A DUI/OWI conviction could result in your driver’s license being suspended. This can cause major disruption to your life, leaving you unable to drive your car for work and other purposes. You may be tempted to ignore the suspension and drive anyway.
However, driving with a suspended license could add to your problems and make it much more difficult to get your life back to normal. Let an Indianapolis DUI lawyer at Rathburn Law Office P.C. advise you on your legal options for handling a suspended driver’s license.
What Does Driving While Suspended Mean in Indiana?
It is illegal to operate a vehicle while your driver’s license is suspended by a court or the BMV. The person accused of this must actually know, or have reason to know, that his or her license has been suspended. Receiving a ticket from law enforcement for driving while suspended is considered sufficient notice.
This offense will likely be charged as an infraction or (in cases with more aggravating circumstances) a Class A misdemeanor. If the driver causes injury or death to someone while driving with a suspended license, the charge will be a felony.
What Are the Penalties for Driving With a Suspended License?
An infraction or Class A misdemeanor may not sound serious, but neither should be taken lightly. An infraction could result in a fine of up to $10,000. Meanwhile, a misdemeanor may mean up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine.
You could also face a misdemeanor if you’re caught driving with a suspended license more than once in ten years. Another common misdemeanor situation is where, while the driver’s license is suspended, he or she commits a separate crime.
As mentioned above, felony charges are also possible in more serious cases. You may be charged with a felony for driving with a suspended license, if:
- You cause bodily injury to someone. This is a Level 6 felony that can lead to between six months and a year and a half in prison.
- You cause catastrophic injury or death to another driver. This is a Level 5 felony and may result in one to six years in prison.
These criminal penalties are serious enough. But the legal problems don’t end there for the driver. Your license suspension will be extended between 90 days and two years, depending on the specific facts of your case.
How an Attorney Can Help
The state recognizes how critical driving is to citizens’ everyday lives. An Indianapolis DUI attorney can, in certain circumstances, obtain special driving privileges. You may be granted permission to drive for these purposes:
- Medical appointments
- Court dates
- Religious services
A driver should never assume that he or she will automatically be extended these privileges. The judge can grant or deny a request based on the specific facts at issue. Having an experienced Indiana OWI attorney will increase your odds of being successful.
Let Us Go to Work for You
Being charged with a DUI or OWI is not the same as a conviction. It is possible to defeat the charges against you or to lessen the severity of the legal consequences. If your license has already been suspended, we can assist with special driving privileges and related matters.
Don’t compound your personal problems by driving illegally. Give Rathburn Law Office P.C. a call today to get started.