It was back on December 28, 2019, when an East Lansing police officer initiated a traffic stop near the area of Lake Lansing and Pryde Road after witnessing a driver make a turn without using his turn signal. After Officer Austin Nelson pulled the car over, he learned that the driver had been operating the vehicle on an expired license. WILX reported that Officer Nelson decided to arrest the individual for the offense.

The news source says that two other officers also arrived at the scene to assist with the arrest. Police records say that after the individual was asked to step out of his vehicle after being notified that he was being placed under arrest, he allegedly replied with “Come and get me,” and began honking the horn. The documents also say that officers had to remove the driver out of his vehicle after he was allegedly resisting and was then taken down to the ground and placed in handcuffs.

While in handcuffs, the driver complained to the officers that the cuffs were too tight. The officers were accused of ignoring the man’s concerns by telling him that he “was fine” and that the cuffs “did not need to be adjusted.” Police records also say that the individual did not feel as though he should have been arrested, but instead, cited for operating his vehicle on an expired license.

Shortly after the incident occurred, a complaint was brought against the East Lansing Police Department alleging the officer applied excessive force during the traffic stop. It wasn’t until recently that the East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas requested to review video footage of the arrest. The news source says that the City of East Lansing learned that the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office did not perform a video review of the use of force during the arrest which is why Lahanas has requested to review it for himself.

Can a driver go to jail for driving on an expired driver’s license in East Lansing, Michigan?

In order to legally operate your motor vehicle in Michigan, you must have a valid driver’s license and be in compliance with the state’s auto insurance laws. Anytime an individual operates their vehicle without a license, meaning it has been revoked, suspended, or it is expired, they are committing an offense that is far more serious than a moving violation. In fact, driving on an expired license could result in you facing jail time.

According to §257.904, when a driver is caught operating their vehicle without a valid license for the first time, they risk being placed in jail for no more than 93 days and/or being issued a fine for no more than $500. If a driver is caught committing the offense a second time in East Lansing, MI, they could be placed in jail for up to a year and/or receive a fine for no more than $1,000. A second offense could also result in a person having their vehicle registration plates canceled and having their license suspended for an increased period of time.

If you were recently arrested for driving without a license in East Lansing, MI, whether it was suspended, revoked, or expired, and you are seeking legal representation to help fight your charges or get them reduced, the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. is who you need to contact. East Lansing, MI criminal defense lawyer Stuart R. Shafer has more than 44 years of legal experience and is committed to protecting your rights.

The Key to Avoiding an Arrest for an Expired License is to Keep Your License Current

To avoid being fined or jailed for driving on an expired license, you must keep it current. Typically, a driver can submit their renewal form and fee online or through the mail to prevent having their license become invalid. Sometimes, however, a driver may be required to renew their license at their local Michigan DMV office. In the event you are planning on being out of state at the time your license is set to expire, The Office of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says that you may apply to have your driving privileges extended. The extension may allow your privileges to extend 180 days beyond the expiration date or no more than two weeks after you return to Michigan, whichever occurs first.

Now, if you’re ready to speak with an East Lansing, MI criminal defense attorney regarding your recent arrest, the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. is ready to take your call.

You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:


1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, MI 48906

Phone: 517-487-6603