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Operating After Suspension or Revocation of License
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 23 makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle after your license has been suspended or revoked. To be convicted of this crime the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) your operated a motor vehicle, 2) that at the time of operation your license or right to drive in Massachusetts had been suspended or revoked and 3) that you had knowledge that at the time of operation your license or right to operate in this state had been suspended or revoked. If you are convicted of this crime you face a $500 fine and up to 10 days in jail for a first offense. Second and subsequent offenses are punishable by 60 days to 1 year in jail.License Suspensions for OUI – Drunk Driving
If you were previously convicted for drunk driving and your license was suspended as a result of that conviction any operation of a motor vehicle will be taken quite seriously. Massachusetts laws state that operating on a suspended or revoked license for OUI is a crime punishable by a minimum mandatory 60 days in jail.What Triggers License Suspensions in Massachusetts?
Several things can trigger license suspensions in this state and many people are not even aware that their licenses have been suspended. For instance, three speeding tickets in one year will result in a loss of license. An accumulation of accidents, minor traffic violations or major traffic violations can prompt a license suspension. There are license revocation consequences for habitual traffic offenders. Massachusetts will also honor license suspensions in other states meaning that if your license is suspended in New Hampshire and you are driving with that license in Massachusetts you can get charged with a crime. Certain criminal convictions will result in a license suspension as well. If you have been convicted for a motor vehicle crime in Massachusetts there might be an automatic suspension of your driving privileges. Here is something that most people don’t know. A conviction for a drug offense in Massachusetts can result in a one-year license suspension or perhaps longer. Lawyers who are not exclusively criminal defense lawyers don’t know this and often resolve drug cases for their clients not advising them of this possibility.What If I Didn't Know That My License Was Suspended?
That is a good question. In many instances people don’t know that their right to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts had been suspended. This can happen when the notice that has been sent out by the registry of motor vehicles either goes to the wrong address or never makes it to the driver. We have represented many people who moved out of state prior to getting notified of the license suspension or who simply never received noticed that they could no longer drive in this state. This is a valid defense to these charges. If your defense attorney makes this fact known to the district attorney a dismissal of the charges might follow.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has an excellent website that answers many of the questions that you might have about this crime. Nevertheless operating on a revoked or suspended license a crime that permits a jail sentence and you must take this seriously.