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Georgia Driving on a Suspended License
I run into this charge frequently in my practice, because there are many ways in which a person’s license can be suspended. For example, if a person misses a court date (even for a minor offense like a traffic ticket), the court will issue a bench warrant and the individual’s license will be suspended. A person’s license can also be suspended upon conviction for certain offenses (DUI, for example), or after accumulating sufficient points under the Department of Driver Services‘ points system. Drivers are sometimes not even aware that they have a suspended license until they are stopped by the police. This can be a shocking experience, as Driving on a Suspended License is a serious charge and carries with it the possibility of serious penalties.
But you should not despair, and you certainly should not simply plead guilty without speaking to an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney about your case.
What are the penalties for Driving on a Suspended License?
O.C.G.A. § 40-5-121 lays out the penalties for Driving on a Suspended, Revoked, or Disqualified license. The statute specifically excludes habitual violators whose licenses have been revoked under O.C.G.A. § 40-5-58. Driving on a Suspended License is a criminal offense in Georgia, and as such it remains on your criminal record. The penalties are as follows:
How will a Driving on a Suspended License charge affect my license?
For a first conviction within 5 years, the Department of Driver Services will impose a 6-month license suspension, which begins on the day of conviction. No limited driving permits will be issued for those convicted of Driving on a Suspended License. Once the 6-month suspension has been served, the individual may reinstate his/her license by paying a $210 reinstatement fee (if paid in person) or a $200 reinstatement fee (if paid by mail). The convicting court is required to forward the driver’s fingerprints to the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) in order to track further violations.
Note that a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) will prevent the license suspension so long as it is the first plea of no contest within 5 years. The offense must still be reported to DDS and the individual must still be fingerprinted.
For a second or third conviction within 5 years, the individual’s license will be suspended for 6 months, beginning on the date of the conviction. No limited driving permits will be issued to individuals convicted of Driving on a Suspended License. For a second conviction, the reinstatement fee is $310 (or $300 if paid by mail). For a third conviction, the reinstatement fee is $410 (or $400 if paid by mail). For a fourth or subsequent conviction within 5 years, the suspension period is 6 months, beginning on the conviction date. No limited permits are available. The reinstatement fee for a fourth conviction for Driving on a Suspended License is $410 (or $400 if paid by mail).
Can I get a work permit after a Driving on a Suspended License conviction?
No, limited permits (also known as work permits) are not available to individuals who plead guilty or who are convicted at trial of Driving on a Suspended License. In addition to the possible jail time and huge expense of this charge, this is another reason why a conviction for Driving on a Suspended License can be so disruptive to a person’s life and why it is so important to make every effort to avoid a conviction.
Why hire a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney for a Driving on a Suspended License charge?
If you have been charged with Driving on a Suspended, Revoked, or Disqualified License, you should speak to an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. I understand that being charged with a crime in Georgia can be overwhelming because the stakes are so high. That is why I make every effort to save your license, keep you out of jail, and make the process as painless as possible. Call me today.
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