DRIVING WHILE SUSPENDED/DRIVING WHILE REVOKED
Many people think of traffic offenses as minor violations that won't have an overly adverse effect on their lives. However, Driving While Suspended and Driving While Revoked are serious crimes, and persons charged with either of these offenses can face very serious consequences. You should never attempt to handle a Driving While Suspended or Revoked charge without first consulting our attorneys.
License--A Driving While Suspended or Driving While Revoked conviction will result in 12 points being assessed against you and will be permanently listed on your driving record. In addition to this, the 12 points will result in another automatic one year revocation of your license.
Criminal Consequences--Driving While Suspended or Revoked is a misdemeanor charge. For a first time conviction, you are subject to a $300 fine. For 2nd and 3rd convictions, you will be subject to up to one year in jail and up to $1000 fine. For a 4th or subsequent conviction within a 10 year period, or for a person with a prior alcohol related offense with 3 or more Driving While Suspended or Revoked convictions, it will be classified as a Felony D.
A skilled traffic attorney can help you have the charge against you amended to a lesser charge, but you must have a valid license in order for them to do so. Because of this, the first step when you are faced with this charge is to determine why your license is suspended or revoked.
1. Contact the Missouri Department of Revenue--You can contact the MO DOR by calling 573-751-4475. Have your driver's license number ready and be prepared to take down all the information they give you regarding your suspension. There are several reasons you may be suspended. Make sure you get the following information for whichever reason(s) applies to you:
A. Failure to Appear on Prior Tickets--if your license is suspended for failing to take care of old tickets, make sure you get specific information regarding the court that issued the ticket(s), the ticket number(s), and the original charge. With this information, our attorneys can help you determine if you will need to post bond through that court. Sometimes, the attorney can just enter on your behalf and have the old warrant recalled. The attorney can then have the old charge amended for you so that you will not have any unnecessary points assessed against you. You will then have to pay the amended fines to the court and obtain a compliance letter in order to have your license reinstated. You will most likely have to pay a reinstatement fee to the DOR.
B. An Alcohol Revocation-there are many requirements for having your license reinstated after an alcohol or drug related revocation. Ask the DOR which requirements you have not yet met. These may include: SATOP, an SR-22 filing, or Ignition Interlock. Testing and a reinstatement fee may also be a requirement.
C. Points Revocation--if your license is suspended or revoked because of an accumulation of points on your driving record, you may still be able to get your license reinstated. Find out from the DOR the date of the conviction, the Court where the conviction occurred, and the charge. If the conviction was fairly recent, our skilled traffic attorneys can often have the guilty plea withdrawn and the points taken off your record so that your license can be reinstated.
D. Child Support or Accident Restitution--failure to pay your child support or to pay restitution to the injured party of an accident you were involved in can also result in a suspension or revocation. Find out all the details you can about the nature of the revocation and the steps required to be reinstated. Often, a payment plan can be worked out to help get you reinstated as soon as possible.
E. Health Revocation--sometimes, your license can be revoked because a health care provider believes that it is unsafe for you to drive. If this is the case, the DOR will send you a letter in the mail explaining the revocation and giving you an opportunity to appeal. If this is the case, you must act immediately, as you only have a very limited amount of time to appeal the charge. Contact a traffic attorney as soon as you get notice of the revocation.
2. Once you have determined the reason for your suspension or revocation, contact our skilled traffic attorneys to help you have your Driving While Suspended or Revoked charge amended. There are a number of obstacles in the way of having your ticket amended, so it is important that you choose an attorney with experience in this area of law. Even if your license has been reinstated, things like prior Driving While Suspended or Revoked convictions, alcohol related contacts, or other negative charges on your driving record can make the Prosecuting attorney reluctant to amend your charge. An experienced attorney may be able to help purge some of the older convictions of your driving record, or otherwise negotiate with the prosecuting attorney on your behalf.
Keeping Your License--If your license is currently valid but you are facing a Driving While Suspended/Revoked charge, we can quite often help you have the ticket amended so that you will not have to take the 12 points, suffer a one-year revocation, and face possible jail time. If your license is not currently valid, we can help you get it back so that you will be likely be eligible to have the Driving While Suspended/Revoked charge amended.
Getting Your License Back--Depending upon the reason for your suspension, you may be eligible for a hardship license, a guilty plea withdrawal, or a warrant recall to have your driving privileges reinstated. We can help you explore all possible courses of action possible o required, and help you through every aspect of getting your license back.
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