First-time offenders of Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) will now have the opportunity to use a free online program to restore their license and connect virtually with the city attorney to negotiate details of their case. Please refer to DWLS the charge is Driving While License Suspended set by statute
Thanks to a free online program, provided by Matterhorn by Court Innovations Inc., the 62-B District Court is able to provide virtual services to restore licenses and interact with the prosecuting official without multiple court appearances.
“This program streamlines the process of communicating with the court and the city attorney as much as possible by taking it online, and providing ample educational material and guidance on what needs to be done,” said Judge William G. Kelly. “We are committed to providing stellar customer service to those in our community, and this is another way to do that.”
For decades, suspending driving privileges has been used as a punitive measure against those with poor driving behaviors, such as drunk driving or multiple moving violations. However, according to a 2013 report from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Best Practices Guide for Reducing Suspended Drivers, almost half of the suspensions are for offenses that have nothing to do with unsafe driving.
Forty percent of suspensions are for minor offenses like failing to pay a minor traffic or parking ticket. Many, particularly those in socio-economically challenged circumstances, risk driving on a suspended license and may not know their license was suspended. When caught driving with a suspended license, they’re charged with a misdemeanor.
Those are the cases the program aims to help, Kelly said.
“As permitted by Michigan law, prosecuting attorneys may offer a plea deal to first offenders where unsafe driving behavior is not involved. Getting the license unsuspended is usually a condition of the deal,” he explained.
Those eligible will be informed about the program at their arraignment. They will have a certain amount of time to get their suspension lifted and their license restored. Throughout the process, individuals receive emails and text messages to provide reminders and updates on the status of their case. After that, the prosecutor will review their case and record online, and will consider offering a plea deal.
The individual can accept the deal online without ever appearing in court. By resolving these matters online, prosecutors and citizens are able to reduce or eliminate in-person pre-trial conferences, and saving citizens multiple trips to court.
Motorists charged with driving with a suspended license in Kentwood can visit www.courtinnovations.com/MID62Bto resolve the matter online.