Driving on a Suspended License in Mass.: Harsh Penalties

Driving on a suspended or revoked license in Massachusetts can have severe and long-lasting consequences. A conviction for driving while suspended can result in a minimum mandatory jail sentence as well as other harsh consequences.

The crime of operating after suspension is an arrestable offense in Massachusetts. This means that the police have the option of issuing a criminal traffic citation or arresting the defendant. Also, if you are caught driving a vehicle registered to you, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehciles has instructed the police to confiscate your license plates and return them to the Registry for revocation. If you are driving someone else’s vehicle, they may be charged with allowing an unlicensed person to operate. This may result in the revocation of the vehicle’s registration and suspension of their license. Under Melanie’s Law, allowing someome to drive your vehicle with a suspended license is a criminal offense.

The exact consequences associated with a conviction for driving on a suspended license will depend on the driver’s record and the suspension reason. For example, driving after suspension when the license was suspended for DUI carries minimum mandatory jail time. No matter what the suspension reason, a conviction for operating after suspension will result in a new automatic license suspension, which the Mass. RMV will run consecutively with the current license suspension.

Also, in many cases, an operating after suspension conviction can trigger a painful 4 year habitual traffic offender revocation as well as steep insurance surcharges which will last for many years. Finally, a suspended license charge may disqualify you for hardship license consideration. The Registry generally requires that there be no evidence of operation after suspension or revocation as a prerequisite for hardship license consideration. Likewise, the RMV Board of Appeal takes a very dim view of driving on a suspended license and Board members generally believe that such conduct shows a lack of respect for the law.

If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, you should contact a lawyer to specializes in suspended license defense. Effective legal representation help you avoid a costly conviction. The suspended license specialists in my office have achieved excellent results including dismissals and favorable outcomes which have allowed our clients to avoid additional suspension time and even jail.