Driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense in Arizona. If you are arrested for this offense, you could face jail time, high fines and license revocation, among other penalties. It’s essential to contact a defense attorney right away to begin working on your case and to protect your rights during the criminal proceedings.
Common Reasons for License Suspension
There are numerous reasons why a driver may lose his or her driving privileges, sometimes due to driving violations and sometimes due to other criminal offenses. Some of the common reasons the Arizona Division of Motor Vehicles suspends drivers’ privileges include:
- DUI convictions;
- refusing to take a breath test;
- accumulating more than eight points on your license in a one-year period;
- reckless driving;
- a hit-and-run accident;
- causing an accident that causes serious harm or a fatality;
- failing to appear in court for a traffic offense; or
- serious criminal charges, e.g., homicide, grand theft and drive-by shootings.
While your license is suspended, if you are caught driving, you may face a Class 1 misdemeanor. It’s not until your suspension period ends and you apply for and receive a new license that you will be able to drive legally again.
Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License
Arizona Revised Statutes §13-707 and §13-802 explain that drivers guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, such as for driving on a suspended license, could face up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. In addition, police may impound drivers’ vehicles.
When the court hears the case, the judge has a degree of leeway in the sentencing. He or she may or may not order a jail sentence. If, however, the driver previously has been convicted of driving with a suspended license, stiffer sentencing may be more likely.
An Attorney Can Help Build a Defense
If you were stopped and arrested for driving with a suspended license, contact a local attorney in Tucson who handles cases of this nature. An attorney will be able to review your case and look for solid defenses. There are numerous possible defenses against driving with a suspended license:
- Ignorance – in order for the state to bring case against you successfully, it has to show you knew or should have known your license was suspended. It may be possible to show that you were unaware that it was suspended, therefore, cannot be guilty.
- Violation of rights – your attorney will look at the details surrounding the accusations and look for any violations of your rights, such as the police officer’s failure to read you your Miranda rights. If your rights were violated, any evidence obtained as a result may be inadmissible.
- Investigatory flaws – your lawyer might be able to expose any flaw in the investigation, such as errors in the police report. If key evidence is thrown out, an acquittal may be possible.
Call Michael Harwin for assistance. Contact us today at 520-624-3500 to schedule a consultation.