Many people do not understand the seriousness of driving on a suspended license. If you continue to drive, you are at an increased risk of additional suspensions, revocation, and even arrest. While you may feel that the suspension was unjust, continuing to drive is illegal and may result in trouble. Consider what can happen if the police stop you for driving on a suspended license.
Are Your License Suspended, Or Are They Revoked?
Understanding the difference between having your license suspended or revoked is the first step to understanding the consequences of being caught without them. Many reasons, including the following, usually cause driver's license suspensions:
- Excessive points on your licenses
- Excessive traffic tickets
- Unpaid traffic fines
- Failing to appear in traffic court
- Speeding over a specific limit
- Driving under the influence
- Refusing testing at a suspected DWI stop
- Leaving the scene of an accident
These are just a few. There are others. Suspensions also vary by state, with some being more strict than others. Suspensions are typically time-limited and can be resolved in time or by meeting specific criteria set by the court.
Revocations, on the other hand, take place due to more serious offenses. Some of these include:
- Driving on a suspended license
- Other moving violations on a suspended license
- Driving while impaired
- Vehicular homicide
- Violation of an ignition interlock device
Revocations are usually for more extended periods than suspensions and may be indefinite.
Why Does It Matter Whether Your License Is Suspended Or Revoked?
Your current status matters because the penalties are often different. For example, in North Carolina, you can be charged with driving after notification that the Department of Motor Vehicle has suspended your license; you face a Class 1 misdemeanor.
If the court convicts you of a Class 1 misdemeanor, you could face up to 120 days in jail and a court-ordered fine. A driving after notification charge may also result in an additional amount of time added to your original suspension.
But if the court convicts you of driving with a revoked license, you only face a Class 3 misdemeanor. A Class 3 misdemeanor is a lesser offense than a Class 1 misdemeanor. When convicted of a Class 3 misdemeanor, you usually only face up to 20 days in jail and a $200 fine.
Your exact sentencing will depend on several things, including any prior convictions and the judge you appear in front of. Do not risk going to jail. Do the right thing, and do not drive on a suspended or revoked driver's license.
Reach out to a traffic attorney to learn more.