In the previous article on this Blog, we examined the difference between Misdemeanor and Civil Infraction Traffic Offenses, and learned that Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses can NEVER be removed from a person's Criminal Record. In this article, we'll look at the consequences of that permanence, and see how it applies in the real world.
As a practicing Criminal Defense Lawyer, I spend a lot of time in the Metro-Detroit area Courts. A recent experience in a city outside the Suburban-Metro area (hereafter referred to as the "other place") serves as the inspiration for this installment. To be fair, I cannot say where this case was handled, other than to point out that it was not in Macomb, Oakland, or Wayne County. In fact, an experience like this tends to reinforce my general policy to limit my Practice to the Tri-County area, with certain, limited exceptions. And I got into this case as one of those exceptions.
My Client was charged with Driving While License Suspended, Revoked or Denied (DWLS/DWLR), 2nd Offense. His last DWLS/DWLR conviction occurred more than 10 years before this most recent charge. He has 4 total prior DWLS/DWLR convictions. His License was Revoked due to several DUI convictions, the last also occurring nearly 10 years before this arrest. To be clear, his last DUI did, in fact, occur after his last DWLS/DWLR case.
Somehow or other, my Client was able to get a License from another State right after his last DUI conviction (definitely an error on that State's part), and returned to Michigan for a visit a little over 5 years ago, when he held the then-valid, out of State License. He got pulled over in a local city, and because his Michigan License was revoked, was still cited for DWLS/DWLR. He returned to the other State without taking care of this Michigan matter, and all but forgot about it.
Until he got arrested for DWLS/DWLR in the "other place." When his LEIN record was run, it came up that he had an outstanding Bench Warrant for his failure to show up to Court for the local DWLS/DWLR case. The end result to all this was that he had to post a Bond for the Old, local case, as well as the new, "other place" case.