If you have been charged with driving with a suspended license, reach out to our skilled criminal defense lawyers for counsel you can trust.
There are a number of reasons why your license may be suspended. If your license is suspended, though, you have an obligation to make sure that you do not drive until your license is reinstated. If you do, you may face serious consequences for your actions. At the law office of Burch & Lockhart, our lawyers in Manchester, TN provide aggressive criminal defense for individuals who have lost their licenses. If you have been caught driving with a suspended license, the following is an overview of the potential penalties you may face:
Driving with a Suspended License
Per Tennessee Code 55-12-131, a person commits a crime when he or she drives a motor vehicle after the person’s license has been canceled, revoked, or suspended. The same section of code explains that this crime is a Class B misdemeanor offense. While misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, they should still be taken seriously.
The Penalties for a Class B Misdemeanor: Driving with a Suspended License
Per statute, a Class B misdemeanor offense in Tennessee can result in up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both. In addition to jail time, a large fine, or both, a person who is convicted of driving with a suspended license will also likely face an extension of the license suspension period. This can seriously impair your ability to get to work, engage in recreational activities, pick up your kids from school, run errands, and more.
If a person is convicted of a secondary driving offense with a suspended license offense, then the crime is enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor offense carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to 11 months and 29 days, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
Defenses to Driving with a Suspended License
If you are charged with driving with a suspended license, it is smart to have an attorney on your side who can help you to understand the potential defenses available to you, as well as what your other options are (such as pleading guilty). Defenses to driving with a suspended license charge include:
- You did not know your license was suspended;
- You were driving because of an emergency (i.e. you had to rush someone to the hospital);
- You thought your license had been reinstated;
- You were not the one driving; or
- You were not actually driving - perhaps you were just sitting in the car.
In addition to defending you against charges, our lawyers can also help you understand what steps you need to take next, as well as how to get your license reinstated in the future.
Call the Office of Burch & Lockhart Today
Driving with a suspended license is a serious offense, and one that can result in large financial costs, jail time, or both - penalties you do not want to face. At the law office of Burch & Lockhart, our experienced Manchester criminal defense lawyers can help you. Please reach out to our team directly today to learn more about our services.