Whatever mistake you made to get your license suspended in the first place, driving with a suspended license can make things even worse.
Losing your license, even temporarily, can be a terrible blow. You may not be able to work, pay the rent or mortgage, or even put food on your family’s table. Public transportation may not be a viable option for you. You might not have a family member who can drive you, and you probably can’t afford to pay for a private driver.
You may be tempted to continue to drive, figuring that you won’t get caught – especially if you’re usually a very safe driver. That’s what a lot of people think – and that could be a big mistake.
With the help of an Ohio license suspension attorney, you may be able to prevent your license from being suspended in the first place. An attorney may be also able to help you avoid the most serious penalties if you continue to drive while your license is suspended.
Why Your License May Be Suspended
Your license may be suspended for number of reasons, including:
- Racking up too many points on your license due to multiple and/or serious traffic offenses
- Failure to appear response to a summons for a traffic violation
- Failure to pay fines for traffic violations
- DUI/OVI (drunk driving, impaired driving) offenses
- Refusing to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test
- Being convicted of vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Being in the possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia
- Reckless driving
- Out of service violations
- Failure to pay child support
- Failure to pay a civil judgment against you
How Long Will Your License Be Suspended?
How long your license will be suspended depends on reason it was suspended and whether it was a first or subsequent offense.
For example, your license might be suspended for 60 to 120 days for multiple serious traffic violations within the previous three years, including speeding and/or reckless driving.
Penalties for Driving While Your License Is Suspended in Ohio
Penalties for Driving While License Is Suspended (DWLS) include:
- Fail time
- Losing your license temporarily or permanently
A first DWLS offense is “only” a misdemeanor. However penalties increase if you are a repeat offender.
A DWLS offense is punishable as a first-degree misdemeanor and can be punished by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1000. A person convicted of DWLS can have his or her license suspended for up to one year.
Community service may also be imposed.
A person who has committed more DWLS offenses within three years can be can be convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree. In that case, the person faces having his or her vehicle immobilized for 30 days, with the license plates impounded.
A subsequent offense can lead in the vehicle being immobilized, and the license plates impounded, for 60 days.
A third offense can lead to the vehicle being forfeited and sold at auction.
Contesting Your Suspension
If you want to contest the suspension of your license, you or your attorney must request an administrative hearing with the Ohio BMV within 30 days of your receiving notice of the suspension. This administrative proceeding only applies to administrative license suspensions, not to a suspension following a court conviction.
A challenge to a suspension of a license made by a court must be made via a court proceeding rather than an administrative hearing.
Getting Your License Back After a Suspension
You won’t automatically get your license back after your suspension is over — it’s not just a matter of waiting for the clock to run out. You must follow specific steps in order to get your license back.
These steps will vary based on the reason that your license was suspended. In addition to waiting out the period of suspension, you may be required to:
- Complete jail time, community service, or other court-ordered punishment
- Complete a remedial driving course
- Retake the test for your license
- Pay reinstatement fees
If You Want to Learn More…
If you’re looking for an Ohio lawyer who can answer your questions and help you with your license suspension case – whether you want to avoid suspension or deal with the consequences of being caught driving with a suspended license — please contact us.
Yemc Law Offices – A Trusted Resource for Ohio Drivers
For over 20 years Yemc Law Offices have helped Ohio drivers with their Central Ohio traffic violations. Whether it’s a speeding ticket or a DUI charge, we help you understand the charge and advise you on the best way to resolve it.
Contact Us Today
We understand the needs of Ohio drivers. We know your livelihood may depend on your ability to drive. Whether you’ve been charged with a DUI, reckless operation or another traffic violation, we can help. Contact us today and we’ll give you a free case evaluation.