Losing Your License After a DUI: Administrative vs. Court-Imposed Suspensions

Losing your license – having it suspended – after a DUI can be a stressful situation. It can immediately and negatively impact your ability to earn a living. It can make it excessively difficult, if not impossible, to take your child to and from school and other places. Regardless, a DUI suspension will at best be an inconvenience that you need corrected right away.

However, it’s important to understand that not all license suspensions are the same. The two major categories that every DUI suspect needs to know about are administrative suspensions and court-imposed suspensions. The Indianapolis DUI defense firm of Rathburn Law Office P.C. examines them both.

Contact our law firm today if you are facing DUI charges.

What to Know About Administrative Suspensions

If a law enforcement officer believes you are driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be pulled over. The officer might ask you to take a blood or chemical breath test to determine if this suspicion is valid. If you take one of these tests and your blood alcohol content is below 0.08%, you might be fine. But what happens if you refuse to take the test?

Refusing to take one of these tests will result in a driver’s license suspension for at least one year. That’s because every driver consents to taking a blood or breath test if police believe a DUI has occurred.

What if you take the test and fail? In this case, you will be charged and your license will be suspended by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This administrative suspension will usually be up to 180 days.

You could be eligible for a limited driving provision after a suspension. But this is not a guarantee. An Indianapolis DUI defense attorney will need to request the court to grant driving privileges, allowing you to drive for certain purposes like going to work. The court may require you to install an ignition interlock device on your car before granting this permission.

The Facts About Court-Imposed DUI Suspensions

Administrative suspensions are disruptive to your life enough, even if a limited driving provision is granted. But this may not be the final word. A criminal court that hears your matter could also suspend your driver’s license.

There is a major difference between a court-imposed suspension and an administrative suspension, however. The court will only suspend your license if you are actually convicted of a DUI.

This means that court-imposed suspensions are not immediate and automatic the way administrative suspensions are. You have to go through the criminal justice system and either plead guilty or be found guilty. This gives you the opportunity, working with an Indianapolis DUI attorney, to fight the charges and avoid the suspension.

If you are found guilty in court of a DUI, the length of your license suspension will depend on any prior convictions. Even for a first-time offender, however, there is a minimum license suspension of 90 days.

But if you have multiple prior convictions on your record, you could be facing a DUI suspension of up to 10 years. All of these potential punishments are in addition to the administrative suspensions mentioned and other criminal penalties.

Defending Your Rights in an Indianapolis DUI Case

License suspensions can interrupt your life, but you have the right to seek a driving provision. And of course, you can contest the criminal charges against you. Retaining legal representation early is essential to doing so and protecting your best interests.

Facing DUI charges? Unsure what your rights are? Give Rathburn Law Office P.C. a call today.

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With over 25 years of experience, Rathburn Law is your ideal choice. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, Reach out to us today!