Criminal Defense Lawyers
 J. Michael Mullis
Attorney at Law

Valdosta, Lowndes County Georgia





Sometimes it seems that the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety thinks their job is to suspend as many driver's licenses as possible. And of course, once a license is suspended, it seems that you need an act of Congress to get it reinstated

There are any number of reasons why a Georgia driver's license could be suspended. Allowing your insurance to lapse, failure to appear to pay a parking ticket, conviction of a license suspension traffic offense, conviction of a drug offense, and the list goes on.

Many people, either through ignorance or because of necessity, drive while their licenses are in a state of suspension. Let's look at the laws pertaining to license suspensions. Keep in mind, this has nothing to do with driving with an Habitual Violator revocation, which is a felony. In this section we are going to deal with misdemeanor license suspensions only.

Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License

First Offense
This is a misdemeanor. For a first suspended license charge within a five year period, if you are convicted you have to do at least 2 days in jail and pay a minimum fine of $500.00. On top of that, unless you hire an attorney who knows what he is doing, you will lose your driver's license for 6 months on top of the current suspension. You will have to pay for two defensive driving classes rather than one, and two license reinstatement reinstatement fees.

Second or Subsequent Offense
This is a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Minimum jail time is 10 days. The minimum fine is $1000.00 and can be as high as $2500.00.

A conviction will definitely mean additional license suspension on top of your existing suspension. Hiring an attorney is critical since a specialist might be able to find a defense to your case.

When Does a Suspension Start
In most cases, a suspension starts as soon as you are convicted of a traffic offense that calls for a license suspension. You are usually served with notice of suspension at the time of conviction.

Other times your suspension starts without you ever receiving notice. For example, if you did not appear in traffic court, or if your insurance lapsed, your license might be suspended without you knowing.

There is a statutory defense to suspensions for failure to appear and for lapsed insurance. An arresting officer must verify that you received actual notice of the suspension and put it on the citation. If he does not, we should be able to win your case.

Pay Attention to This
Now, if you have not paid attention to anything else I have written, pay attention to this. If you are convicted of a license suspension traffic violation, the suspension starts at the time of the conviction. However, you don't get credit for any suspension until you turn in your driver's license.

What happens if you've lost your driver's license and can't turn it in? Your attorney can make sure the proper affidavit is filed in a timely manner.

As you can see, it is possible to serve out your suspension time and apply for reinstatement only to find out that you received no credit for that time because you didn't turn in your driver's license. A knowledgeable attorney can insure this situation does not occur. Even if it  has, contact a lawyer as soon as you become aware of the situation to see if he can help.

Limited Driving Permit
There is no limited driving permit allowed if you are convicted of driving on a suspended license.

OCGA 40-5-121

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Content 2002-2011 J. Michael Mullis, Attorney at Law