Man who went viral for driving during Virtual Court hearing is sent to jail as Judge blasts him for never having a license

Thursday, June 6, 2024 - A new development has unfolded in the case of the Michigan man caught driving with a suspended license during a virtual court hearing.

Corey Harris went viral for dialling into a Zoom court call from behind the wheel without a license. He spent two days in jail for the blunder.'

In an interview with WXYZ-TV, 44-year-old Harris stated that he had “no idea” his license was still suspended during that now-viral May 15 court hearing.

But the judge overseeing the case dropped the bombshell in a Wednesday court hearing: Harris has actually never owned a license.

“He has never had a license. Ever. And has never had a license in any of the other 49 states or commonwealths that make up this country,”

Washtenaw County District Court Judge Cedric Simpson said. “The way I know that he’s never had a license is because on May 3, 1999 — he was 19 at the time — he applied for his first Michigan ID. He has religiously, every year, gotten a new ID. And so he knows that he doesn’t have a license.”

The case against Harris stems from his arrest during a traffic stop in October 2023. He was cited for driving with a suspended license.

Court records indicate that Harris’ license privileges were suspended in 2010 due to unpaid child support.

“When they suspended his license … they don’t suspend the license, they suspend the privilege to drive in the state. Hence, if he had a Kentucky license, he would have been allowed to drive anywhere that Kentucky allowed him to drive; he just couldn’t drive in Michigan because his privileges have been restricted,” Simpson explained.

A judge lifted the suspension in 2022, but the lift never went into effect with the Secretary of State’s Office because Harris never paid a license clearance fee to the court, according to the judge.

In his TV interview, Harris said he thought the clearance was “taken care of already.” He said he was never told he had to pay a fee two years ago and that he only recently received the clearance paperwork this year. However, during the interview with the local station, he blamed the courts and the state for not correcting his paperwork.

Simpson asserted that Harris’ statements in his TV interview made it appear that court and state officials made errors that compromised Harris’ record when Harris was the one who was obligated to take steps to get his license privileges back two years ago.

“His falsehoods and misstatements are not going to fare him very well.

The one thing I don’t like is when people don’t take responsibility for what they’ve done,” Simpson said. “The person that needed to be blamed was the person that he was staring at in the mirror. Just own it! Once you own it becomes a whole lot earlier to move forward.”

Harris’s attorney, Dionne Webster-Cox, who accompanied Harris for his WXYZ interview, said she was stunned when Simpson revealed that her client never owned a license.

“I hadn’t done any research to go back. I didn’t go back to 1999 to see about this Michigan State ID. All that was shocking to me. Absolutely shocking,” Webster-Cox said.

State law dictates that Michigan residents cannot own both a state ID and a license.

Webster-Cox said she would work with her client to correct the issue.

“I just want him to have a license,” Simpson said.

During the nearly 30-minute hearing, Simpson revealed that Harris also had a bench warrant for driving with a suspended license. The bailiff escorted him to jail.

Simpson said he would issue Harris a nominal bond the following day if he isn’t released. Webster-Cox assured the judge that her client would do what it took to get his affairs in order and added that he has a permit test next week.

Harris’ next court hearing is Aug. 7, according to Fox 2 Detroit

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