There are many reasons why you might be facing a drivers license suspension. Maybe you have one too many unpaid parking tickets or points on your license. Maybe you re-negged on your implied consent, or a poor understanding of state DUI laws landed you with a drunk driving conviction. Whatever the reason, a drivers license suspension is serious business, and you will want to take appropriate steps to avoid becoming one of the 68 million people in the U.S. living with a criminal record. Below are some steps you should ALWAYS take when facing a drivers license suspension, regardless of the reason:
1. Don’t. Drive. Just don’t. Many people facing a suspended license think that driving regardless of the suspension is no big deal, especially if it was suspended for something other than drunk driving, like unpaid tickets or expired paperwork. However if you don’t want to brush up against some criminal law, stay off the road until you get things sorted. And in speaking of getting things sorted…
2. Consult with an attorney. Even if you don’t believe you’ve done anything wrong, consulting with a lawyer at this stage is critical. Finding a good attorney isn’t always easy. The first thing you need to do is understand the circumstances of your case. Questions you can ask yourself are, “How long has a drivers license suspension been on my record? Why was my license suspended? Where did the suspension take place? Have I ever been charged with any other crimes?” Once you have a thorough “file” related to your case, you can ask for lawyer recommendations with more ease. We also recommend checking Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau, and other consumer reporting agencies. And word of mouth is an underutilized tool, whether you’re looking for a search and seizure lawyer, a family law lawyer, or one that specializes in license disputes.
3. Look into what it will take to get your license re-instated. Unfortunately in some states, this might mean starting at the very beginning, permit test and all. More than likely however it will involve taking a defensive driving course, getting a form SR22 from whatever company handles your insurance, and paying a reinstatement fee. This all drastically depends on your state however, so we highly recommend visiting the DMV website or your local DMV office to get the specifics. This is especially true if you have a cut an dried suspension case and a lawyer is unlikely to be of help to you.
4. Take steps to keep your license once you get it back! Most of the time, a suspended license is a preventable headache. In order to reduce the chances of losing your license again, keep current on your parking tickets, follow the rules of the road, and above all, stay sober behind the wheel.