Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Arizona

Criminal charges for operating a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license.

By , Attorney

As in all states, Arizona drivers can face license suspension or revocation for particular driving violations or other criminal offenses. Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a criminal offense.

This article goes over the various reasons your license can be suspended or revoked and the penalties you'll face for driving on a suspended or revoked license in Arizona.

What Does It Mean to Have Your License Suspended or Revoked?

When your license is suspended or revoked, it generally means that the state has taken away your driving privileges. In other words, while the suspension or revocation is in place, you can't lawfully drive.

General Differences Between Suspension and Revocation

In many states, "revocation" and "suspension" are used synonymously and mean the same thing. However, some states use the term "suspension" to mean a temporary loss of privileges and "revocation" to mean the permanent loss of privileges. But even in states where revocation is permanent, the driver can typically apply for reinstatement after a certain period of time.

Difference Between Suspensions and Revocations in Arizona

Georgia follows the general rules explained above. Following a suspension period, the driver can reinstate his or her license. When a driver's license is revoked, on the other hand, he or she must apply for a new license once the revocation period expires.

What Are the Reasons for License Suspension or Revocation in Arizona?

The Arizona Division of Motor Vehicles can suspend a driver's license for a number of reasons, including alcohol-related offenses, serious driving-related violations, and points accumulated due to multiple traffic violations.

Loss of Driving Privileges for Alcohol-Related Offenses in Arizona

Arizona drivers might face suspension or revocation for certain alcohol-related driving offenses. The list includes driving under the influence (DUI), unlawful refusal to take a DUI chemical test (usually, of the blood or breath), and failing a DUI chemical test.

License Suspensions for Serious Traffic-Related Offenses in Arizona

Some of the more serious traffic-related violations that can lead to license suspension include:

Depending on the offense and circumstances, a suspension might be mandatory (see below) or just a possibility.

License Suspension for Accumulating Traffic Violation Points in Arizona

Arizona uses a traffic violation point system and imposes suspension as a consequence for accumulating too many points (eight or more) within a 12-month period.

Arizona Traffic Violations that Result in Points

Most minor traffic violations, such as speeding and running a stop sign, result in two, three, or four points. But more serious violations, like street racing, can carry up to eight points, enough to result in suspension for a single conviction.

Avoiding Point-Related License Suspensions in Arizona

In some circumstances, you can avoid a point-related suspension by attending Traffic Survival School, an educational program designed to improve drivers' habits and safety.

Mandatory License Revocation in Arizona

In addition to discretionary suspensions and revocations, the Motor Vehicle Division must revoke your license for certain convictions. Convictions that lead to mandatory revocation include:

The last item on the list (DUIs, reckless driving, and racing) can be any combination of two or more of the qualifying offenses.

Ignition Interlock Restricted Licenses in Arizona

Arizona drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked for certain DUI or alcohol-related traffic offenses can apply for a restricted license. These licenses allow driving with an ignition interlock device. Interlock ignition devices require drivers to exhale into a device before using their vehicle to ensure they are not under the influence of alcohol. The vehicle will not operate without the device.

What Are the Penalties for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Arizona?

Driving while your license is revoked or suspended is a crime. As a Class 1 misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. If you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked license, police can impound your vehicle.

How do You Reinstate a Revoked or Suspended License in Arizona?

If your license is revoked, you can apply for a new license after your revocation period expires or after the cause of your revocation ends. The division will investigate your driving record and make sure that all requirements are met before it issues you a new license. The reinstatement fee for a revoked license is normally $20.

If your license is suspended, it will remain suspended until you have it reinstated. Typically, you must pay a $10 reinstatement fee. In some situations, such as those involving a DUI, the reinstatement fee after suspension or revocation is $50.

Under certain conditions, you may need to provide proof that your vehicle is insured before you can be licensed again.

Seeking Legal Help for a Charge of Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

If you are charged with driving after suspension or revocation, the effects on your life can be serious. In addition to fines, jail time and other penalties, your ability to go to work or school and to obtain insurance can all be affected. While the law specifies punishments for the crime, your actual sentence will depend on the attitude of those in your court system toward the offense If you are charged with driving after suspension or revocation, a lawyer familiar with these cases in your area will be able to give you advice on how to proceed.

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