People may think a simple traffic violation carries little to no consequences beyond a fine. While it is true that traffic violations have less severe sanctions compared to felonies, these offenses can still pose a threat to drivers. For instance, disregarding transit signals may lead to accidents, injuries and even death. In most traffic-related misdemeanor and felony cases, you could face prison time, high fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license.
If you or a loved one had their driver’s license suspended due to traffic violations or crime, you need immediate legal assistance. Salt Lake City license suspension lawyer Darwin Overson of Overson Law discusses more about license suspensions and appeals.
Reasons for a License Suspension in Utah
Your driver’s license can be suspended for different reasons. You can get suspended as a penalty for committing certain infractions, lesser offenses, or felonies. Utah has a point-based system which is used to determine whether an individual should have their driver’s license suspended. According to Utah Code § 53-3-221(4)(a), you will be assigned a set number of points depending on the infraction (speeding, drunk driving, etc.) If you accrue more than 200 points within a three-year period, your license could be suspended.
However, your driving privileges could be revoked altogether for certain offenses. For instance, if you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI), and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or more, your license could be revoked.
Additionally, if you committed a major offense such as manslaughter, vehicular homicide, or strict offenses such as destruction of property, your driving privileges could be revoked. Furthermore, noncompliance with court orders or additional traffic tickets could lead to license suspension or revocation. You can also get your license suspended if you use a false driver’s license.
The number of days you will be suspended will depend on the extent of your crime. Utah divides crimes into misdemeanors and felonies. For instance, a DUI is considered a class B misdemeanor, which can carry several penalties including jail time and fines. In addition to these sanctions, a judge may order the suspension of your driver’s license for three months or up to 2 years.
Appealing a License Suspension in Utah
Utah’s Driver’s License Division (DLD) is responsible for deciding whether a driver is safe or accountable enough to get and keep their license. If you accumulate enough points to get your driver’s license suspended, the DLD will likely ask you to attend an administrative hearing. During this hearing, your case will be evaluated, and, if you have 200 or more points on your license, you’ll most likely be suspended. Our Salt Lake City driver’s license division hearing lawyer can help you through this.
Once the DLD has made a choice, you cannot appeal such a decision to the DLD. You can only appeal a determination made by a court, and you must appeal it within the court system. A Salt Lake City appeals lawyer can help you during the whole appeals process.
Keep in mind, that you can still have an opportunity to fight your driver’s license suspension. The state of Utah could offer a way out your suspension. If you have accumulated too many points on your license, you could be eligible to get rid of some of them.
As a potential suspended driver, you could participate in what is known as the Defensive Driving Course. Successful completion of this course could help prevent your license suspension. Once you have completed the course, you could get up to 50 points off your license. This means, if you have 200 points already, completing the program will place your score at 150. While having 150 points is not ideal, it could grant you the opportunity to keep your license and improve your driving, avoiding a future suspension. As a bonus, taking this course will give you a certain level of “good standing” allowing you to lower the cost of insurance premiums.
Can I Reinstate My Driver’s License After a Suspension?
You can reinstate your license after a suspension. Unfortunately, you have to wait until the suspension time expires. Once your suspension time is up, the DLD may request you complete specific requirements (attend driving courses, pay administrative fees, etc.). Once you complete all requirements set forth by the DLD, you may have your license reinstated.
Salt Lake City Driver’s License Suspension Attorney
The consequences stemming from a traffic violation can be devastating. If your driver’s license is suspended, you are banned from lawfully driving a vehicle. If you get caught driving on a suspended license, you could face additional criminal charges. If you have charged with a traffic violation that may lead to your license suspension, you can’t waste another minute. For almost 20 years, Darwin Overson has handled countless license suspension cases throughout Utah. To schedule a free consultation with a Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer, call Overson Law today at (801) 758-2287.