Driving on a Suspended License in Maryland

In Maryland, your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked for many alcohol offenses, certain other criminal convictions and even issues unrelated to driving, such as failing to pay child support. Like most states, Maryland considers driving while your license is suspended or revoked to be a serious offense. You may receive fines or even jail time.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your license may be suspended or revoked for many reasons, including convictions for certain alcohol offenses and convictions relating to driving under the influence or driving while impaired. (Md. Code, Transp. § 16-205(a)(c)(d).)

A license may be suspended if you fail a test to determine your blood alcohol content or if you refuse a test. (Md. Code, Transp. § 16-205.1(b).) This provision does not apply to preliminary breath tests. (Md. Code, Transp. § 16-205.2(d).) It may be also be suspended if:

  • you have an outstanding warrant
  • you are convicted for a gas drive-off or for failing to pay for gas, or
  • you are more than 60 days behind in an order to pay child support.   (Md. Code, Transp. § 16-204(b), § 16-206.1(a), § 16-203(b).)

A license may be revoked if you are convicted of homicide by vehicle and you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time. (Md. Code, Transp. § 16-205(b).)

Your license may be suspended or revoked for many other reasons.

Reinstating your License

A license may be suspended or revoked for varying periods of time. You should not drive while your license is suspended or revoked. After your suspension or revocation period expires, you may need to reinstate your license or meet other conditions before you may legally drive again.   In some circumstances, you may need to pay an application fee or additional fees. (Md. Code, Transp. § 16-209.)

Criminal Charges for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

Driving a vehicle when your license is suspended or revoked is a crime in Maryland. You may be fined or incarcerated if you are convicted.  

The maximum jail sentence for a conviction depends on the reason for the crime and whether you have prior convictions for driving on a suspended license. In certain situations, the maximum sentence may be   two months incarceration and   a $500 fine. (Md. Code, Transp. § 27-101(c)(13-14).)

In other situations, the sentence for a first offense may include a maximum of a year incarceration and a $1,000 fine. (Md. Code, Transp. § 27-101 (h)(1).)

The sentence for a second or subsequent offense may include a maximum of   two years incarceration and   a $1,000 fine. (Md. Code, Transp. § 27-101(h)(2).)

In addition, a conviction may result in your license being revoked. Maryland places 12 points on your license for a conviction for driving after suspension or revocation. (Md. Code, Transp. § 27-101(a)(31).) Your license may be revoked when you accumulate 12 points. (Md. Code, Transp. § 16-404(a)(3).)

In some circumstances, your vehicle may be impounded for up to 180 days. (Md. Code, Transp. § 27-11(c)(1).)

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

The consequences can be serious if you are convicted of driving on a suspended or revoked license. A conviction can bring fines and jail time. It can be difficult for you to keep a job, stay in school and retain or obtain insurance. Other areas of your life may also be affected. Maryland law provides specific penalties for this crime, but your actual sentence will depend in part on the view your prosecutor and judge take of the crime and on your specific circumstances. An attorney who is familiar with how these charges are handled in your city or area will be best able to provide you with advice about your case.

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