Suspended Licenses: Why They Happen and How to Get Yours Reinstated
Has the state suspended your driver’s license? It’s illegal for you to drive until it is reinstated. If you unwisely choose to drive anyhow and law enforcement officers catch you doing so, you will face not only a driving while suspended charge and having to pay its associated hefty fine, but your license may well become resuspended.
There are two types of suspended license periods: definite and indefinite.
Definite suspensions end once the suspension period ends and you have paid the associated suspension termination fees. These can vary widely depending on which state you live in and why the license suspension occurred. You may also need to meet additional requirements to get your license back. For example, installing an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle if you received your suspension after a DWI or DUI conviction.
Indefinite suspensions remain in effect until you take some sort of required action. This includes paying the fines on old traffic tickets. Another reason for an indefinite suspension is if you develop a medical condition that could put yourself or others in danger if you get behind the wheel. These types of suspensions generally remain in effect until you can present evidence from a doctor that you recovered from the condition or that it’s being sufficiently managed through medications or otherwise.
Events That Can Result in a Suspended License
There are a variety of reasons for a suspended license. Here are a few of them.
License Suspensions for DWI or DUI
In most states, if a police officer arrests you for alleged DWI or DUI, (s)he will confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a temporary license that expires on a certain date, usually 15 days hence. You have this much time to request an administrative hearing before your state’s Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division. If you win your case, the state will reinstate your license pending the court resolution of your DWI/DUI case. In the event you lose, the administrative license suspension remains in effect until your court date. If the judge or jury acquits you, the state will automatically rescind this administrative suspension
Should the judge or jury convict you of DWI/DUI, the amount of time your license will be suspended will depend on several factors. This can include your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of your arrest, whether or not you have prior DWI or DUI convictions, etc.
License Suspension for Other Traffic-Related Convictions
Your license may also be suspended if you have multiple moving violations. As well as if you collect a certain number of points against your license within a certain period of time by virtue of multiple traffic-related convictions. Most states allow you somewhere around 8 points in 18 months before suspending your license. Keep in mind, however, that virtually every type of traffic-related conviction carries its own number of points, which generally range from one to as many as 12. The points add up more quickly than you might realize.
Some driving-related offenses that can result in a suspended license include the following:
- Careless or reckless driving
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way street
- Drag racing
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Road rage
- Driving with an altered driver’s license or no license at all
- Driving without proper insurance
- Failure to pay a DMV fine or fee
- Failure to appear in court for a moving violation
License Suspensions for Non-Traffic Violations
Most states also suspend your driver’s license for reasons unrelated to driving violations. Reasons vary from state to state, but common violations that can lead to license suspension include:
- Failure to pay child support
- Failure to maintain auto insurance
- Conviction of drug-related offenses
- Juvenile delinquency
Arguments for Reinstating Your License Prior to the End of Your Suspension Period
Most states allow you to get your license reinstated for hardship driving purposes prior to the end of your suspension period by going to court and requesting a judge to grant you limited driving privileges for things such as the following:
- To drive to and from your place of employment
- So you may drive to and from your doctor appointments
- To drive to and from your school or other classes
- To drive to and from your probation or parole appointments
- If you need to drive to and from the grocery store and other necessary places
- To drive your children to and from their school(s)
Arguments for Reinstating Your License at the End of Your Suspension Period
At the end of the period of your suspended license, you likely will have to go before a judge to plead your case as to why (s)he should reinstate your license. Depending on the reason you were suspended, this may be the same judge who convicted you of the crime or violation that caused your suspension.
Some common arguments that can prove successful in getting your license reinstated include the following:
- Argue the specifics of your moving violations. Explain the situation and why you didn’t fight the ticket initially if you believe you were wrongfully issued a ticket for any of your violations,
- Argue the facts of any traffic accidents. Were you involved in any accidents that led to points being added to your license? Explain that those accidents were not your fault or were not indicative of poor driving behaviors on your part.
- Argue your new driving habits. If you’ve taken steps to improve your driving, explain those steps, including your completion of any driver education or safe driving courses you have taken.
Do You Need an Attorney When Facing a Suspended License?
In a word, yes. Going to court alone and pleading your case yourself definitely is not in your own best interests. You need legal representation by an attorney well versed in traffic law.
Work with an Experienced Lawyer
Whether you’re facing a driver’s license suspension or your license has already been suspended and you need to get it back, the time to take action is now.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!