Like all states, Georgia will suspend or revoke a motorist's driving privileges for a variety of different reasons. A suspension typically means a temporary withdrawal of your driving privileges. A revocation, on the other hand, is the termination of driving privileges. If you drive during a license suspension or revocation period, you'll likely face criminal charges.
Under Georgia law, there's a long list of violations and conduct that can lead to license suspension or revocation.
A number of criminal convictions can result in license suspension or revocation. These include:
And, regardless of whether you're ultimately convicted of a DUI, you'll face license suspension if you refuse alcohol testing in violation of Georgia's implied consent law.
Georgia uses a traffic violation point system. Typically, a suspension can occur if you accumulate 15 or more points on your driving record within 24 months without attending a driver improvement clinic. Points accumulate for convictions such as reckless or aggressive driving, speeding, or violating child safety restraint laws.
Although unrelated to driving, your license can be suspended for not complying with a child support obligation. The suspension may last until you show proof that you are complying with your child support order.
After your period of suspension or revocation ends, you must reinstate your license before driving again. Your reinstatement fee may vary. In some situations, it may be:
Depending on the situation, you may need to complete other requirements and pay other fees before your license will be reinstated.
Driving while under suspension or revocation is a crime. If convicted, your sentence may depend on whether you have previous convictions within five years and other factors.
For certain first offenses, you may be charged with a misdemeanor. Your sentence may involve:
For certain second or third offenses within five years, you may be charged with a "high and aggravated misdemeanor," with a sentence that may involve:
In some situations, for fourth or subsequent convictions within five years, you may be charged with a felony. Your sentence may involve:
In addition, your suspension or revocation period may be extended by six months if you are convicted of driving after suspension or revocation.
You may face different penalties if you are considered a habitual offender. A habitual offender is someone whose license has been revoked after three or more convictions for certain driving crimes within a five-year period.
Although you have now learned some basic information about driving after suspension or revocation charges, you should consider hiring an attorney if you are facing this charge. A conviction may come with serious penalties, including the possibility of jail time and fines. Your ability to stay employed, go to school, and live your life may be affected. The law provides maximum, and sometimes minimum penalties, but your actual sentence will depend on your specific situation and on the view prosecutors and judges involved in your case have of the charge. An attorney who is familiar with these cases in your area will be able to give you the best advice.