If you are caught driving with a suspended license in Maryland, you could be facing more than just a fine. Driving with a license that has been revoked, suspended, canceled or considered invalid in any other way is a criminal offense.
Driving without a license is more than forgetting your wallet at home and not having your license to present to an officer during a traffic stop. This charge is called “failure to display,” with a penalty of a small fine when you present your license to the court. On the other hand, driving on a suspended license means that you have lost your driving privileges.
Judges have a great deal of flexibility when sentencing this type of offense. But it’s important to know all the possible consequences of getting caught driving on a suspended license. If you’ve been charged with driving with a suspended license, keep reading to learn more about the penalties of the charges you are facing.
Maryland Laws on Driving on a Suspended License
Reasons Your License May Be Suspended
There are a couple of common traffic-related reasons for having your license suspended or revoked.
- DUI (driving under the influence) — DUI is the most common reason people get their license suspended or revoked.
- Getting too many points on your license — In Maryland, every moving violation is assigned a certain number of points. If you get too many points on your license in two years, you risk a license suspension.
You can, however, lose your license for reasons other than driving violations. Some reasons are listed below, but this is just a partial list of grounds for a license suspension or revocation.
- An outstanding warrant
- A conviction for failing to pay for gas
- Child support that is over 60 days behind
Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License
The penalties for driving on a suspended license are laid out in Maryland Transportation Article §16-303 (2021). Below is an overview of the possible penalties you face if caught driving on a suspended license.
The maximum sentence for a conviction depends on the crime and if you have prior convictions for driving with a suspended license. If you are a habitual offender or on probation when you are caught, the charges can be more significant. However, here are the basic penalties.
- First offense — Fine of up to $1,000 and no more than one year in jail
- Second and subsequent offenses — Up to a $1,000 fine and up to two years in jail
A conviction is likely to result in your license being revoked. Driving on a suspended license conviction results in twelve points on your license, and drivers with twelve points can have their license revoked for at least six months.
Another thing to keep in mind is auto insurance. A suspended license also makes you ineligible to get liability insurance, and driving without insurance is also an offense that can lead to even more jail time.
If a teenager hasn’t received their driver’s license and is charged with driving without a license, they may have to wait longer before they can apply for their license. And if they are still in the first nine months of having their learner’s permit and are caught driving without a licensed adult in the front seat, they can be charged with driving on a suspended license with penalties the same as an adult.
If this happens, they will have to get a new learner’s permit after their suspension is over. That means they will have to restart the process, resulting in a provisional license requiring a probationary period of eighteen months before they can get their driver’s license issued.
A provisional license is similar to a learner’s permit. The only difference is that you don’t need a licensed driver in the front seat. During this time, they must have a clean driving record. And if they are convicted of any moving violations or provisional license violations, their driving privilege will be revoked. After their driving privileges are reinstated, they will have to start the provision period over again.
Turn to the Experts at Jeremy Widder Law
Driving is a privilege that is an essential part of most people’s life. Getting to and from work, appointments, or even the grocery store can be almost impossible without your license. A conviction for driving without a license can dramatically affect your life. That’s why, if you are facing a charge for driving on a suspended license, you should contact an experienced lawyer who can fight for your rights.
Jeremy Widder Law is a legal firm with years of experience representing clients charged with a wide range of offenses. We are committed to listening to your story, reviewing your options, and fighting to get your preferred outcome.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.