Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Massachusetts

Learn why your license may be suspended, what the penalties are for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and what you can do to get your drivers license reinstated.

Reasons Your License May Be Suspended

Generally the reason for a suspended license is someone made a mistake whether it be yourself or the motor vehicle registry in your state. Your license may be suspended for too many moving violations or traffic tickets including unpaid toll tickets out of state. Your license will be suspended in the State of Massachusetts if you receive 3 speeding tickets in 1 year your license will be suspended for a mandatory 30 days. If you commit 3 surchargeable events in 24 months your license will be suspended indefinitely until you complete a Driver Retraining Course.

Your license may be suspended for a number of other reasons unrelated to your driving or a traffic ticket. The Massachusetts Court system has the power to suspend a license if you fail to pay child support, they consider your a threat, you do not operate a vehicle properly or you commit drivers license fraud. For more information regarding violations resulting in a suspended license visit the Massachusetts DMV website.

You may not even be aware that your license has been suspended if you have moved out of state or recently moved. Simply not knowing that your license was under suspension is not a reasonable defense in the case of driving with a suspended license.

What is the Penalty?

Driving with a suspended license depends on whether or not you have a record of driving with a suspended license previously. The first offense is a maximum of 10 days in jail with a minimum fine of $500 and up to $1,000 and a mandatory revoked license for 60 days.

An important thing to remember is pleading guilty to this charge means there is a misdemeanor criminal conviction on your permanent record. A misdemeanor, in the State of Massachusetts, is any criminal offense that does not carry the possibility of state prison time. The maximum sentence punishable for a misdemeanor is up to 2.5 years in a house of corrections.

Subsequent offenses for driving with a suspended license include a jail sentence of anywhere from 60 days to a year and the potential for a higher fine. If you have prior offenses of driving with a suspended license it is in your best interest to contact Boston’s top criminal lawyer for assistance.

Penalties Can Be Very Serious

Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license from an Operating under the Influence charge (OUI) can result in much more serious penalties. The potential penalties for this offense are 1 year mandatory loss of license, a minimum $1,000 fine (up to $10,000 fine), and 2.5 years of jail time.

Habitual Traffic Offender Law (22F)

What does the Habitual Traffic Offender Law have to do with operating with a suspended license? The Registry of Motor Vehicles imposes a mandatory 4-year revocation of one’s license if that person is determined to be a habitual traffic offender. This means that under Massachusetts law, the person has a driving record listed with 3 or more convictions within 5 years. The Registry of Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts lists the following as examples for major offenses:

  • fleeing the scene of the accident
  • driving without a license
  • license fraud
  • operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

With the tough penalties in place for those found guilty of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, contact Boston’s top criminal lawyer at Novick & Associates immediately to review your case. Once you have gone through the proper procedures with your lawyer the next steps will be to get your license reinstated.

How to Get Your License Reinstated

The process of getting your license reinstated can be quite a long one. The State of Massachusetts does not make it easy once your license has been suspended. First, wait for the license suspension period to end, serve the applicable jail/parole time and pay all traffic fines that apply to the case of the suspended drivers license. Next, pay the reinstatement fee for the drivers license. If it applies to the situation, enrollment in a drug and alcohol awareness class may be necessary as well prior to having a drivers license reinstated if it has been suspended due to a OUI.