Driving on a Suspended License in Maine

Criminal charges for operating a vehicle during a suspension or revocation.

By , Attorney

If you are licensed to drive by the State of Maine, you can lose your driving privileges for reasons as varied as delinquent child support payments, drunk driving, and criminal homicide. If you drive on a suspended (or revoked) license, you may be charged with a crime.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your driver's license may be suspended for a range of alcohol offenses, criminal convictions, or reasons unrelated to driving or criminal charges.

Alcohol- and Drug-Related Offenses

You'll face license suspension if you're convicted of operating under the influence (OUI) or if you are arrested (even if not convicted of an OUI) for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more. The length of the suspension generally depends on how many prior OUI convictions or BAC-related suspensions you have that occurred within the past 10 years.

You'll also face license suspension if you negligently drive a vehicle and cause someone's death while under the influence or you refuse to submit to alcohol testing in violation of the state's implied consent laws.

Driving-Related Criminal Convictions

Drivers who are convicted of certain crimes will have their licenses suspended or revoked. For example, your license will be revoked if you are convicted of vehicular homicide. And you'll be looking at a license suspension if you cause great bodily injury to another person while driving recklessly.

Suspensions Unrelated to Driving

License suspension can also result from conduct unrelated to driving. For example, your license can be suspended if you:

  • fail to comply with an order to pay child support, or
  • fail to appear for proceedings for certain traffic infractions or to pay a fine assessed at a proceeding.

However, these are just some examples of situations that can lead to the loss of driving privileges. License suspension or revocation can result for many other reasons.

Reinstating Your License

After your period of suspension has expired, you'll generally be required to pay a $50 reinstatement fee along with the regular license fee before your license will be valid again.

Charges for Driving After Suspension or Revocation

If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be charged with either a traffic infraction or a crime. The classification and circumstances dictate what the penalties for a conviction will be. But, in addition to the other penalties, the driver will generally face an additional suspension or revocation period.

Traffic Infractions

You may be charged with a traffic infraction if you have no previous convictions for driving on a suspended or revoked license and your license was suspended because you:

  • failed to pay a fine
  • failed to pay a license reinstatement fee, or
  • had a dishonored check.

A traffic infraction offense carries $25 to $500 in fines.

Criminal Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

In most circumstances, driving on a suspended or revoked license is a crime. The classification of the crime and the resulting penalties depend on a number of factors, including the reason for the suspension and the driver's history.

In most situations, driving while suspended or revoked is a class E crime. A conviction carries a minimum $250 fine for a first offense and a minimum $500 fine for subsequent offenses. Generally, class E crimes can result in up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

But if your suspension was for an OUI, the penalties for driving during the suspension will be more severe. A conviction for a first offense carries:

  • a minimum fine of $600
  • seven consecutive days in jail, and
  • a license suspension between one and three years.

If you have prior convictions within the past ten years for driving on a suspended or revoked license and you're convicted of driving on an OUI-related suspension, the jail time and minimum fines will be more than for a first offense.

Legal Help for Charges of Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

Being convicted of driving while suspended or revoked comes with serious consequences. So, if you're arrested for one of these offenses, it's a good idea to get in contact with a qualified attorney who can help you decide how to handle your case.

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