Driving on a Suspended License in Oregon

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Many driving offenses and convictions will result in your license being suspended or revoked in Oregon. If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you could be charged with a crime.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your license may be suspended or revoked for certain criminal convictions, vehicle accidents, or other driving-related conduct. For example, may be suspended or revoked if you are convicted of:

  • aggravated vehicular homicide
  • aggravated driving while suspended or revoked
  • murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide if a vehicle was used
  • first-degree assault if a vehicle was used
  • certain drug offenses.
  • reckless endangerment, menacing or criminal mischief resulting from operating a vehicle
  • fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer
  • theft of gasoline, or
  • criminal trespass, if a vehicle was used. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 809.240(1), § 809.265, § 809.411.)

Your license may be suspended as a result of certain accidents or other driving related conduct. For example, it may be suspended if you:

  • fail to report an accident when you are required to do so
  • are involved in an accident when you do not have vehicle insurance
  • contribute to an accident that kills someone
  • are habitually incompetent, reckless or criminally negligent when you drive
  • commit a serious driving violation
  • fail to take a driver's test as required by the Department of Transportation
  • fail to obtain medical clearance to drive after the Department of Transportation asks you to do so, or
  •  are incompetent to drive. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 809.417, § 809.421 (1), § 809.419.)

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

Reinstating Your License

The period of your suspension or revocation may depend on many factors. You should not drive while your license is suspended or revoked. After your suspension or revocation period expires, you may have to pay a reinstatement fee, pay other fees, or complete other conditions before your license is reinstated. The reinstatement fee may be $75. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 807.370(23-24).)

Criminal Charges for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a crime. You could be charged with a violation, misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

Violation

In many situations, you may be charged with a Class A traffic violation. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 811.175(4).) A Class A violation may involve fines or other penalties, but not incarceration. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 153.018(1). The maximum fine for a Class A traffic violation is $720. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 153.018(2)(a).)

Misdemeanor

In other situations, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, both of which may  involve incarceration.

You may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if your license was suspended or revoked certain convictions, including:

  • reckless endangerment, menacing or criminal mischief resulting from driving a vehicle
  • perjury or making a false statement to the Department of Transportation
  • refusing or failing a test to determine whether you are intoxicated
  • being a habitual traffic offender, or
  • fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 811.182(4).)

The maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor may involve up to one year in jail. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 161.615(1).)

Felony

You may be charged with a class B felony if your license was suspended or revoked due to certain convictions, including:

  • murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or assault if a vehicle was used,
  • aggravated vehicular homicide
  • aggravated driving while suspended or revoked, or
  • felony driving under the influence. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 811.182(3).)

The maximum penalty for a Class B felony may involve up to 10 years in prison. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 161.605(2).)

In addition to possible incarceration, you may be fined. If your license was suspended due to driving under the influence, you may be subject to a minimum fine of

  • $1,000 for a first conviction for driving while suspended or revoked, or
  • $2,000 for a second or subsequent conviction. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 811.182(5).

In certain circumstances, your vehicle may be impounded or immobilized for driving after suspension or revocation. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 809.700(1).) 

Legal Help for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

Consider hiring an attorney if you are charged with driving while your license is suspended or revoked. While your penalty may in some cases be limited to a fine, in others you could face the possibility a jail or prison sentence. The consequences for any conviction can be serious and may make it difficult to work or go to school, to obtain or retain insurance, and to live your life in general. While the law provides specific penalties for this crime, in reality your sentence will be shaped by view your local prosecutors and judges have of the crime and your own circumstances. An attorney who is familiar with how these charges are handled in your area will best be able to give you advice.

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