Criminal Defense Latest Articles
Request a Free Consultation

Specializing in Drug, Weapons, Assault, Theft, DUI, Property and Fraud Cases

After a Drunk Driving Arrest Can I Sell or Lease a Vehicle?

| , ,

can I sell or lease a vehicle after a drunk driving arrest

First Offense Drunk Driving

Can I sell or lease a vehicle after a drunk driving arrest? Individuals who have been arrested for a first offense Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) are free to sell, buy or lease a vehicle.

If you have a second alcohol related DUI offense, however, the assistance of a proven DUI attorney is necessary.

Facing DUI charges? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.

Second Offense Drunk Driving

As a starting point, Michigan law permits license plate confiscation for people arrested for a second drunk driving offense within seven years, or a third DUI offense within a lifetime.

At the time of the arrest, the police take the metal plate and replace it with a paper plate that remains in effect until the resolution of the case.

Can You Sell Your Vehicle or Lease a New Vehicle After a Second Arrest for Drunk Driving?

Individuals who have been charged with a second offense of drunk driving are able to obtain a new plate when they turn in a leased vehicle or sell their vehicle, but it will require a court order.

Under Michigan law (MCL 257.233[4]), during the time a vehicle is subject to a temporary registration plate, vehicle forfeiture, immobilization, or registration denial, the owner of the vehicle isn’t permitted to transfer or assign the title or an interest in the vehicle without a court order.

This also means that after a second offense drunk driving, an individual cannot sign their vehicle over to a family member without first obtaining a court order.

Even if a court grants an order, the family member is still unable to purchase the car.

Therefore, any transfer requires a court order.

Under Michigan law (257.219[3]), the Secretary of State (SOS) shall not issue a registration for the vehicle if a temporary registration plate was issued under Michigan law.

This is until the violation resulting in the plate’s issuance is examined, or the vehicle transfers to a person who’s subject to payment of the use tax under section three and use tax code.

Typically, this occurs when the registration is up for renewal (the title holder’s birthday), but cannot be renewed due to the paper plate’s issuance.

It’s important to note that the paper plate is valid until the case has been adjudicated.

However, this will also impact you and your family if you’re successful in persuading a court to allow a transfer to a family member.

That family member will not be able to receive a metal plate until the case is adjudicated.

Multiple Offenses

Even if the vehicle can be transferred, it may not be possible to buy another vehicle at all if you’ve been arrested after multiple offenses.

Under MCL 257.219(4), you’ll not be able to have any vehicle licensed in your name if your driver’s license is suspended, denied, or revoked because of a third offense or greater.

The only exception is if you’re in the sobriety court ignition interlock program.

Therefore, it’s important to consider all of the ramifications of transferring the title of a vehicle during an open case.

Facing DUI charges? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.


Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
Call Us Now Message Us