For most people driving is an essential part of daily life. It is necessary to do things like getting to work, go to school, and run errands. Because of this, losing one's driving privileges can be a terrible inconvenience, especially if it is for a protracted period of time. A person's driving privileges can be taken away for any number of reasons from too many points on a license to committing a crime. If an individual chooses to drive while his or her license is suspended, this can result in a criminal charge. While this may seem to be a relatively minor offense, it is important to take every charge seriously as a criminal conviction can have a significant impact on an individual's life. A criminal record can affect a person's chances of obtaining employment and finding housing, among other consequences.
If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, don't face the criminal justice system alone. Contact the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Shawn B. Hamp today.
Reasons for License Suspension
There are a number of reasons that a person's license may be suspended, ranging from civil infractions to criminal charges.
In Arizona, whenever a person commits certain criminal offenses or traffic violations, points can get added to his or her license. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there are only a certain number of points that can be acquired over a twelve month period before a person's license may be suspended. The following list shows the points that correlate with respective offenses.
- DUI – 8 points
- Extreme DUI – 8 points
- Reckless Driving – 8 points
- Aggressive Driving – 8 points
- Leave the scene of an accident (Hit and run) – 6 points
- Failure to stop or yield, causing death – 6 points
- Failure to stop or yield, causing serious injury – 4 points
- Speeding – 3 points
- Driving over or parking in a gore area – 3 points
- All other moving violations – 2 points
The maximum number of points that a driver can get in a twelve month period is eight. If a driver gets more points than this within a year then his or her license can be suspended for up to twelve months. However, if a driver attends Traffic Survival School then they may be able to avoid having their driving privileges taken away.
Other civil matters that can result in license suspension include failure to pay a civil fine, failure to pay child support, refusing a breath or blood test, and failure to appear in court.
If an individual is convicted of certain types of criminal charges, one of the penalties can be license suspension or revocation. The criminal charges that may result in license suspension or revocation include, but are not limited to:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Extreme DUI
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving
- Racing on highways
The period of time that a person's license can be suspended for a conviction for each offense will depend on the offense in question. For example, for driving under the influence, a person's license can be suspended for a period of 90 days to 360 days.
Penalty for Driving On Suspended License
The penalty for driving while one's privileges have been taken away is found under A.R.S. 28-3473. The statute states:
A. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a person who drives a motor vehicle on a public highway when the person's privilege to drive a motor vehicle is suspended, revoked, canceled or refused or when the person is disqualified from driving is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. If the suspension is pursuant to section 28-1601 [failure to pay a civil penalty] and the person presents to the court evidence that the person's privilege to drive has been reinstated, the court may dismiss the charge of driving under a suspended driver license.
If an individual chooses to drive while his or her driving privileges are suspended, the individual can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalty for this offense is up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Temporary License Privileges
When under a period of license suspension, drivers are allowed to get a temporary license under certain circumstances. A temporary license permits a driver to go only to certain locations. According to A.R.S. 28-3473, the locations that a driver can go to include:
1. Between the person's place of employment and residence during specified periods of time while at employment. 2. Between the person's place of residence, the person's place of employment and the person's secondary or postsecondary school according to the person's employment or educational schedule. 3. Between the person's place of residence and a screening, education or treatment facility for scheduled appointments. 4. Between the person's place of residence and the office of the person's probation officer for scheduled appointments. 5. Between the person's place of residence and the office of a physician or other health care professional. 6. Between the person's place of residence and a certified ignition interlock device service facility.
In order to qualify for a restricted license certain conditions must be met. These conditions include completing “all requirements of the sentence imposed by the court,” satisfying “all suspension periods imposed on the person's driver license as a result of the conviction of or a finding of responsibility for a violation of any provision of this title except this section,” and the person must pay the “applicable reinstatement fee prescribed by section 28-3002.”
Contact An Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Shawn B. Hamp today. The attorneys at Hamp Law have years of experience defending those accused of criminal offenses and are dedicated to fighting for the rights of our clients. You can reach our office by calling 1-866-490-HAMP or contact us online by filling out the contact form on our website.