Many drivers in Central Ohio are allowed to drive their own vehicles even though their license is under suspension. Judges are allowed to reinstate limited personal driving privileges so people can legally transport themselves to and from work, school, health care appointments, and court appearances. No limited driving privileges are granted for commercial vehicles, however.
Violating the terms of when and where driving one’s own car or motorcycle with a suspended license usually results in automatic penalties that can include jail time and vehicle impoundment. Working with an Ohio driving under suspension attorney to reduce or dismiss charges that could result in losing some or all driving privileges in the first place can remove the risk of further penalties. INFOGRAPHICS: PROBATION SENTENCES YOU CAN EXPECT FOR A DUI CONVICTION
Ohio includes license suspension as a penalty for more than two dozen administrative violations, traffic violations, and crimes. The types of suspensions could be from racking up 12 points on your driving record within 24 months through violations such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, and failing to keep commercial vehicle inspections up to date. Generally, a sentence that includes a license suspension will suspend the offender’s personal driver’s license and commercial driver’s license.
Should you end up having your license restricted or completely revoked, here is what you can expect if you get caught driving under suspension:
- Getting charged with a first-degree misdemeanor,
- Paying a fine of up to $1,000,
- Having your license suspended for an additional term of up to 12 months, and
- Spending as much as 180 days in jail, on house arrest, or probation.
Depending on what other charges you have on your record from the past three years, you may also be required to surrender your license plates and vehicle. For instance, a conviction for failing to pay child support, which can itself result in a license suspension, can cause the penalties for driving under suspension to include 30 days of vehicle immobilization and license plate impoundment.
As noted, a lot of these penalties get assessed automatically, but a dedicated driving under suspension attorney in Columbus, Ohio can fight to have his or her client retain driving privileges.
Defenses against suspended driving charges include the following:
- Showing that the driver was complying with the restriction imposed but the police officer refused to accept evidence of this at the time of the arrest.
- Showing that the period of complete suspension had expired and that the driver had taken the steps necessary to reinstate his or her license.
- Showing that an emergency that could not be addressed in any other way compelled the driver to get behind the wheel.
Judges will not be inclined to accept the emergency driving defense, but solid evidence for it being true can benefit a driver in terms of minimizing penalties.
A Columbus driving under suspension attorney with The Maher Law Firm understands that spending time without having full driving privileges can make it difficult to hold a job and take care of your family. If you need representation in a case that could cost you your driver’s license, call us at (614) 205-2208 contact us online through this contact form.