Driving On A Suspended License

Today, we’re talking about driving on a suspended license in Arizona.

This is one of the most common criminal offenses that we see. It’s very, very, very common to get it because it’s quite easy for it to happen to somebody.

There’s really two main ways that we see Driving on a Suspended License charges. Number one is unpaid fines.

So if there are fines that have been unpaid, meaning you had a parking ticket, you had a speeding ticket or an unsafe lane change or something like that from years ago and you forgot to pay it, they can charge you with Driving on a Suspended License.

The second way that we see it is when people accumulate too many points, meaning they’ve gotten too many speeding tickets over a short period of time and the motor vehicle department has suspended their license.

These are two ways, they’re very, very common. People get these all the time, and they don’t realize that this is a Class one misdemeanor.

In Arizona, we have three different classes of misdemeanor offenses, a Class one, two and three. Class one, it’s the highest, it’s the most serious criminal offense. That’s a misdemeanor that we have in Arizona.

What happens if you get charged with Driving on a Suspended License?

They will impound your car and they will charge you with a crime. Now, it’s a big deal because this is something that can go on your record permanently.

You cannot get this set aside, you cannot ever get this removed from your record in most jurisdictions. There’s been some jurisdictions that will overrule kind of the standard rule and they will set this conviction aside, but for the most part, this is something that’s permanent.

You cannot get it removed off of your record.

If you’ve been charged with Driving on a Suspended License, what can you do about that? Well, the most important thing that people can do is get their license back, it’s get it reinstated.

So if you have an unpaid fine, if you have an unpaid parking ticket, if you’ve missed a court date in another jurisdiction, we need to get that resolved. We need to get that fixed so that we can get your license back.

Once the fines have been paid, once the parking tickets have been paid, once a warrant has been quashed, get your license back and get it reinstated. If it’s a points issue, there may be little that we can do other than wait until we can restore your license.

So once those points drop off, once you are able to apply to get your license back or get it reinstated, or go through the revocation packet process and get your license back, we are then able to go into court and speak with the prosecutor and speak with the judge and say look, the reason that the suspension was in place in the first place has now been resolved, it’s now been rectified.

And there’s certain provisions in the law that say when your license has been suspended due to an unpaid ticket or due to a missed court date or something along those lines, the court and the prosecutor’s office, they have a lot more discretion to actually dismiss the Driving on a Suspended License charge all together. So it’s very important that that gets addressed.

The reason for that is the public policy behind the law is the government wants you to go deal with those things. They want you to go pay your tickets and take care of your old cases, so once you do that, the court now has the authority to then turn around and actually dismiss the charge completely.

So if you have any issues with this and you want to speak with our office, we can help you through the process. It is a Class one misdemeanor and it is something that you can’t ever remove from your record.

So it is important that it’s dealt with appropriately. We offer free case evaluations. We can offer payment plans. If you have a lot of fines, we can also work with these other courts to reduce some of these past fines.

So if you have a series of traffic violations that happened over the course of many years, we may be able to actually save you a significant amount of money by hiring our office. So give us a call, we offer free case evaluations.

We’re happy to sit down with you. We’ll look at exactly what you have going on in your past that is suspending your license so that we can get reinstated, get your license back and make sure you get back on the road and don’t get your car impounded anymore.

Thanks for watching. Give us a call if we can help, and until the next time.

Driving on a suspended license is a class one misdemeanor. In Arizona there are three levels of criminal misdemeanor offenses. A class one misdemeanor is the highest level offense. Most suspended license cases are cause by one of two factors: if a person has unpaid fines for a civil traffic violation or failed to appear in court for civil traffic violation the court will suspend the person’s license, or a person has been responsible for too many traffic violations in a one year period of time and their license is suspended for having too many points on the driving record. 

If a person’s drivers license is suspended for failing to appear in court for a civil traffic ticket and failing to pay fines for a ticket that suspension can be resolved quickly. Paying the money that is owed, or entering into a payment plan with the court will allow the court to communicate to the MVD and release the suspension hold on the person’s license. Once MVD has the up to date information the person can go to MVD and reinstate their license. With this type of suspension, once reinstated, Arizona law permits the Court to dismiss the suspended license charge. Therefore, by paying a fine and reinstating their license a person is eligible to have their criminal charge dismissed. 

The second most common reason for a suspended license is having too many points on a person’s driving record. Every moving violation (speeding, unsafe lane change, HOV violation etc…) carries a specific amount of points. If convicted or found responsible for a moving violation those points are assessed against a person’s driving record. Eight or more points in a twelve month time frame will cause a person to have their drivers license suspended. If a person’s driver’s license is suspended for excessive points then that suspension must last for a designated time period. Once the suspension time has passed the person may reinstate their license. Unfortunately, in these situations Arizona law does not permit the Court to dismiss the suspended license charge. However, if a person is able to reinstate some prosecutor’s and jurisdictions will dismiss the charge itself, or plea the charge down to a civil “no valid license” infraction thereby preventing a criminal conviction. 

If you are facing a driving on suspended license charge it is important to remember that that offense is not eligible to set aside. A criminal conviction will be a permanent conviction. Likewise, if you are stopped by a police officer and he or she discovers that your license is suspended they can and will impound your car. By law the car will be kept for 30 days and the charged person will be responsible for the cost. Driving on a suspended license can have serious financial and practical consequences. 

Arizona MVD has an online resource that allows a person to check on their license status. By going online to the MVD website a person can check to find out if their license is suspended. If you have a question about the status of your license check before you drive. If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license give our office a call for a free consultation.