Minnesotans’ driving privileges may be suspended or revoked for a range of criminal convictions, driving offenses and civil issues. It is illegal to drive while your Minnesota license is suspended or revoked. If you do, you may be charged with a crime.
Reasons for Suspension or Revocation
Your license may be suspended for many reasons. For example, it may be suspended if you:
- are convicted of stealing gasoline.
- fail to pay a judgment against you relating to driving or owning a vehicle.
- fail to pay a certain amount of court-ordered child support.
- are convicted of certain controlled substance crimes. (Minn. Stat. § 171.175, § 171.182, § 171.186, § 171.172.)
Some suspensions are directed toward young people. For example, your license may be suspended if you:
- buy or try to buy alcohol with a fake ID when you are younger than 21
- buy or try to buy tobacco with a fake ID when you are younger than 18, or
- are convicted of underage drinking and driving. (Minn. Stat. § 171.171, subdiv. 1, § 171.171, subdiv. 3, § 169A.33.)
Your license may be revoked for certain criminal offenses, including fleeing a police officer. (Minn. Stat. § 171.174.) A license may be suspended or revoked for many other reasons.
Reinstating Your License
Licenses can be suspended or revoked for varying periods of time. You should not drive until it has been reinstated. You may have to pay reinstatement fees, pay other fees, or fulfill conditions before you may legally drive again. You may be required to complete a driver improvement clinic. (Minn. Stat. § 171.20, subdiv. 3.) The reinstatement fee may be $20. (Minn. Stat. § 171.20, subdiv. 4.)
Charges for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License
If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be charged with a crime. If your license was suspended or revoked, you may be charged with a misdemeanor (Minn. Stat. § 171.24 subdivs. 1-2. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is a fine of $1,000 and 90 days in jail. (Minn. Stat. § 609.03(3).)
If your license was canceled as inimical to public safety, you may be charged with a gross misdemeanor. (Minn. Stat. § 171. 24, subdiv. 5.) The maximum penalty for a gross misdemeanor is a fine of $3,000 and up to one year in jail. (Minn. Stat. § 609.03(2).)
Legal Help for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License
Consider consulting a lawyer if you are charged with driving after suspension or revocation in Minnesota. The consequences of a conviction can be serious. In addition to the possibility of fines or even jail time, your personal life may be affected. For example, you might have difficulty keeping a job, staying in school, or obtaining insurance. While Minnesota law provides specific maximum penalties for this crime, the attitude that judges and prosecutors in your community have of the crime will also shape your sentence. Only a lawyer who knows how these charges are handled in your courthouse will be able to provide you with that information.