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License Suspension

License Suspension Definition

License suspensions occur when a driver has either violated traffic laws several times or is pulled over with a DUI. Licenses can be suspended for months or even years. The timeframe of the suspension will depend on the individual's prior driving record and the severity of the violations that they already have on their driving record. 

What are the Driving-Related Grounds for Suspension? 

There are many driving-related grounds for suspending a driver's license. One of the most common is being pulled over with a DUI. A DUI offense is taken very seriously in the United States, and law enforcement officers take a "no tolerance" approach to DUI-related offenses. Having a DUI can directly cause an individual to have their driver’s license suspended for months, years, or even permanently depending on the particular facts of their case. Some other common causes of moving-related grounds for suspension are: 

  • Careless driving.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Illegal street racing.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Assault of another motorist, pedestrian, passenger, or cyclist while on the highway.

What are the Non-Driving-Related Grounds for Suspension? 

Many states have provisions that allow a non-driving related license suspension. The premise behind this is that driving is a privilege and not a right. If an individual is not following other obligations in society, they may have their license suspended to get their attention to fulfill their other obligations. Some of the most common reasons for receiving a non-driving related license suspension are: 

  • Failing to pay child support obligations.
  • Lack of proper auto insurance.
  • Not carrying a valid driving license.
  • Failure to pay a DMV fine.
  • Failure to appear in court to satisfy a summons for a parking ticket or moving violation.
  • Altered or unlawful use of a driver's license.
  • Juvenile delinquency.
  • Truancy.
  • Non-DUI alcohol/drug offenses committed by minors. 

What Are Implied Consent Laws? 

Some states have provisions that each driver must adhere to as a condition of getting their driving license called implied consent laws. An example of this is motorists must comply with a breathalyzer or similar alcohol test if prompted by an officer. If they fail to do so, that could cause an automatic suspension to their driving license. 

What Is the Point System? 

Some states have a point system where they add up the number of offenses a driver has each year to determine whether they are a "negligent operator." In California, if an individual obtains four or more in twelve months, six points in twenty-four months, or eight points in thirty-six months, they may be subject to license suspensions. 

How Will I know if My License Has Been Suspended? 

Usually, traffic courts will send a notice indicating that your license has been suspended. On some of these notices, there will be steps outlined to explain your various options for avoiding suspension. After getting the traffic court's notice, you will then receive correspondence from your state's Secretary of State indicating that your driving privileges have been suspended. The most common information in these notifications will include: 

  • The effective date of suspension.
  • The termination date of suspension.
  • Your name, address, driver's license number, and other personally identifying data.
  • The official statement that your license has been suspended.
  • The list of the various offenses that led to the suspension with dates and case numbers.

Should I Consult with an Attorney? 

Depending on your track record, you should speak with an attorney about your case. If you have more severe charges such as a DUI, then it is wise to have an attorney help you with the requirements to get your driving record back on track and have all of your requirements satisfied. 

License Suspension Glossary Definition

License suspensions occur in the United States for both driving and non-driving types of offenses. The regulations governing license suspensions vary depending on each state's laws. Be sure to have a comprehensive understanding of what your state's regulations are so that you can avoid having too many traffic violations or more severe charges. Also, if you do pay child support, be sure to pay every payment on time to avoid possibly having your driver's license suspended. For minors, be extra careful not to break laws when driving because a license suspension is strictly enforced for minors since they are inexperienced drivers.