In New Hampshire, your license can be suspended or revoked for a variety of reasons, including traffic violations, criminal convictions, and matters unrelated to driving. If you get caught driving during a suspension or revocation, you'll likely face criminal charges.
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 New Hampshire.
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 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.
In New Hampshire, there's little difference between suspension and revocation, though the statutes use both terms.
Lots of circumstances can lead to the loss of driving privileges. Some of the more common reasons for license revocation or suspension include:
However, this list contains just some of the ways a driver's license might be suspended—there are many others.
In New Hampshire, driving on a suspended or revoked license can be charged as a violation (like a minor traffic offense), a misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
Generally, driving on a suspended or revoked license is a violation. A violation carries a minimum fine of $250 for a first offense and $500 for a second or subsequent offense (provided the driver has no violations within the past seven years). The maximum fine for a violation is $1,000.
In many circumstances—including where the original suspension was for a DWI or reckless driving or the driver has a prior offense within the past seven years—driving on a suspended or revoked license is a misdemeanor.
In certain of these circumstances—including where the driver has a prior offense within the past seven years or the original suspension was for reckless driving—driving on a suspended or revoked license is class B misdemeanor and carries up to $1,200 in fines.
However, if the driver's suspension was related to a DWI or vehicular homicide, the offense is still a misdemeanor but carries a minimum of seven days in jail, a maximum $1,000 fine, and an additional one year of revocation.
Driving on a suspended or revoked license can also be a class B felony where the offense results in injuries or the death of another person. A class B felony carries up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $4,000.
The period of time your license is suspended or revoked may depend on the reason for the suspension or revocation and other reasons. After your period of suspension or revocation expires, you generally need to pay a reinstatement fee and might be required to fulfill other conditions before your license will be valid again. In most cases, the reinstatement fee is $50 or $100.
Driving on a suspended or revoked license can come with severe consequences. So, if you've been arrested for one of these offenses, it's a good idea to contact an attorney for help. A qualified lawyer can help you understand how the law applies in your case and what you're up against.