Driving on a Suspended License in Kentucky

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Your Kentucky driver’s license may be revoked or suspended for a variety of reasons. If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you risk criminal charges and the possibility of fines or jail time.  

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your license may be suspended or revoked for many reasons, including certain driving offenses or civil issues unrelated to driving.

Reasons for Suspension

Your license may be suspended if:

  • your driving causes or contributes to an accident that kills or injures someone
  • you are a habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle or you have committed a serious violation of the motor vehicle laws
  • you have been convicted of assault and battery resulting from your driving
  • police gave you a citation or summons and you failed to appear for it
  • you do not produce proof of vehicle insurance when ordered to by a court, or
  • the state considers you a habitual violator of certain vehicle insurance laws, meaning you have operated a vehicle without insurance three times within a five year period (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 186.570(1).)

Reasons for Revocation

 Your license may be revoked for certain criminal convictions, including:

  • murder or manslaughter, if a vehicle was used
  • a felony, if a motor vehicle was used
  • three convictions for reckless driving within 12 months
  • failing to stop and identify yourself if you are the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident
  • a second or subsequent conviction within five years for not having vehicle insurance, and
  • fraudulent use of a driver’s license to purchase alcohol (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 186.650(1).)

It may also be suspended or revoked for reasons unrelated to driving. For example, if you owe more than six months of child support payments, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services may request suspension of your license. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 186.570(2).) Your license may be revoked if you drop out of school before you are age 18. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 186.650(7).)

There are many other reasons your license may be suspended or revoked.

Reinstating Your License

Your license may be suspended for varied periods of time. You should not drive with a suspended or revoked license. After your period of suspension or revocation has ended, you may be required to pay a $15 reinstatement fee before you receive a new license. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 186.440(13).) Other fees and conditions may apply.

Criminal Charges for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

You may be charged with a crime if you drive while your license is suspended or revoked or if you knowingly allow someone without a valid license to drive your vehicle. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 186.620(1)-(2).

In many situations, you may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 186.990(3). The maximum sentence for a Class B misdemeanor includes a fine of $250 and up to 90 days in jail. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 532.090(2), § 534.040 (2)(b).)

Other Penalties

You may, however, face different penalties in certain situations. For example, if you drive while your license is suspended or revoked for driving under the influence, you may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and have your license revoked for six months. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 189A.090(2)(a).)

For a second offense within five years of driving while your license is suspended or revoked for driving under the influence, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and have your license revoked up to a year. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 189A.090(2)(b).)

The maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor includes a fine of up to $500, and up to one year in jail. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 532.090(1), § 534.040 (2)(a).).)

For a third offense within five years of driving while your license is suspended or revoked for driving under the influence, you may be charged with a Class D felony and have your license revoked for two years. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 189A.090(2)(c).) The penalty for a Class D felony may involve a fine between $1,000 and $10,000 and between one and five years in prison. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 532.060 (2(d), § 534.040(1).)

The level of charge or penalties may be different if you were driving under the influence at the time of the offense. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 189A.090.)

Other factors may also cause your level of charge or potential sentence to vary.

Legal Help for Charges of Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a crime with potentially serious consequences. You may receive fines, jail time, or other penalties that may make it difficult for you to stay employed, go to school, find or stay insured, and do a range of tasks in your daily life. Although the law specifies punishments for this crime, your actual sentence may depend on factors such as the approach judges and prosecutors in your area take to the offense. Only an attorney who is familiar with how these charges are handled in your community will be able to give you this information about your case.

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