Columbus Driving Under Suspension Lawyers
If you have been charged with driving on a suspended or restricted license, whether it is your personal or commercial driver’s license, do not hesitate to ask for legal help. Our Columbus driving under suspension lawyers from Luftman, Heck & Associates are here to get you through this difficult situation. We will thoroughly review our circumstances to figure out how we can get you back behind the wheel as soon as possible.
Call our attorneys today at (614) 500-3836 to schedule an initial consultation.
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What is Driving Under Suspension?
The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §4510.11 states it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on public roads or property, or private property used for a public purpose, when your driver’s license has been suspended. You may only drive during a license suspension when you have been granted limited driving privileges, and still, your actions must be in accordance with those specific privileges. You can also be charged with an offense under this law if you are found to be driving in violation of any restrictions on your driver’s license.
A violation based on any of these circumstances is a first-degree misdemeanor. In addition to up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000, you face another license suspension. You will get additional points on your driver’s license and you may face a Class 7 suspension, which means you could lose your license for up to one year.
Common Reasons for Driver’s License Suspensions
Your driver’s license can be suspended for many different reasons when you live and drive in Ohio. Some of the most common causes of suspended licenses include:
- Driver’s License FRA Suspension – Every state requires you to purchase a minimum amount of auto insurance when you drive a vehicle to ensure you can take financial responsibility for any property damage, bodily injuries, or fatalities you cause. Under §4509.101, it is illegal to drive without at least the minimum auto insurance coverage. If you are caught driving without proof of financial responsibility, you face a driver’s license suspension. If you are then caught driving while your license is suspended because of lack of insurance, based on §4510.16, then you face an unclassified misdemeanor and should call our driving under suspension lawyers today.
- DUI License Suspension – if you are convicted of an OVI/DUI under §4511.19, then your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of time. Your license could also be suspended prior to a conviction if you had a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit or if you refused to submit to a chemical test. Both of these circumstances can result in an automatic administrative license suspension. Driving on a license suspension due to an OVI/DUI or any related factors is illegal. Instead, contact a lawyer for driving on a suspended license and discuss how you can fight for limited driving privileges after a DUI.
- Suspension for Failure to Pay Child Support – If you fail to pay your child support and your child’s other parent or state’s child support enforcement agency takes action against you, they can seek to have the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) suspend your driver’s license. When your driver’s license is suspended due to your failure to pay child support, it is an indefinite punishment until you are no longer in arrears and apply for reinstatement. If you are caught driving while on a child support suspension, you face a first-degree misdemeanor. Contact a DUS lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates to discuss how to deal with this issue.
- 12 Point Suspension – A traffic ticket can result in a suspended license. A 12-point driver’s license suspension may occur under the Ohio BMV point system. When you are ticketed for traffic violations or convicted of traffic-related offenses, you receive points on your driver’s license. If you accumulate 12 or more points within a two-year period, then your driver’s license is automatically suspended for six months. If you drive during this period of time or before you complete all of the reinstatement requirements, you will be charged with an offense. In this situation, call our Columbus driving under suspension lawyers right away.
- License Suspension for Failure to Display – When you are pulled over by the police, you are required to provide your name, driver’s license, and proof of insurance based on §4507.35. If you refuse to display your license, or you cannot at the time of the traffic stop, then you may be charged with an unclassified misdemeanor. If it is your second or subsequent offense within three years, it is a first-degree misdemeanor. This offense does not automatically lead to a license suspension, yet it can, particularly if it is paired with another license-related offense. To learn about your rights and legal options in this situation, call a driving under suspension attorney for help.
- License Suspension for Failure to Reinstate – Once your driver’s license is suspended, you cannot simply get back behind the wheel once the suspension period is over. According to §4510.21, you must properly reinstate your driver’s license by following all requirements dictated by law, the BMV, or a court order. This typically includes paying fines and fees, though it may also include additional proof of auto insurance and retaking the driving exam. If you drive without having taken the required steps, you may be charged with a misdemeanor offense. You should contact our Columbus driving under suspension lawyers right away to determine the best way to handle this offense and to get your license properly reinstates.
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Driving Without a Valid Ohio License
Under ORC §4510.12, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle or motorcycle without a valid license. The law states that no one shall operate any motor vehicle or motorcycle on public roads or property, or private property used for public purposes unless they have a valid driver’s license.
If you are charged with this offense and the court determines you have never had a valid license, then the offense is an unclassified misdemeanor. You will not be sentenced to jail or a community residential sanction. However, you can face penalties like probation, fines up to $1,000, and up to 500 hours of community service. However, if this is your second violation of driving without a valid Ohio license and you never had a license to begin with, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
If you were driving on an expired license, then this offense is a minor misdemeanor. However, if you were convicted of driving without a license or on an expired license within the previous three years, then it is a first-degree misdemeanor.
In most first violations of operating a vehicle without a valid license, you will not face a license suspension. The courts want you to obtain a valid license and drive lawfully. However, if you have been charged with a second offense and your license was more than 6 months expired, your license could be suspended for a period of time.
To learn about your legal rights and options after being ticketed for driving without a valid Ohio license, call us at Luftman, Heck & Associate right away.
Wrongful Entrustment of a Vehicle
If you own a vehicle and you let a friend drive your car who should not be behind the wheel, you could be in trouble. Under §4511.203, you cannot let a person drive if you know or have reason to believe:
- They do not possess a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit;
- Their driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or canceled;
- They have no proof of auto insurance coverage; or
- They are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, resulting in a driving under OVI suspension
If you let someone drive your vehicle in violation of the law, you could be charged with an unclassified or first-degree misdemeanor. You may face jail time, probation, community service, fines, vehicle immobilization, and a driver’s license suspension. To try and avoid a conviction for this offense or to avoid a harsh punishment, call our Columbus driving under suspension lawyers for help.
Contact our Columbus Driving Under Suspension Lawyers Today
If you were caught driving on a suspended license or without a valid license, do not hesitate to call and speak a Columbus criminal defense lawyer near you about the best way to handle the situation. We will first determine whether we can have the charges dropped or dismissed. If those options are unavailable, then we will devise the best way to address the situation that gets you back behind the wheel as soon as possible. We will fight to avoid an additional license suspension so that you may reinstate your license when your original suspension period is over.
For more information, call our Columbus driving under suspension lawyers at (614) 500-3836 to schedule a consultation.