Pulled OverIn the State of Virginia if you drive over the speed of 80 miles per hour you can get a ticket for “reckless driving”. The same goes for driving at a speed of 20 miles per hour in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit – you are guilty of reckless driving. The penalty in Virginia is a fine of $500.00. The penalty in Michigan is much more stiff. Because Virginia and other states call excessive speeding “reckless driving” and report it to Michigan as such, Michigan will penalize you for a Michigan “reckless driving” which is six points and a three month license suspension with no restrictions. It has been happening to people for years but luckily, it can be fixed by jumping through a few hoops.

Michigan law states that the secretary of state may suspend someone’s license if they receive notice from another state of a conviction for an offense that, if committed in this state, would be grounds for a suspension. Reckless driving in Michigan means driving in a manner that is wantonly and willfully in disregard to the safety of person or property. The Michigan definition is much different than the Virginia definition but when the secretary of state learns of a Virginia reckless condition the penalize it the same.

Unfortunately the way to fix it is not easy, but it can be done. First you must petition a circuit court judge to stay the suspension pursuant to Michigan law 257.323a. Then appeal the license action to the Department of State License Appeal Division and request a hearing pursuant to Michigan Law 257.322. It must be done within fourteen days of the date of the suspension notice. At the hearing, the winning argument is the act of excessive speeding alone cannot be punished by a license suspension in Michigan – the driving must be in willful and wanton disregard for persons or property. Somebody at the secretary of state is improperly suspending driver licenses which, in Michigan, can be very costly. If enough people properly fight back in the manner described above, the Michigan secretary of state will probably get the message and be more careful with our lives.

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