Penalities are severe for driving while suspended (DWS) or
In many states, it's a jailable offense and your license can be suspended for an additional 90 days or more with nohardship license.
Other states will suspend your license for 12 months even on a first offense and you can go to jail.
No one gets initially pulled over for driving while suspended DWS. The police don't know your license is suspended until they pull you over and run it!
If you're out there driving with a suspended license, there are only 2 possibilities:
1. You don't know your license is suspended.
2. You do know your license is suspended and you were
careless enough to get caught.
How do people NOT KNOW their license is suspended? It's easy! We get calls every day from someone who was pulled over for a minor traffic violation and
issued a ticket for driving while suspended. They are often completely surprised by this news. Why didn't they know?
Here's why. They no longer live at the address on their driver's license. The driver's license bureau in every state notifies a driver if they have issues
against their record that will be pushing their license into suspension. The bureau sends that notification to your stated address. If you no longer live there,
then you will not get the notice. Surprise!
The fine print on every driver's license application states that it is the driver's responsibility to keep the license bureau informed of your current address. Again, we get
calls daily from someone wanting to use the defense that "they didn't know their license was suspended because they don't live there anymore"! No defense.
Equally as amazing is the group that drives knowing they have a suspended license and they drive under conditions that blatently attract attention - negative attention!
If I was driving a car without a valid license, I would try to be as inconspicuous as possible.
We ask, why did the police pull you over? Tinted windows,
broken tail light, expired tags, speeding, etc. If you have no license and you're driving, don't attract attention to yourself!
This is how the web of driving while suspended
charges gets more and more complex, until people feel that they can never get the charges unraveled and possess a valid license again.
But you can get out from under these charges. And a skillful lawyer who is used to DWS charges can make it seem easier than you think - and possibly cheaper than you could do it alone.
Yes, it takes money.
But often, particularly if multiple charges are in the same court jurisdiction, your attorney can often plea bargain away some of the charges saving you significant amounts of court fines.
So don't lose hope.
If you can't afford to get out from under it right now, quit driving until you save enough money to clean up your record. Ride the bus.
Suspension for Excessive Violations/Excessive Points
Some states such as Kansas may label you as a "habitual violator" if you are convicted of, or plead guilty to, three serious traffic offenses within a five-year period.
This can mean a three-year license revocation with no hardship license.
To Recap, there are several problems occur if you are ticketed and convicted of a Driving While Suspended or Revoked charge.
1. You have a suspended license, which you may or may-not know about.
Here's why: Remember that it is required that within 10
days of moving, you notify the Driver Control Bureau of your new address.
They are not responsible for tracking you down.
They are only responsible for mailing the suspension to the last known address you have on file with the department. If
you have moved, and not notified the department, you may not receive your suspension notice. The suspension actually comes
as a surprise to many motorist pulled over only to find that they are driving on a suspended license when the officer checks
their record. The next question the officer generally asks is if your current address is the address on your license. If the
answer is "no", then that's why you didn't get your suspension notice. Of course, not knowing about a suspension is not a valid
excuse for driving on a license that is suspended.
2. A driving while suspended conviction will suspended your license for an additional 90 days after you clear up the
original reason on your driving record that has caused your license to be suspended, prior to this conviction.
3. A conviction of Driving while suspended/revoked will require that you maintain proof of automobile insurance
( SR-22 filing ) with the Driver Control Bureau for a period of twelve (12) consecutive months.
4. You will be required to pay a reinstatement fee generally between $100 to $300, depending upon your driving record.
5. This conviction is one of the three necessary convictions used by the Driver Control Bureau to revoke your drivers
license under the Habitual Driving Statute in many states for a three year period.
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