Driving on a Suspended License in Idaho
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Like drivers everywhere, people licensed to drive in Idaho may have their driver’s licenses revoked or suspended for many reasons. Suspension usually means a temporary withdrawal of driving privileges. Revocation usually means terminating your license to drive. Driving while your license is under suspension or revocation is a crime.
Reasons for Suspension or Revocation
The state of Idaho may suspend or revoke your license for many criminal convictions, civil matters or other reasons. It may be suspended or revoked for certain criminal convictions, including:
- reckless driving
- fleeing a police officer
- failing to have proof of vehicle insurance, or
- leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, death or property damage. (Idaho Code § 49-326.)
It may also be suspended if you:
- accrue 12 points on your driver’s license for driving violations within 12 months
- are found to habitually violate traffic laws, or
- are cited for a traffic infraction and fail to pay it. (Idaho Code §§ 49-326, 49-1505.)
If you are younger than age 18 and you are not enrolled in school, or if you are younger than age 17 and you are cited for two or more violations of certain traffic laws, your license may be suspended. (Idaho Code § 49-326.)
Your license also be suspended if you fail to satisfy a civil judgment against you. (Idaho Code § 49-326.)
Your license may be suspended or revoked for other reasons as well.
Reinstating your Suspended or Revoked License
You may not drive while your license is suspended or revoked. After the suspension or revocation period expires, you must apply for reinstatement before you may legally drive. You must fill out an application and pay a $25 fee. (Idaho Code § 49-328(2).
Other conditions and fees may apply, including, but not limited to, the following.
- If your license was suspended because you did not pay the fine for a driving infraction, you must show that you have paid the penalty. (Idaho Code § 49-328(3).)
- If you are reinstating your license after driving under the influence or certain other traffic convictions, you may have an additional $60 fee. (Idaho Code § 49-328(4).)
- For some alcohol-related offenses, you may be required to pay a $200 fee. (Idaho Code § 49-328(5).)
Charges for Driving After Suspension or Revocation
If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be charged with a misdemeanor. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(1).) If you are convicted, your sentence may depend in part on whether you have previous convictions for driving after suspension or revocation.
For a first conviction, you may receive a minimum jail sentence of two days. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(3)(a).) The maximum jail sentence is six months. The maximum fine is $1,000. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(3)(b).) Your driving privileges may be suspended for an additional 180 days. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(3)(c).)
For a second conviction within five years, your sentence may involve a minimum sentence of 20 days and a maximum sentence of one year in jail. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(4)(a).) The maximum fine is $1,000. (Idaho Code § 18-8001-(4)(b).) Your license may be suspended for an additional year. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(4)(c).)
For a third or subsequent conviction within five years, your sentence may involve a minimum sentence of 30 days and a maximum sentence of one year in jail. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(5)(a).) The maximum fine is $3,000. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(5)(b).) Your license may be suspended for an additional two years. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(5)(c).)
Instead of jail time for a conviction for driving under suspension or revocation, you may be eligible for work release, community service, or another alternative to jail time. (Idaho Code § 18-8001(3)-(5).)
Legal Help for Charges of Driving After Suspension or Revocation
Driving with a suspended or revoked license may result in criminal charges that can have a serious effect on your life. If you are convicted of this crime, you face the possibility of jail time, fines, and additional license suspensions. You may encounter difficulty keeping a job, going to school, or obtaining or retaining insurance. In short, your ability to generally live your life may be affected. The law provides specific penalties for a conviction, but criminal cases are handled differently in each court. Your sentence may depend on part on the attitude of your prosecutor and judge toward the crime. An attorney who understands these charges as they are handled in your courthouse will be able to give you advice about your case.