Driving on a Suspended License in Wisconsin

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

By , Attorney

In Wisconsin, your driver's license can be suspended or revoked for a range of reasons. Driving on a suspended or revoked license is, of course, illegal and can result in fines and even jail time in some cases.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your license can be suspended for certain criminal convictions, driving offenses, and a number of other reasons. Some of the most common reasons motorist lose their driving privileges include:

  • accumulating too many demerit points as the result of traffic tickets
  • being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • refusing to take a blood or breath test in violation of the state's implied consent laws
  • being deemed by the state a habitually negligent or reckless driver
  • being convicted of vehicular homicide
  • being convicted of a hit-and-run offense where there were injuries, a death, or serious property damage
  • being convicted of using a vehicle in the commission of a felony, and
  • convictions for driving without insurance.

But, again, there are just some of the ways drivers can end up with a suspended or revoked license—there are many others.

Reinstating your license

The length of your suspension or revocation will vary depending on the reason for your suspension or revocation. After your suspension or revocation period expires, you generally have to pay a reinstatement fee and might have to meet other conditions before you'll be allowed to lawfully drive again. Typically, the reinstatement fee will be $50 or $140 depending on the reason your license was originally suspended or revoked.

Criminal Charges for Driving While Suspended or Revoked

In their most basic forms, driving on a suspended license will result in a forfeiture of $50 to $200, and driving on a revoked license carries a forfeiture of up to $2,500.

Offenses Involving Serious Injuries

Driving on suspended. If a driver seriously injures another person while driving on a suspended license, he or she is looking at $5,000 to $7,500 in fines. And if the offender knew of the suspension before getting behind the wheel, the offense will be a class I felony, which carries up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum of 3 ½ years in jail.

Driving on revoked. If a driver seriously injures another person while driving on a revoked license, he or she is looking at $5,000 to $7,500 in fines and up to a year in jail. And if the offender knew of the revocation before getting behind the wheel, the offense will be a class I felony, which carries up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum of 3 ½ years in jail.

Offenses Involving Deaths

Driving on suspended. If a driver kills another person while driving on a suspended license, he or she is looking at $7,500 to $10,000 in fines. And if the offender knew of the suspension before getting behind the wheel, the offense will be a class H felony, which carries up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum of six years in jail.

Driving on revoked. If a driver kills another person while driving on a revoked license, he or she is looking at $7,500 to $10,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. And if the offender knew of the revocation before getting behind the wheel, the offense will be a class H felony, which carries up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum of six years in jail.

Driving on a License Revoked for Operating While Intoxicated or Vehicular Homicide

Driving during a revocation period for an operating-while-intoxicated offense carries a maximum $2,500 in fines and up to a year in jail. And anyone caught driver during a suspension for vehicular homicide faces up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum of one year in jail.

Legal Help for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

Driving on a suspended or revoked license can have serious consequences. If you've been arrested or charged with one of these offenses, you should get in contact with a capable defense attorney as soon as possible. A qualified attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and advise you on how best to handle your situation.

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