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license revocation means that a license has been revoked and denied, rendering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
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
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 defense attorney. 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.