Obtaining your driver’s license is a significant milestone toward freedom. Losing the right to drive can be demoralizing, and it can also be dangerous to your future. Many people get caught up in a vicious cycle with the justice system because they’re trapped between fulfilling their adult responsibilities and the realities of illegal driving.
Do I Have To Be Convicted?
The first thing that catches people is that they could have their license suspended immediately upon receiving a ticket or within a specific time frame from getting one, depending on state law. This is an administrative suspension, not a legal one. You do not have to be convicted of a crime for this to happen!
Furthermore, the driving authorities in your state might not be required to notify you when you have received an administrative suspension. If you get pulled over again between your court date and your ticket, you could receive further punishment if your license is suspended during this time. In most circumstances, you do have the ability to appeal an administrative license suspension. If you can get a traffic lawyer on your side before you go in, you may be able to get it overturned.
What About My Job?!
Figuring out how to drive to and from work during a license suspension is a pervasive question. Most employers will not want to keep an employee who cannot reliably get to work. However, if you go to appeal your suspension, you may be able to get something called an occupational license.
An occupational license is a special license that allows you to drive under particular circumstances, like going to and from work, going to the doctor, taking children to school, going to court, and other necessary activities. The rules for these licenses vary from state to state. Your best bet to get one is to talk with a lawyer in your area so they can argue for one on your behalf. You may have to pay additional fees to the state to get your license.
How Do I Get Reinstated If My Appeal Fails?
The rules for reinstatement depend on your state and why your license was suspended. In general, you’ll have to pay off any court fines and wait through any mandated periods of suspension. You might receive additional suspension time if you are convicted of a crime.
You may need to present documentation to get your license back, like if you were getting a license for the first time. You may have to take driver’s education or DWI classes as well. Your DMV will be able to tell you why you were suspended and what you need to do to get reinstated.
License suspension can have a lot of cascading effects that, if not managed, can ruin your adult life. Don’t let it happen. Try to appeal your suspension and get an occupational license. Talk with a lawyer if you think your license is no longer valid.