There are a number of ways that a District of Columbia resident can lose his or her driver’s license. Some of these traffic offenses are much more serious than others. An alcohol-related traffic offense can be ground for a license suspension. When a license is suspended, it has been taken away for a period of time. A suspension is temporary.
However, a revocation is an entirely different matter. If a person has his or her license revoked, it means the license is terminated. A person who is caught driving with a revoked or suspended license can face criminal charges.
Why a License Might Be Revoked or Suspended
In the District of Columbia, there are a number of reasons why a person’s license might be revoked or suspended. A license might be suspended when a person is caught driving at least 30 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Driving recklessly, failing to appear for traffic infractions and being negligent in a vehicular homicide are other reasons why a license might be revoked or suspended.
Point-based License Suspension
The District of Columbia is just like other governments; it uses a point system for drivers. If a driver is ticketed, he or she receives a certain number of points against his or her license. When a driver accumulates a certain number of points in a two-year period, his or her license will be suspended.
Speeding is a great example of a traffic offense that adds to these points. The point system that the District of Columbia uses is easy to understand. If a driver accumulates eight or nine points, the Director of the DMV can suspend the driver’s license.
When a driver accumulates 10 points, the director is required to suspend the driver’s license. At 12 points, a driver is likely to have his or her license completely revoked. There are some traffic violations that automatically assign enough points to ensure a driver’s license is revoked or suspended.
For example, driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit will automatically lead to a license suspension. Driving while suspended can lead to 12 points added to a person’s driving record, which causes the license to be revoked.
License Reinstatement after Revocation or Suspension
In the District of Columbia, a license can be suspended from 2 days and up to 90 days, or in some cases, it can be suspended until a certain act is completed, which might consist of attending traffic school or paying fines. Once the license suspension period expires, a reinstatement fee must be paid, which is $98.00.
The fee must be paid before an individual can legally drive again. When a license is revoked, it’s terminated for at least six months. If there are previous convictions or revocation, a person’s license might be revoked for two years.
Depending on the situation, it might even be revoked for longer. Once the revocation period expires, an individual can apply to have their license restored. There might also be other conditions that must be met before a license is completely reinstated.
Charges for Driving While Revoked or Suspended
A person who drives while their license is revoked or suspended can actually be charged with a criminal offense. The absolute maximum sentence for such a conviction is one year in jail and $5,000.00 in fines. Additionally, the driver’s license could be revoked or suspended for a longer period of time.
How we can help you
If a person is convicted of driving after their license has been revoked or suspended, the conviction can affect every aspect of their life.
Although it’s certainly possible the individual will be facing fines and time in jail, he or she might also have trouble getting insurance, going to school or maintaining employment. It’s best to have an attorney who understands your case and how it will be viewed and handled by the judge and prosecutor.
Have You Been Charged With A Traffic Violation In Virginia, Maryland or Washington D.C.?
If you've been charged with a traffic violation you need to speak with an experienced traffic defense lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Vienna, Virgnia office directly at 703.991.7978 or our Rockville, Maryland office at 301.637.5392 to schedule your free case consultation.