Driving on a Suspended License in Rhode Island

Criminal charges for operating a vehicle with a license suspension or revocation.

If you are licensed to drive in Rhode Island, your operating privileges can be suspended or revoked for a range of criminal convictions, driving offenses, and other reasons. And if you’re caught driving while your license is suspended or revoked, you’ll likely face criminal charges.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Lots of different circumstances can lead to the loss of driving privileges, including:

  • being a reckless or negligent driver, and
  • driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

These are some—but not all—of the situations that can result in a license suspension or revocation. Lots of other violations and the like can leave you without a valid license to drive.

Reinstating Your License

After your period of suspension or revocation is complete, you generally will need to pay a reinstatement fee (and might have to meet other conditions) before you’ll be able to legally drive again. The reinstatement fee is normally $150 (or $350 for alcohol-related suspensions).

Criminal Charges for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.

In general, for a first offense, you’ll be looking at a civil penalty of $250 to $500. A second conviction carries a civil penalty of $50 to $500. And a third or subsequent conviction is a misdemeanor and carries up to 90 days in jail and $500 to$1,000 in fines.

However, you’ll likely face a more severe sentence if your license was suspended or revoked for certain convictions, including:

  • operating a vehicle while under the influence
  • refusing to submit to a chemical test in violation of the state’s implied consent laws
  • vehicle manslaughter, and
  • three moving violations within a year.

In these situations, a first or second offense is a misdemeanor and a third or subsequent offense is a felony. A first offense carries a mandatory $500 fine and a minimum of ten days in jail. A second offense within five years will result in a $500 fine and six months to a year in jail. Drivers convicted of a third or subsequent offense within a five-year period face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

Also, drivers who are convicted of operating a vehicle on a suspended or revoked license could face an additional period of suspension or revocation.

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

A conviction for driving on a suspended or revoked license can lead to severe consequences. So, anyone who’s arrested for one of these violations should get in touch with an experienced defense attorney. A qualified lawyer can explain how the law applies in a given case and is best situated to determine the smartest course of action.

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