Driving on a Suspended License in Maine

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If you are licensed to drive by the state of Maine, you may lose your driving privileges for a reasons as varied as delinquent child support payments, drunk driving, and criminal homicide. If you drive on a suspended (or revoked) license, you may be charged with a crime.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your driver’s license may be suspended for a range of alcohol offenses, criminal convictions, or other reasons.

Alcohol offenses

Your license may be suspended if you are convicted of operating under the influence or if you drive with an alcohol level of .08 or greater. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2451, § 2453(2-3).) The length of your suspension may depend on whether you have previous convictions for OUI. (Me. Rev. Stat. 29-A § 2541(3).) For a first offense within a 10-year period, your license may be suspended for 90 days. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2451(3).)

Your license may also be suspended if you negligently drive a vehicle and cause someone’s death and you are under the influence, or you refuse to submit to a test to determine whether you are under the influence. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2456.)

Other criminal convictions

Your license may be suspended or revoked for certain criminal convictions. For example, your license may be revoked if you are convicted of criminal homicide as the result of your driving. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2454.)

Other reasons

Your license may be suspended for other reasons. For example, it may be suspended if:

  • you fail to comply with an order to pay child support, or
  • you fail to appear for proceedings for a certain traffic infractions or to pay a fine assessed at a proceeding. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2459, § 2608.)

These are not the only reasons your license may be suspended or revoked.

Reinstating Your License

Your license may be suspended for varying periods of time. After your period of suspension has expired, you may be required to pay a $50 reinstatement fee along with the regular license fee before your license will be valid again. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2486.)

Charges for Driving After Suspension or Revocation

If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be charged with either a traffic infraction or a crime.

Traffic Infractions

You may be charged with a traffic infraction if you have no previous convictions for driving on a suspended or revoked license and your license was suspended because you

  • failed to pay a fine
  • failed to pay a license reinstatement fee, or
  • had a dishonored check. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2142-A(8).)

In other circumstances, you may be charged with a crime. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit 29-A § 2412-A(1-A).) It may be a class E or class C crime. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2412-A.)

Minimum Penalties

If you are charged with a crime for driving on a suspended or revoked license, you may be subject to minimum penalties. In many situations, you may receive a minimum $250 fine for a first offense, and a minimum $500 fine for subsequent offenses. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2412-A(3)(B.)

If your suspension was for an OUI, you may receive minimum sentence that includes:

  • a fine of $600
  • seven consecutive days in jail, and
  • a license suspension between one and three years. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2412-A(3).)

If your license was suspended due to OUI, you have prior convictions for driving while suspended or revoked and certain conditions apply, you may be subject to a minimum penalty. In these circumstances, if you have one prior conviction, you may face a minimum penalty of:

  • a fine of $1,000
  • a minimum of 30 consecutive days in jail, and
  • a license suspension between one year and three years. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2412-A(3)(A)(1).)

If your license was suspended due to OUI and you have two prior convictions for driving while suspended or revoked, you may face a minimum penalty of:

  • a fine of $2,000
  • a minimum of 60 consecutive days in jail, and
  • a license suspension between one year and three years (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2412-A(3)(A)(2).)

If your license was suspended due to OUI and you have three or more prior convictions for driving while suspended or revoked, you may face a minimum penalty of:

  • a fine of $3,000
  • a minimum of six months incarceration, and
  • a license suspension between one year and three years. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2412-A(3)(A)(3).)

Habitual Offenders

In general, your sentence may be different if your license was revoked because the state considers you a habitual offender. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A § 2412-A(2).

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

Maine considers driving on a suspended or revoked license a serious matter. As a result, you may receive jail time, fines, and other significant consequences if you are convicted of this crime. These consequences can cause problems at work, at school, with your insurance and with your life in general. The law provides penalties for this charge, but the view of this crime held by prosecutors and judges in your community will also determine your sentence.  Only lawyer who is familiar with these cases in your area will be able to give you this kind of information.

Updated by: , Attorney

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