Driving on a Suspended License in Arizona

When a local court in Arizona suspends a resident’s driving privileges for violating state traffic laws, it is serious about keeping that vehicle driver off the road.

A motorist faces a much greater level of possible punishment if that person disregards the license suspension and continues driving while the driver’s license is suspended. Arizona’s suspended license statute says that driving on a revoked or suspended license is a crime Class One Misdemeanor punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 180 days and thousands of dollars in fines and court fees. You can also have your vehicle impounded.

If you are accused of driving on a suspended license in Arizona, speak to a Rosenstein Law Group attorney. We are available day or night. We represent people facing DUI and criminal charges throughout Arizona and in any specific court where your case will be heard.

We offer free, no-risk initial consultations and monthly installment payment plans for our clients. We also accept all major credit cards. Contact one of our Scottsdale DUI attorneys 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (480) 248-7666. We are ready and waiting for your call.

What is the “Privilege to Drive?”

A person’s privilege to drive a motor vehicle on an Arizona state or county public highway or municipal road is not a right. Because various government agencies are responsible for building the roads and their related infrastructure, like signs and traffic signals, they control who is allowed to drive on them.

Arizona issues driver’s licenses to people who qualify for the privilege to drive. If someone does not treat that privilege as a responsibility, then the state can restrict or revoke that person’s driving privileges through a suspended or revoked license.

What is a Suspension, and Why Do Licenses Get Suspended?

A license suspension means what it says: your driver’s license has been suspended, and the suspension notice appears on your driving record.

Having a suspended license does not mean that you lose your license. If you comply with and complete the terms of the punishment involving a license suspension, once you apply to have it removed, the state will remove the suspension.

Compare a suspended license to a revoked one: in the latter case, instead of having your driving privilege temporarily restricted through a suspension, you lose your driver’s license entirely.

When your revocation period ends, you will need to apply for a new license.

Common Reasons for License Suspension in Arizona

Under Arizona state statutes, you can have your driver’s license suspended for any of the following reasons:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Refusing to take a breathalyzer test
  • Having unpaid traffic tickets or fines
  • Building up too many points on your license
  • Failing to appear in court when required
  • Child support delinquency
  • Prior convictions for certain criminal offenses
common reasons for license suspension in arizona

Potential Punishments for Driving with a Suspended License

A suspended license charge can be treated as a civil penalty and as a criminal charge.

Civil Traffic Violation Penalties

If you are accused of driving on a suspended license and the suspension is due to not paying a fine or appearing in court, then Arizona law treats this as a civil violation instead of a criminal matter.

Criminal Penalty Provisions

Arizona considers driving with a suspended license to be aCclass 1 misdemeanor. Although there is no mandatory jail time, a conviction could be punished by up to 180 days in jail, $2,500 in fines plus surcharges, and you could receive probation for up to three years. Total costs likely would be much higher, and up to six months in jail almost certainly means losing a job.

If you have a mortgage and possibly a car loan, those could wind up defaulted and repossessed.

Jail time is mostly reserved for habitual offenders who are continually caught driving with a suspended license and those whose initial offense was especially egregious. Someone who lost his or her driving privileges due to drinking and driving, for example, likely would see significant jail time if caught drinking and driving while driving privileges are suspended for the same offense.

Legal Help Could Prevent Jail and Preserve Privileges

If the state revokes your driving privilege and you get caught driving anyway, an experienced Scottsdale criminal defense attorney could appear in court for you to help prevent a jail sentence and keep fines at reasonable levels.

A skilled attorney might even help preserve your future driving privileges while presenting strong arguments addressing any suspended license driving charges.

Just because you are accused of driving on a suspended license does not mean that you are automatically guilty. Several possible defenses could thwart a conviction for a suspended license charge, including not receiving notice from the state.

If the state law enforcement agency cannot show it provided sufficient notice of a license suspension, then it cannot punish you for continuing to drive. The state has to show that you knew your license was suspended and that you intentionally disregarded the suspension when caught. The state cannot punish a driver who is legitimately ignorant of a license suspension.

Challenging a Suspended License Charge in Arizona

If you have a suspended license in Arizona, you can challenge the suspension by making an appeal to the Arizona License Appeal Board. But you must act quickly: you only have 10 days from the date of your driver’s license suspension to file your appeal.

At the appeal hearing, you and your lawyer can argue against the suspension and present witnesses and evidence to support your argument.

Applying for a Restricted License in Arizona

Another way to reduce the effect of a suspended license is to apply for a restricted driver’s license. If approved, this type of license allows you to drive to select locations including your place of employment, school or church, or a healthcare facility like a hospital.

Why Hire a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist?

With your future and your freedom at risk, the skills, knowledge, and experience of your lawyer mean everything for your case. This is where having a board-certified criminal defense attorney from the Rosenstein Law Group can make a difference in your favor if you are accused of traffic violations and driving offenses.

At our DUI and criminal defense law firm, you can be sure that one of our Scottsdale defense attorneys will be with you every step of the way, working hard to seek the best possible case results for your specific situation.

As our client, you can have confidence knowing that our firm utilizes every available resource to give you the most strategic advantage possible. Our board-certified criminal defense attorneys have met rigorous standards set forth by the Arizona State Bar Board, and use this deep understanding of criminal defense law and strategy to your advantage in Court.

Help with Driving on a Suspended License Charges in Arizona

If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license violation in Arizona, please do not hesitate to contact Rosenstein Law Group today for a free initial consultation. The experienced attorneys at Rosenstein Law Group have years of experience defending those accused of criminal offenses and are dedicated to fighting for the rights of our Arizona clients.Schedule your free consultation for your Arizona Driving on a Suspended License citation. You can reach our law offices by calling 480-248-7666 or contacting us online by filling out the contact form here.