The ability to drive with a valid driver’s licence is vital to modern life. Driver’s licences can be suspended for multiple reasons, sometimes even without your immediate knowledge. If your licence has been suspended and you are stopped by the police, you can be charged with Drive Under Suspension. These offences carry very severe penalties if convicted such as high court fines, imprisonment, further suspension of licence, as well as having a potentially very large impact on insurance costs.
There are two types of suspension:
The Highway Traffic Act states:
53. (1) Every person who drives a motor vehicle or streetcar on a highway while his or her driver’s licence is suspended under an Act of the Legislature or a regulation made thereunder is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable,
(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000; and
(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000, or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 53 (1); 1997, c. 12, s. 7 (1).”
A person’s licence may be suspended by a Court (traffic court, aka Provincial Offences Court) for committing certain kinds of offences. Such license suspensions may be mandatory or discretionary.
If you are convicted of driving while your licence is suspended, called operation while prohibited (section 320.18 (1) of the Criminal Code), you may face the following penalties:
Understanding the difference between a suspended license and a revoked license is important if you find yourself in trouble for certain types of traffic violations. The more severe your violation, the more severe the penalties can be. A suspended license is not the same as a revoked license. A simple key point to differentiate the two is a suspended license is bad and a revoked license is very bad a suspended license is a temporary hardship, but a revoked license is permanent.
A driver’s license can change from active to suspended status for several reasons. Sometimes an unpaid ticket can suspend a driver’s license other times a driver has too many traffic tickets on the driving record in other cases a criminal conviction can suspend a driver (sometimes even an arrest can trigger a suspension) and still in other circumstances the DOL might take action due to what the DOL deems a threat to public safety. Typically a suspension is temporary in nature and a driver can get reinstated after fulfilling a number of requirements. While temporary, not all suspensions are short; some suspensions can last in excess of a year.
There are two types of suspended licenses: indefinite and definite:
A definite suspension on your license will come to a complete end once you’ve paid the required legal fees and your suspension period is up. It ends when your license is restored and back in your hands. Definite suspensions can be due to many different reasons, but usually they have to do with alcohol or drug-related moving violations, a series of too many traffic tickets, or driving without proper insurance.
An indefinite suspension doesn’t have a certain date, but instead remains suspended until you take the proper action. This could mean paying a fine or fees that you owe or taking care of a ticket.
When the MOT revokes a driver’s license, the license is taken away forever. Common reasons for license revocation include making false statements on MOT application forms, repeat DUI offenses, being of advanced age, or having certain medical conditions. It is sometimes possible for someone with a revoked license to get a new one.
A license revocation is a more permanent removal of one’s driving privileges. However, the big difference between a license revocation and a license suspension is the way penalties are assessed if a person chooses to drive on a suspended or revoked license. If a person drives on a suspended license, the penalties assessed against him are civil in nature. If he drives on a revoked license, however, the penalties can be criminal and include time in jail and other serious consequences.
A province may suspend or revoke a driver’s license for a variety of reasons, depending on the criminal laws of that state. Possible grounds for suspension include:
Suspension or revocation of a driver’s license may even be ordered as punishment for failing to keep up with court-ordered child support payments.
If you are arrested for driving on a suspended license, the prosecutor will use his power to prove that you committed a crime. Because of the many challenges provided by a prosecutor, you need a lawyer who won’t back down from whatever problem that is presented against them in court. If you have any questions about traffic tickets or you need help with a suspended driver’s license, you may want to contact a traffic ticket attorney in your area.
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