New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

What Happens When Someone is Driving on a Suspended License?


Generally, they will get arrested, taken to the station if they are driving on a suspended license. I have not seen any judges require bail for this issue. Most people are generally released on their own recognizance, meaning they have made a promise to go to court when a date to appear is issued to them. Of course if they do not appear, a bench warrant is issued, and bail would be set for that. Most of these are RO orders and they are fingerprinted and photographed like anybody else charged with a crime.

What Happens If Someone Gets A DUI While Driving On A Suspended License?

That is interesting because the laws are designed to address two separate evils, one while suspended and one for suspension while arrested for a DUI. One is driving while you are not supposed to and the other is driving while you are under the influence. It does happen where somebody who borrows someone’s car, who is on the revoke list, drives and is inebriated and ends up in an accident or something like that, I have actually had a case like that. Those cases generally workout because if it is a third or a subsequent DUI, the person is looking at a mandatory jail term of six months, the person is looking at driving while revoked after a second or subsequent conviction for a DUI, they are looking at least a six month jail term.

The usual plea offer in a situation like that is to plead guilty to both crimes with the jail time running concurrently. If you end up going to trial in a situation like that and draw a conviction of both of those charges because they are addressing separate evils, the jail terms would tend to run consecutively, meaning you will receive two six month jail terms, one right after the other, for a total of twelve months. That offer of running the jail terms concurrently is tempting to many people. With an accident involving personal injury, however minor, that is an extra forty-five days in jail to be served. So there are very specific enhancements for the driving while revoked statute. Obviously when there is an assault or vehicular homicide where people are seriously injured or they cause a fatality, the enhancements come by way of additional charges.

It is like anything else. You could have people charged with possession of drugs in their vehicle, they will be charged with drug possession. But sticking strictly to the driving realm, right now, the fourth degree crime of driving while revoked because of the DUI conviction is a standalone crime. That is here to stay.

What Are The Consequences For A CDL Holder To Be Driving On A Suspended License?

They could be facing a lifetime suspension if one is convicted of a DUI first offense, regardless of whether they are in a commercial vehicle or in a personal vehicle. Their commercial driving endorsement will be suspended for one year. If they are involved in a second consequence, then it becomes a lifetime ban in most states. That means ten years, but in New Jersey, it actually means lifetime. They risk losing their careers over this issue.

How Do You Advise Clients Who Are Caught Driving On A Suspended License In New Jersey?

When the state puts the person in the position where they are not permitted to drive, and if you are a persistent driver, it creates a snowball effect. It can get worse. So, let us put it this way, it may depend on what circumstances they are revoked and for how long. In previous conversations, we have discussed how New Jersey’s a little bit of an oddball state, in the sense that there really are no consequences directly for an offense unless and until there is a conviction. So that gives us this lead time.

Say a person is revoked but they are in a position where they just have not paid the restoration fee or doing some of the ministerial acts required to get their license restored, well what you tell them to do is to do everything they can to get restored, whether that means paying a restoration fee or completing alcohol counseling. Sometimes you are in a situation where you just have to take the exam to be re-licensed. The bottom-line is if they can get their driving privileges restored, then that puts us in a better bargaining position to deal with the driving while revoked case. Prosecutors will frequently amend or downgrade the driving while revoked case.

For more information on Consequences of Driving on a Suspended License, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (888) 394-1394 today.

John Menzel, J.D.

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