Driving with a suspended license is a situation that no one wants to find themselves in. However, we understand that life can sometimes present challenging circumstances. You may have been unaware of your suspension, or perhaps you found yourself in an emergency situation where driving was the only viable option. Regardless of the circumstances, being caught in this predicament can be stressful and concerning.
Consequences of Driving with a Suspended License
The consequences of driving with a suspended license in New York can be quite severe, depending on the specifics of your situation. This is considered a criminal offense and not just a traffic violation, which means the penalties can include fines, imprisonment, or even both.
Here are some key points to understand about the penalties associated with driving with a suspended license in New York:
- If it is your first offense, you may be charged with a misdemeanor, which could result in fines ranging from $200 to $500, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or a combination of both.
- For a second offense within 18 months, the penalties increase, and you could face fines up to $1000, jail time up to 180 days, or both.
- If you are caught driving while your license is suspended due to a DWI or DUI conviction, the consequences become even more severe. You could be charged with a felony, which entails a fine of up to $ 5,000 and imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years.
At Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC, we understand that good people can find themselves in difficult situations, and our team of experienced attorneys is here to provide you with the support and guidance you need.
How to Respond If Caught Driving with a Suspended License
Suppose you find yourself pulled over by law enforcement and know that your license is suspended. In that case, responding appropriately to protect your rights and mitigate potential negative consequences is crucial. Maintaining a calm and respectful demeanor can play a crucial role in how the situation unfolds. You have the right to remain silent—avoid volunteering any information about your suspended license unless directly asked about it.
Here are some key steps you should take:
- Provide your basic identification when requested, such as your name and address.
- Politely decline to answer any incriminating questions about your license status.
- Do not argue or become confrontational with the police officer.
- After the encounter, write down everything that occurred as soon as possible while your memory is fresh.
- Consult with a knowledgeable attorney right away.
Legal Defenses for Driving with a Suspended License
When charged with driving with a suspended license, it's essential to remember that a charge is not a conviction. There are several legal defenses that can be employed to challenge the charge, depending on the specifics of your case. It's crucial to work with an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of these defenses and can strategize effectively to protect your rights.
At Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC, our seasoned attorneys are equipped with a deep understanding of the laws pertaining to suspended licenses and are adept at identifying potential defenses, such as:
- Lack of Knowledge: A common defense involves demonstrating that you were not properly notified about the suspension of your license. If the Department of Motor Vehicles failed to send you a notification or if the notification was sent to an incorrect address, this defense might be applicable.
- Improper Traffic Stop: This defense argues that the law enforcement officer did not have a valid reason for the traffic stop that led to the discovery of your suspended license.
- Emergency Circumstances: If you were driving due to an emergency, and there was no other feasible means of transportation available, this defense might be applicable. However, this is a complex defense that requires careful handling.
It's important to remember that each case is unique, and the success of a specific defense is contingent on the specific circumstances surrounding the case. Our attorneys meticulously review all aspects of your case, from the initial traffic stop to the charge, and devise a defense strategy tailored to your situation.
Reinstating Your Suspended License
Reinstating a suspended license is no small task, and it involves several necessary steps that you must undertake diligently. It's important to understand that the reinstatement process may vary depending on the reason for your suspension. Having a knowledgeable attorney from Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC by your side can greatly simplify this process and increase your chances of a successful reinstatement.
Before you start the process, you must first serve the entire duration of your suspension period. After this, check with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to verify any specific reinstatement requirements. These requirements can include paying any unpaid fines, completing mandatory traffic school, or providing proof of auto insurance. Once you have fulfilled all requirements, you can apply for license reinstatement.
To provide a clearer understanding, here are some general steps you may need to follow:
- Complete the suspension period: You can’t apply for reinstatement until the full duration of your suspension period has been served.
- Check for any specific requirements: Contact the DMV to check for specific requirements for reinstatement based on the reason for your suspension.
- Pay your fines: Make sure to pay any unpaid fines related to your suspension. Keep a record of your payment for future reference.
- Complete a defensive driving course or traffic school: If required, complete a DMV-approved traffic school and provide proof of completion.
- Provide proof of auto insurance: You may need to show proof of a valid auto insurance policy.
- Apply for reinstatement: Once all requirements have been fulfilled, you can apply for reinstatement by completing the necessary paperwork and paying the reinstatement fee.
Remember, driving with a reinstated license means you're once again under the protection of the law, free from the worry of legal repercussions for driving.
The Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Suspended License Cases
When facing charges related to driving with a suspended license or any other traffic violation, the role of a criminal defense lawyer becomes paramount. They serve as your advocate, advising and guiding you through the legal maze and providing you with a robust defense strategy. At Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC, our team of seasoned attorneys takes on this role with great responsibility and dedication. We understand the complexities of your situation and work diligently to ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Call us at (516) 218-5131 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation.