Maybe you had too many license points within two years and received the suspension, or maybe you failed to take a class that would have saved you from having a revoked license. You might also have been convicted of a crime and the courts took your license away. Whatever the reason behind it, you now have to move through life without the privilege to drive.
As inconvenient as it might be to not be able to drive, it is crucial you obey the law and stay away from the wheel. As much as you might want to risk it, so you can get to work or go to the grocery store, the penalties for driving under a suspended license are not worth it.
If you were caught driving on a suspended license, contact Hessler Law immediately. It’s important to speak with an attorney if you aren’t sure why your license has been revoked or if you believe you shouldn’t have a suspended license. Even if you know you were in the wrong, you shouldn’t face the charge alone. An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Indiana can help minimize the consequences of a ticket or criminal conviction.
Notice of a Suspended License
In order to be found guilty of driving on a suspended license, you must have received notice that your license was suspended or revoked. For instance, the suspension of your license might have been part of a court order. The final judgment would be your notice. You may have received a letter in the mail from the DMV giving you notice after accumulating too many license points. You might also have learned of your driver’s license suspension after being pulled over by a police officer for another reason.
The first time you are pulled over on a suspended license is an infraction. This is not a criminal charge, you cannot go to jail for it, but you will be responsible for either contesting the ticket or paying the fine. This might not seem like a big deal, but the fine can be significant.
To contest the ticket you would need to prove your license was not suspended at the time you were driving or was wrongly suspended. If you want to contest a ticket for driving with a suspended license, you’ll need to work with an experienced Indianapolis attorney.
Your First Offense After The Notice
If you are caught driving under a suspended license within 10 years after having been given proper notice of the revocation, as a ticket or as part of a judgment for a crime, you’ll be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This is a criminal charge, not a minor traffic ticket.
When you’re charged with driving on a suspended license, you will be given a summons to appear in court. You are required to come to court on this date and you should speak with an attorney about representing you. You will either plead guilty and your defense attorney can negotiate a minimum punishment, or your attorney will represent you in pleading innocent to the crime.
The punishment for a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Causing Injury While Driving on a Suspended License
If you are in an accident and cause a serious injury to or kill someone while you have a suspended license, you will be charged with a Class D or Class C felony.
A Class D felony in punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine, while a Class C felony is punishable by up to 8 years in prison and a similar fine.
It is also possible to have your license suspended for an additional period of time, including up to two years.
Habitual Offender Status
If you are caught driving on a suspended license multiple times within a 10-year period, you can be classified as a habitual offender and can face more serious consequences. You can be charged with a Class D felony, and you are more likely to be sentenced to the maximum punishment.
Contact an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re dealing with a suspended license or a charge of driving while on a suspended license, call the experienced attorneys at Hessler Law right away. You probably have a lot of questions and they will take the time to sit and talk with you to ease your confusion. They will work to protect your rights, and help you get your license back as soon as possible.
Call Hessler Law at (317) 886-8800 for a free phone consultation to discuss your particular situation.