Mississippi drivers can lose their driving privileges—by revocation or suspension—for a variety of different reasons. And it's a criminal offense to operate a vehicle while your license is revoked or suspended.
Here are some of the more common reasons drivers might face suspension or revocation and the penalties that can result from being convicted of driving on a suspended or revoked license.
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.
In many states, "revocation" and "suspension" are used synonymously, they 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.
In Missouri, a suspension is considered a temporary loss of driving privileges, and a revocation is considered the termination of driving privileges. Generally, revocation is where you lose driving privileges for a year or more.
Lots of circumstances can lead to license suspension or revocation. Some of the more common ways drivers lose driving privileges include:
Missouri, like many states, has a points-based suspension system. If you accumulate eight or more points on your license within 18 months, you'll face license suspension. If you accumulate 12 points in 12 months, 18 points in 24 months, or 24 points in 36 months, your license will be revoked.
Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a misdemeanor crime. The penalties you'll face for a conviction depend on the circumstances.
A first offense is a class D misdemeanor and carries up to $500 in fines.
A second or third conviction is a class A misdemeanor and carries up to $2,000 in fines and a maximum of one year in jail.
Generally, a fourth conviction (within three priors in a ten-year period) or a second conviction for driving on a DWI-related suspension or revocation within ten years is a class E felony. A class E felony carries up to four years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
In order to restore your license after your period of suspension or revocation expires, you typically need to pay a reinstatement fee and may have to complete other conditions (such as educational courses). In some instances, the reinstatement fee is $20 or $25.
After a revocation, you'll also need to reapply for a driving license and will likely need to retake the driver's examination.
If you are charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, consider discussing your case with a lawyer. A qualified attorney can let you know how the law applies in your situation and help you decide on the best course of action.