Abstracted To The Secretary Of State

When someone is arrested for OWI, the officer generates a DI-177 form to provide to the driver. A copy of this form is sent directly to the Michigan Secretary of State. That notifies the Secretary of State that a person has been arrested for an OWI and might have a case forthcoming. If a person is convicted in a criminal court or is in violation of the implied consent law, the secretary of state receives an electronic abstract of conviction and in turns notifies the driver of the corresponding license consequence.  This abstract is what creates entries onto a person’s master driving record. 

What Is The Difference Between A Suspension Versus A Revocation?

A license suspension generally has a definitive starting and ending time, and merely requires a driver to pay a reinstatement fee at the end of that time period. In some suspensions, a driver can seek limited privileges to “override” the loss.  In contrast, a license revocation means that a license has been revoked and denied, rendering the driver ineligible to drive for any purpose. Upon a revocation, a Michigan driver must appeal and petition through the Secretary of State for reinstatement of those privileges and must often wait a specific time period, most often 1 or 5 years, before applying.  This process is called a License Appeal hearing, and is discussed in detail, below. 

Generally, first-time OWI misdemeanor convictions (including even those for Child Endangerment and High BAC) result in suspensions.  In contrast, repeat OWI convictions and most felony OWI (including Serious Injury and Death) result in revocations. 

To assist clients and attorneys learning this area of practice, we have included a chart on the next page which succinctly summarizes the various criminal and license sanctions for people facing the most common 625 offenses. 

That said, the best way to ensure a driver knows all of the possible license and criminal sanctions is by hiring an experienced attorney who understands license issues and the difference in license consequences.  Doing so is as important as finding the “best” OWI criminal defense attorney in Ann Arbor.  In a perfect world, finding a “combination” defense/license attorney should be the objective of a client facing any OWI charge. 

For more information on Arrests Abstracted To Secretary Of State, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (734) 263-2780 today.