When you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, it is a legal requirement you have a valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle. However, many people choose to ignore this law, especially after their license has been suspended. Whether needing to drive to work, take the kids to school, or simply visit friends, driving while having your license suspended is considered a very serious offense in most states. If you are pulled over by police and it is determined you are driving with a suspended license, there are many reasons why you will need a criminal defense attorney.
Reasons for a Suspended License
While most people assume a driver’s license can only be suspended for a DUI, there are in fact many other reasons this can occur, including:
–Failure to pay child support
–Ignoring traffic tickets
–Excessive amount of points on driving record
–Classified as habitual offender
–Refusing blood alcohol test such as Breathalyzer
If your license has been suspended for any of these or other reasons, rely on the services of a criminal defense attorney to get your case resolved.
Felony or Misdemeanor
Depending on the circumstances that led to your license being suspended, you may be charged with either a felony or misdemeanor. In either case, the penalties can be severe. In most states, these can include not only court costs and a license reinstatement fee, but also fines ranging from $500-$1,000 or more, jail or prison terms ranging from only a few days to one year or more, and having your license suspended for at least six months.
Don’t Represent Yourself in Court
If your license is suspended and you have an upcoming hearing, don’t choose to represent yourself in court. Instead, hire an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney to handle your case. While you may think these hearings are trivial, they are anything but that. If things do not go well, you will be facing serious penalties, and will be without your license for a long period of time.
Reduction of Charges
In many of these situations, a skilled defense attorney will be able to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed. For example, if you are a first-time offender, it is likely your attorney will be able to convince the court to grant you a hardship license, meaning you will be allowed to drive to and from work, medical appointments or medical emergencies, or other important matters. If you fail to rely on an experienced attorney in these situations, there is little chance you will have much success pleading your case to a judge.
Schedule a Consultation
If your license is suspended, don’t go it alone during the complex legal process. Instead, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. By doing so, you can discuss your case in great detail, learn about your legal options, and have an attorney on your side who will fight hard to ensure your case is handled in a responsible and reasonable manner.