Driving on a Suspended License in Iowa

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

Like all states, Iowa will suspend or revoke its residents' driving privileges for various traffic violations, criminal convictions, and other issues. In general, suspension means the state temporarily withdraws your privilege to drive. Revocation normally means the termination of driving privileges. Whether your license is suspended or revoked, you can be charged with a crime if you drive when your license is not valid.

Reasons for Suspension

You may face license suspension if you:

  • are deemed a habitually reckless or negligent driver
  • repeatedly violate traffic laws
  • commit a serious violation of Iowa traffic laws, or
  • fail to pay a criminal fine or court costs.

Your license may be subject to mandatory revocation for certain criminal convictions. They include:

But these are just partial lists. Your license can be suspended or revoked for many additional reasons not listed here.

Reinstating Your License

You can't lawfully drive when your license is suspended or revoked. After your period of suspension or revocation expires, you must pay a fee to reinstate your license. In many cases, the fee is $20. However, you don't have to pay a reinstatement fee if your license was suspended because the state found you physically or mentally incapable of driving safely.

Depending on the circumstances, you may have to fulfill other conditions before regaining your driving privileges.

Charges for Driving After Suspension or Revocation

Driving on a suspended or revoked license can be charged as a simple misdemeanor or serious misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances.

Simple Misdemeanor

If you are charged with a simple misdemeanor, your sentence may involve:

  • up to 30 days in jail
  • a fine between $105 and $850, and
  • an extension of your license suspension or revocation.

The period of the suspension extension is generally up to a year.

Serious Misdemeanor

You may be charged with a serious misdemeanor under certain circumstances, such as if your license was suspended due to driving while intoxicated. Serious misdemeanors carry:

  • up to a year in jail
  • $430 to $2,560 in fines, and
  • an extension of your license suspension or revocation.

Again, the extension of your suspension will generally be up to one year.

Legal Help for Charges of Driving After Suspension or Revocation

The consequences can be serious if you are convicted of driving after suspension or revocation. If you've been arrested for one of these offenses, it's a good idea to get in touch with a knowledgeable local attorney for help.

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