Getting a ticket for speeding or not coming to a full stop at a stop sign may seem like more of a nuisance than a serious matter. While paying the fine and associated costs may not be pleasant, in many cases the strain or hardship caused by a traffic ticket is mild. Ignore a traffic ticket, or fall behind on certain obligations, however, and your driving privileges may be suspended. Unlike a speeding or other traffic-related charge, a driving suspension can severely impact your daily life and your ability to provide for your family. Clearing a suspension is not easy, and may require the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
Reasons for Driving Suspensions in Ohio
A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for a variety of driving-related conduct. For example, certain traffic offenses result in “points” being assessed against that driver’s license. Speeding, disregarding stop signs, and reckless operation of a vehicle are just some of the traffic crimes that will result in points being assessed against a person’s license. A driver who accumulates 12 or more points within a 24-month period will be suspended.
Driving privileges may also be suspended for:
- Convictions for driving under the influence, operating vehicle impaired, aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide, or manslaughter
- Failing to appear in court when directed to do so in your citation, summons, or bond paperwork
- Not paying fines and fees assessed by a court in a timely manner
A license suspension may be imposed even if a driver has not committed any traffic violation at all. If the driver falls behind on any court-ordered child support payments, the agency in charge of enforcing the child support order may obtain an order suspending the driver’s license. This suspension could remain in place until the obligation is brought current or other suitable arrangements are made with the agency.
Challenges of Suspended Drivers’ Licenses
A person whose driving privileges are suspended is not legally permitted to drive for any reason. (Contrast this to a restricted driver’s license, where the driver may be permitted to drive a vehicle under certain conditions.) Driving on a suspended license is a crime that can result in fines, periods of incarceration, and additional periods of suspension. Even on a first offense, a driving while suspended conviction may result in up to six months’ imprisonment and up to $1,000 in fines.
Resolving a Suspended Ohio Driver’s License
Removing a suspension from your license is not an easy task. The first step is to determine why your license is suspended. The steps needed to clear a suspension that was imposed for failing to appear in court are different than those necessary to fix a suspension caused by the accumulation of too many driving points. The condition causing the suspension must then be corrected: outstanding fines need to be paid, unresolved cases need to be brought to a conclusion, or the specified amount of time needs to elapse.
Once the condition has been corrected, application can be made to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for reinstatement of driving privileges. The individual may need to provide proof that any conditions that caused the suspension have been resolved and pay a reinstatement fee to the Bureau before the person’s privileges will be restored.
Dawes Legal, LLC Can Assist You with a Suspended License
If you find yourself charged with driving on a suspended license, take the matter seriously and reach out to Dawes Legal, LLC as soon as possible. Our experienced criminal defense team may be able to help you minimize the criminal penalties you face as well as restore your driving privileges. Discuss your case with us by calling our Columbus office at (614) 733-9999.