Question

How do I fight a charge of driving with a suspended or revoked license in Maryland?

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Andrew D. Alpert - Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Andrew D. Alpert

Located in Bowie, MDAlpert Schreyer, LLC

Bowie, MD
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You may think driving on a suspended license is no big deal because it is a misdemeanor, but the penalties can be just as serious as those for drunk driving charges. You can do jail time, and you can lose your license for good. You don’t just get a ticket. The officer will arrest you on the scene. If the police have already charged you with driving on a suspended or revoked license, you will need a serious legal defense.

The one legal point you have in your favor is that the prosecution must prove that you knew you were doing something wrong and you intended to break the law. Perhaps you have a judgment against you that you were unaware of or you failed to pay a traffic ticket that resulted in a suspension. These things can happen to people without their knowledge. If it happens to you, find an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you right away.

Penalties For Driving On A Suspended License

Penalties for a first-time offense can include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. Many people lose their license due to driving under the influence (DUI) conviction or driving while impaired (DWI) conviction. If you are arrested for driving with a suspended license due to one of these charges, your car may be impounded for up to 180 days.

Other people lose their license for a reason unrelated to DUI/DWI, such as failing to comply with a court order or failing to pay a traffic ticket. Your license may have been revoked in another state, which makes it illegal to drive in Maryland, as well. The penalty for that is slightly lower but can still result in jail time. 

Maryland’s Point System Can Catch You Off Guard

When you receive certain traffic citations, you receive points on your Maryland license. These points stay on your license for two years, then fall off. If you acquire 8 points within those two years, the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) may suspend your license. At 12 points, they can revoke it. You can order a copy of your driving record from the MVA online to check how many points you have.

A DUI automatically earns you 12 points, but many regular moving violations also add points to your license. Anytime you receive a ticket, you should check the points that ticket will assess you. Remember that paying your traffic ticket is the same as pleading guilty to the citation. If you think a ticket will result in a suspension, consult with a lawyer before you pay.

Being without your license affects every aspect of your life and can make getting to work or picking up kids nearly impossible. But violating your suspension can turn an inconvenience into a serious criminal matter. Whether you were aware of your suspension or not, contact an attorney for legal help when you face a charge of driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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