Driving on a Suspended License in Massachusetts

It is a criminal offense to drive a vehicle in Massachusetts while your driver’s license or right to operate is suspended or revoked. Driving on a Suspended License can have serious consequences which can last for years. A conviction for operating after suspension in Massachusetts will result in an additional automatic and mandatory license suspension, possible jail time, fines, fees, and an increase in your automobile insurance rates. Driving on a suspended license may also disqualify you for being considered for a hardship license, issued by either the Registry of Motor Vehicles or the RMV Board of Appeal. Being arrested for driving on a suspended license can be embarrassing, inconvenient, and very expensive. Often, your vehicle will be towed and your license plates can be confiscated. 

Some types of license suspensions carry minimum mandatory jail sentences.  For example, if your license was suspended or revoked for drunk driving, which is also known as DUI or operating under the influence, Massachusetts DUI law imposes a minimum mandatory 60 days in jail, with more jail time possible. Also, a conviction for operating after suspension can result in a 4 year loss of license under the Mass. Habitual Traffic Offender law.  

It is easy to get caught driving on a suspended license. Most Massachusetts police cruisers are equipped with laptops which are connected to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If a police officer runs a routine check on a license plate, it will automatically tell the officer if the Registered owner’s license is suspended or revoked. Also, some cruisers are now equipped with automatic license plate recognition (ALR) systems which can automatically query license plates and report on the vehicle owner’s license status.  Also, many people with suspended licenses get stopped for minor moving and equipment violations.

A Suspended License Defense Lawyer can help you avoid some of the consequences and penalties associated with operating after suspension or revocation. There are various defenses which may be available, depending on the individual facts and circumstances of your case. These include lack of notice and an improperly applied suspension. Also, if your license has been reinstated since it was suspended, that can sometimes be used to your advantage. Finally, a good license suspension lawyer may be able to plea bargain your case so you can avoid jail time and an additional license suspension.