The Lowdown on Suspended Licenses and the Penalties for Driving With Them

Stricter licensing requirements and greater penalties for violating safety-related laws have undoubtedly made the nation’s roads safer. At the same time, these developments also sometimes mean that those who would have, in the past, been able to maintain their driving privileges can no longer do so. If you have lost your license or had it suspended, then this is the page for you.

One of the most common and widespread reasons for license suspension is the simple failure to properly deal with a fine or traffic ticket. In some cases, drivers simply forget to respond to their summons or overlook communications from the courts that require a reply. In these instances, the courts will often proactively suspend drivers’ licenses as a way of ensuring that drivers deal with these issues as soon as possible.

In every such case, the courts will issue notification that this step has been taken, so that drivers should have no reason not to be informed of the temporary loss of their privileges. Once again, however, it is relatively common for drivers to overlook or otherwise fail to recognize these communications, which can lead to them driving on the roads with licenses that are no longer valid.

In such situations, the penalties for being stopped can be fairly severe. In most cases, however, where the suspension stems from relatively minor infractions like speeding violations that were not dealt with properly, the courts will show sympathy and refrain from imposing the full extent of penalties that might be legally merited. Should drivers find themselves in this position, then, it is best to be honest and forthright about any lapses that led to the problem developing in the first place.

On the other hand, drivers whose suspensions resulted from more serious violations can typically expect no such indulgence. Drivers who lost their licenses for driving while intoxicated or impaired, for example, almost always face serious, stiff consequences if they are later caught driving on public roads. The penalties that follow can include incarceration and increased fines on top of those for the original infraction, and courts are rarely sympathetic to those who try to argue that they should be spared these consequences.