There are many reasons why your Massachusetts driver’s license may be suspended or revoked. These include specific driving violations, such as excessive speeding tickets or driving without insurance. You could also lose your license due to criminal offenses, such as operating under the influence or violation of other state laws. Whatever the reason, driving on a suspended or revoked license is never a good idea. Choosing to do so may result in additional consequences, and even jail time.
Suspended vs. Revoked
Massachusetts driver’s licenses can be temporarily suspended or permanently revoked:
- With a suspension, you are not allowed to drive for a certain period of time, but you may have the opportunity to get your license back at a later date.
- With a revocation, your driver’s license is canceled, and you only have the opportunity to get it reinstated if you submit to an investigation.
In either case, license suspension and revocation are both red flags to insurance companies. Your premiums will likely skyrocket. In some cases, your insurance company may even cancel your policy. A MA defense lawyer can help you protect your rights if you’ve been stopped for driving on a suspended or revoked license.
Reasons for Driver’s License Suspension/Revocation
Operating under the influence and driving without insurance are among the most common reasons for license suspension and revocation, but you can also lose your Massachusetts driver’s license for the following reasons:
- The state determines that you are a threat to public safety due to serious violations of traffic law.
- You drove with a suspended license or used a false driver’s license. Driving with a suspended license leads to an increase in the length of the suspension, and could also result in imprisonment of up to five years.
- You have physical or psychological impairments. Your driving privileges may be suspended if a health care provider or law enforcement officer determines that you are unable to drive safely.
Next to specific driving violations, there are also non-driving reasons for license suspension. These include:
- being delinquent on your child support payments,
- not registering as a sex offender,
- not appearing when there is an arrest warrant,
- failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges, and
- certain criminal offenses.
With regard to criminal offenses, you may lose your license if you:
- are caught stealing a motor vehicle – three year suspension,
- leave the scene of an injury accident without giving aid – one to two years,
- are found guilty of homicide involving a motor vehicle – 15 years to a lifetime suspension, or
- are convicted of driving to endanger – two months to one year.
Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License
If you are stopped for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license, you may face the following penalties:
- Up to 10 days in jail
- Fine between $500 and $1,000
- 60 day license suspension (mandatory)
The sentence will also be based on the reason you lost your driving privilege in the first place, and whether or not you have already been convicted. In some cases, the sentence may result in a fine of up to $10,000, and up to one year in jail. A Boston defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been stopped for driving on a suspended or revoked license.
Reinstating Your Driver’s License
In order to reinstate your MA driver’s license, you will need to pay a fee. In some cases, you may need to actually obtain a new license. Reinstatement fees in Massachusetts are largely dependent on the offense that led to the suspension, so the fee amount ranges from $50 to $1,200.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Top Defense Law Firm in MA
If you were stopped for driving on a suspended license, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses for more than 50 years. Our knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience in motor vehicle-related crimes, and an impressive track record of obtaining favorable outcomes for our clients. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.