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Penalties for Driving While Suspended

Hardship Licenses

Thousands of drivers are charged with operating after suspension or revocation in Massachusetts each year. These charges can have serious consequences in the form of fines, fees, towing, inconvenience, lost time from work, additional suspension time, habitual traffic offender penalties, reinstatement fees, court appearances, insurance premium increases and legal costs.

It is extremely easy to get caught driving while suspended in Massachusetts. Most police cruisers are equipped with laptops which are connected the Registry of Motor Vehicles. These computers will alert the police that a driver’s license has been suspended or revoked. Also, some cruisers have automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) systems. These systems automatically scan license plates.

A police officer cannot allow a motorist whose license has been suspended to drive away. This usually means that your car will have to be towed and you will be required to pay towing and storage fees. Sometimes you will be arrested and other times you will be summonsed to appear in court as a criminal defendant.

If you are convicted of operating after revocation, you may be sentenced to serve time in jail. This depends on your prior record and why your license was suspended. For example, If your license was suspended for DUI and you are convicted of driving on a license suspended for drunk driving, the law imposes a minimum mandatory 60 day jail sentence.  Given the potential penalties and consequences, it is advisable to hire a lawyer if you are charged with driving while suspended.

Many people who are prosecuted for OAS could have avoided the situation by being issued a hardship license or early reinstatement of the driver’s fulltime license by appearing either before the Driver Control Unit of the Registry of Motor Vehicles or the Division of Insurance, Board of Appeal. These two agencies have the ability to grant driving privileges when a person’s license has been suspended for certain reasons.

Given the penalties and consequences associated with an Operating After Suspension conviction, it might make sense to attempt to get a hardship license or full license reinstatement. Please contact us if you would like more information regarding these options.

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