It is against law to drive when your driver’s license is suspended or revoked. Breaking this law is called driving while suspended, or “DWS.” When a license is suspended, it means the driving privileges are taken away until something happens, such as waiting a certain time period, purchasing insurance or paying fines. If a license is revoked, the license is taken away permanently, and the driver will have to start from scratch and apply for a new license if and when he or she becomes eligible.
In every case, drivers who have been convicted of certain driving violations may face license suspension or revocation, in addition to other consequences. Some states also impose license suspension as a penalty for non-driving offenses like failing to pay child support.
A suspended driver’s license means the driver lawfully cannot operate his or her motor vehicle until driver’s license reinstatement. Some license suspensions are definite while others are indefinite.
A definite suspension of your license will end once the suspension period ends and you have paid the necessary suspension termination fees (which vary by state). Licenses can be suspended for several different reasons and offenses vary by state, but a few common reasons for definite suspensions are alcohol or drug related moving violations, driving without liability insurance, or receiving too many traffic tickets.
An indefinite suspension doesn’t have a certain date, but instead remains suspended until you take the proper action. This could mean paying a fine or fees that you owe or taking care of a ticket.
The difference between revoking and suspending a license is that one action is permanent, and the other temporary. A suspended license can be reinstated after a specific time, or by taking a required action. A revoked license is invalid forever but it is sometimes possible for a person with a revoked license to earn a new one. A revoked license, on the other hand, is a completely canceled license. To drive again, an individual will have to pay any required fines and go through the entire licensing process again to get a new license.
Revoked Licenses are almost always the result of multiple DUI’s, or at least some combination of DUI’s and drug, or drug-related driving charges. While they violate the very same law that forbids driving on a Suspended License, they are often thought of as more serious, even though the potential consequences of the 2 Offenses are the same.
Overall, a revocation is a more serious penalty than a suspension. It is harder to regain driving privileges and usually involves more serious reasons for the state taking action.
It is an offence under both the federal Criminal Code, and the provincial Highway Traffic Act to drive while your driver’s licence is suspended. Your licence could be suspended by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, by the police, or as a result of a criminal conviction.
To be convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license, a prosecutor has to prove a few things:
While your knowledge of a suspension is just enough to convict, if all three of the aforementioned factors were proven to be true without a reasonable doubt in your case, you can receive the maximum penalty for the offense of driving with a suspended driver’s license. This would entail possible jail time and fines.
A restricted license doesn’t restore all driving privileges. Restricted licenses come with conditions that specify when and/or where the motorist can drive.
Every province’s laws vary, but generally, a restricted license is for driving only to and from places like work, school, drug or alcohol treatment programs, and medical appointments.
If you haven’t got your full license before your restricted licence expires, you’ll need to renew your restricted licence if you want to keep driving. You can renew up to 90 days before your expiry date, and you’ll have to sit and pass another theory test. Your restricted licence will be renewed for another five years.
If someone is caught driving with a suspended license, they can be arrested, charged, and held in custody, with the operated vehicle being impounded. The individual may be required to appear in a Provincial Court before a judge, to have what is called a “show cause hearing” before they can be released from custody.
The experienced traffic law attorneys understand the serious ramifications on your life after being convicted of driving on a suspended license and having a permanent criminal record.
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