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Driving on a Suspended License? What You Need to Know

Published on September 16th, 2019

Suspended License

To drive on the road in all 50 states, you need a valid drivers’ license. If your license has been suspended yet you still drive, you could face jail time and fines.

Why Are Drivers’ Licenses Suspended?

The exact rules vary by state, but many states have similar reasons for license suspension, including:

  • Not having the minimum auto insurance, as required by your state
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or some other substance
  • Having too many “points” on your license, which you received for various traffic infractions and offenses
  • Causing an accident that resulted in property damage over a certain dollar amount, injury, or death
  • Abandoning your vehicle on the side of a public road

License suspension rates vary by infraction and state. In Colorado, for example, suspensions are usually at least 12 months. Not having your license for even a few months can make it very difficult for you to get to school or work and do other things you need to do. If you can’t find another way to get where you need to go, you may be tempted to drive even though your license is currently suspended. However, doing so will make matters worse for you when you are caught, and you may end up losing your license for an even longer period of time.

Driving with a Suspended License Can Cost You

If you are caught driving with a suspended license, contact a criminal lawyer in Denver, CO as soon as you can. You could be facing a misdemeanor and possibly worse, depending on why your license was suspended in the first place and the circumstances of your arrest for driving after your license was suspended. You may be looking at jail time and fines, and if you have been charged with driving on a suspended license before, the penalties may be even steeper. In Colorado, for example, a second driving with a suspended license conviction within five years could mean you’ll lose your license for another three years.

You May Have Options

Depending on the specifics of your case and where you live, you may be able to get legal clearance to drive to places such as work, school, and necessary appointments during your license suspension period. A person whose license is suspended due to a DUI conviction, for example, may be able to drive as long they have an interlock ignition device installed on their vehicle. This device prevents the driver from starting the vehicle until they blow into it and have their alcohol level estimated, much like a breathalyzer. Typically, the driver has to pay for the cost of this device and its upkeep.

Your drivers’ license is your passport to independence. Without it, you may not be able to get to work or do other things you need to do in your daily life. Don’t wait for the matter to settle itself; contact a criminal lawyer in Denver, CO so you can work on getting your right to drive back.


Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and driving with a suspended license.


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