If you’re caught driving with a suspended license, you may face serious consequences. Even if you’re intention was to drive a short distance to work, you’re breaking the law. Driving with a suspended license is never recommended.
Of course, that advice will do you little good if you’ve already been caught. At this point, you’re likely wondering what type of consequences you’ll be facing.
The Consequences of Driving with a Suspended License
The penalties of driving with a suspended license will vary from state to state, and may include:
- Jail time. There’s a good chance that you will be arrested for the violation. Many states impose a mandatory one-year prison sentence for the crime. On average, violators spend 30-60 days in jail.
- Major fines. Most violators will be fined, and you can expect to pay more if you are a repeat offender. Fines can range anywhere from $300 to $1,000 or more.
- Driving points. Depending on the state, points may be added to your license.
- Community service. Some states may require community service in addition to jail time, while others will allow community service in lieu of jail time.
- Driver improvement or substance abuse program. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the court may require you to enroll in a substance abuse or a driver improvement program.
- Extended license suspension. The court may extend your license suspension period.
- License revocation.Depending on the circumstances and whether you’re a repeat offender, your license may be revoked.
- Felony charge. You may face a possible felony charge, depending on the case. A felony charge comes with long-term legal consequences and will prevent you from voting, holding certain types of business licenses, owning a firearm and running from office – among other things.
- Higher auto insurance and license fees. Once your license is returned to you, you may be required to pay a higher fee to have your license reinstated. You may also be forced to pay a higher auto insurance premium, depending on your insurer.
- Violators spend an average of 6 months to 1 year on probation for driving with a suspended license.
As you can see, the consequences are severe for driving while your license is suspended.
Common Reasons for License Suspension
There are numerous reasons why a license may be suspended. While the most common reasons are traffic-related, there are factors unrelated to driving that may cause your license to be suspended.
Common reasons for license suspension include:
- Unpaid child support. If you fail to pay child support, the court will likely suspend your license until you can prove that you are in compliance.
- Drivingwhile under the influence.
- Convicted of vehicular homicide.
- Hit and run accidents.
- Using a vehicle to commit a felony.
- Refusing a breathalyzer test.
- Driving without insurance.
- Convicted of street racing.
- Failing to appear in court for a traffic citation.
- Having too many points on your license.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. There are other circumstances which may cause your license to be suspended.
If you’re caught driving with a suspended license, consider talking to a lawyer about your case. Make sure to check references or testimonials.A lawyer will represent your rights and provide you with sound legal advice.