Driving on a Suspended License in Connecticut
Connecticut drivers may lose their driving privileges for a range of driving offenses as well as other criminal and civil matters. Suspension generally means a temporary withdrawal of your driving privileges. Revocation generally means a termination of your driving privileges. It is a crime in Connecticut to drive while your license is suspended or revoked.
Reasons for suspension
Your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked for alcohol-related offenses, falling behind on your child support payments, and many other causes.
Your license may be suspended if you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The length of the suspension may depend on your age and whether you have previous DUI convictions.
After your first offense, your license may be suspended for a year. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-227a (g)(1)(C).)
With a second offense, your license may be suspended for a year and you may be required to use an ignition interlock device after your license is restored. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-227a(g)(2)(C).) If you are younger than 21, your license may be suspended for three years or until your 21st birthday, whichever is longer, and be ordered to use an interlock ignition device after your license is reinstated.
After your third offense, your license may be permanently revoked. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-227a(g)(3)(C).)
Other Reasons for Suspension or Revocation
Your license may be suspended or revoked for other driving offenses, including but not limited to:
- driving while your license is suspended or revoked
- driving without liability insurance, and
- failing to stop after being involved in a crash that results in serious injury or death. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-213(c), 14-111(b).)
Depending on the offense and number of previous offenses, your suspension period may range between 30 days and a period of years. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-111(b).)
Your license may also be suspended if you are behind on court-ordered child support payments by more than 90 days, or for many other reasons. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-220(b).)
Reinstating your license
After the period of suspension or revocation, you must reinstate your license before you may legally drive. The fee for restoring your license in Connecticut is $175, in addition to any other fees. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-50b.) In some situations, such as a suspension due to lack of liability insurance, you may be required to show proof of automobile liability insurance before your license is restored. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § Sec. 14-213b(c).)
Charges for Driving During Suspension or Revocation
You may face criminal charges if you drive while your license is suspended or revoked. Typically, but not always, the charge will be a misdemeanor. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-24(b), 53a-26(a).)
For a first offense, you may be fined between $150 and $200 and jailed for a maximum of 90 days. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-215(b).)
For subsequent offenses, you may be fined between $200 and $600 and jailed for a maximum of one year. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-215(b).)
For certain cases, minimum fines of $500 and maximum fines of $1,000 are possible. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-215(b).) Other conditions, such as community service, and may also apply. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-215(b).)
Your sentence may be more severe if your license was suspended or revoked because of certain offenses, including DUI and second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle. In some situations, the charge may be considered a felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of two or three years. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-215(c), 53a-24(b), 53a-25(a).)
If you are arrested for DUI while your license is suspended or revoked, your vehicle may be impounded for up to 48 hours. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-227h.)
Legal Help for Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License
Driving with a suspended or revoked license could result in criminal charges with serious consequences for your life. In some situations you could even face a felony. In addition to the possibility of fines, jail time, and further license suspensions, your ability to work, to go to school and retain insurance could all be affected. Although the law provides for specific sentences, in reality your sentence may be determined by the standards of your community and the view the prosecutor and court has of the charge. An attorney who is familiar with these cases in your city will best be able to offer guidance about your case.