Woman getting a speeding ticket from police officer

The Reality of a License Suspension

Even though driving on public streets might be necessary for your job, family, or medical needs, the criminal justice system sees your ability to drive through our nations bumpy highways and byways as a privilege.

It is not a right, meaning that your license, and thereby your ability to drive, can be suspended if you commit certain crimes. Crimes that may result in license suspension can range from a DUI, to traffic violations, to crimes unrelated to driving like a conviction to pay drug charges or failure to pay child support. If your license is suspended and you decide to drive anyway (and are caught), you may need to contact a bail bond company because driving with a suspended license, in some cases, in some states, can land you in jail.

For What Reasons Can Your License Be Suspended?

A license suspension is when the state temporarily makes your license invalid, meaning that you will not be able to drive in that short period of time, and usually you will have to pay fines or take substance abuse classes (if the reason for the suspension is a DUI/DWI). In all fifty states in America your license will be suspended if you are convicted of a DUI/DWI. Interestingly, in many states, if you refuse to comply with a breathalyzer test, or other sobriety tests administered by a police officer, you automatically have your license suspended (because, after all, driving is not a right). You can also have your license suspended for certain traffic violations like reckless driving or careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident or even drag racing.

Now, suppose your license has been suspended for one of the reasons mentioned above, or perhaps for a different reason, and you are caught driving anyway. In this situation, most states increase the penalties from a suspension exponentially, and you will likely be stuck with higher fees, more points added to your driving record, license revocation (where your license is taken away indefinitely) or even jail time. At this point it may be useful to contact a bail bonds company.

Violations Unrelated To Driving That May Result In A Suspension Anyway

As has been hinted at above, some states also suspend drivers’ licenses for other, non-driving related transgressions. Take failure to pay child support. In all fifty states, failure to pay ones child support order can result in a driver’s license suspension, although the exact criteria for the suspension may differ among the states. Most states can also suspend the licenses of people who haven’t purchased proper insurance, or drive without insurance. In other cases it may just be that the number of points that have accumulated on your record is high enough that an automatic suspension takes effect.

Some other non-driving offenses that may lead to a license suspension are:
-Failure to appear in court to satisfy a summons for a moving violation or parking ticket
-Failure to pay a DMV fine, surcharge, or fee
-Conviction for a drug-related offense (other than a DUI)
-Altered or unlawful use of driver’s license
-Use of altered or fictitious license plates
-Non-DUI alcohol/drug offenses by minors
-Truancy
-Juvenile delinquency
-In Texas, for example, motorists convicted of a drug-related offense automatically lose their driver’s license for 180 days. (see http://traffic.findlaw.com/drivers-license-vehicle-info/what-conduct-could-lead-to-drivers-license-suspension.html).

Notification
One of the biggest issues some people have with license suspensions is the fact that they are not aware that their license was suspended in the first place. When they are caught driving with the suspended license later on (and subject to penalties that are much more extreme) they are surprised and angry to be punished for something they didn’t know. One way to increase the odds you are given notice of your suspension is by keeping your address up-to-date with your state DMV. This may help expedite the process of getting the notice to reach your home if your license has been suspended.

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