Attorney at Law

Suspension & Revocation

James Parker
February 16, 2022
Last reviewed by
August 29, 2023

What Are Suspension & Revocation?

Suspension & Revocation are both penalties for drivers who fail to follow the rules of the road that refer to the status of the penalized driver’s license. While they both have the same immediate effect of preventing a driver from operating a motor vehicle, they are each acquired under different circumstances. Additionally, regaining driving privileges after a suspension is much different than regaining privileges after a revocation.

There are many different ways for a license to be suspended. Some common ways include exceeding the number of points allowed on a driver’s license through repeated moving violations, excessive speeding, failure to pay fines, driving without a license, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).

A driver with a suspended license is forbidden from driving for a temporary period of time, often called a definite suspension, where at the end of the period they can pay their fines and apply for reinstatement. During this period of suspension, some drivers may be able to apply for a “hardship license.” In some states, after a “hard suspension” in which the individual cannot drive at all, drivers will be able to apply for this limited license. 

Unlike a full driver’s license, hardship licenses limit where the driver can go, when they can go there, and sometimes even which roads they are allowed to take. The purpose of a hardship license is to allow the driver to fulfill essential needs while still preventing them from enjoying the full freedoms of driving. Some of the important places permitted by a hardship license include:

  • Doctor’s offices or hospitals
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Place of work
  • Rehab facilities 
  • Religious worship locations
  • School if the driver is a student or has school-aged children

If a driver is caught driving outside of the parameters of their hardship license, it will immediately be revoked with no opportunity to appeal this decision.

A driver whose license has been revoked can never have that license reinstated and instead has lost the ability to drive. A driver’s license can be revoked for a number of reasons including advanced age, making false statements on a DMV application, severe medical conditions, or repeated DUI offenses. If a driver’s license has been revoked, they cannot drive a vehicle under any circumstances and they are ineligible for a hardship or limited license.

A revoked license cannot be restored, but after a period of several years, or after meeting certain requirements, some drivers may be eligible to apply for a new driver’s license. 

Key Takeaways

  • Suspension and revocation are both potential penalties of a DUI charge
  • Suspension is the temporary loss of driving privileges that can potentially be reversed or reinstated while Revocation is the permanent loss of the privilege of driving which must be restarted from nothing if it is ever reversed at all.
  • Drivers whose licenses have only been suspended are allowed to apply for a hardship license, also called a restricted license.
  • If you are facing suspension or revocation of driving privileges after a DUI, an experienced DUI attorney may be able to improve the outcome of your case by leveraging experience and expert testimony.

Suspension & Revocation and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Charges

When it comes to DUI charges, suspension and revocation are both very real possibilities. Sometimes, a driver accused of driving under the influence may have their license suspended before they even get arrested if they refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test or allow blood to be drawn from them to prove a suspected DUI. 

Some states, like Louisiana, will immediately suspend a driver’s license for anywhere from ten days to six months if they were found guilty of a DUI and caused some harm to an individual. If a defendant is facing a second or third DUI charge, the likelihood of suspension or revocation increases significantly. 

Unlike a typical suspension, however, a DUI-based suspension can come with significantly more drastic interruptions to the defendant’s life. While a typical suspension may involve paying some fines or taking a safe driving course, a DUI suspension may also come with the commitment of the defendant to attend alcoholics anonymous or substance abuse classes on top of driving school. In some cases, the defendant may also have to submit to having an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. This device prevents the driver from starting their car unless they first breathe into the device to prove their sobriety.

If a driver is caught driving with a suspended license, it could lead to even more trouble. Driving on a suspended license can incur high fines, going over $2500 in some states.

If a driver has their license revoked due to a DUI violation, it can make ever receiving another license a complicated and difficult process. This is why it is important to prevent a DUI charge from sticking in the first place. Consulting with a DUI attorney can assist in ensuring that a defendant is receiving the best possible outcome from their case. 

Bottom Line

The most important thing to consider when fighting a DUI charge is whether your license is being suspended or revoked. That’s why as soon as you are faced with DUI charges you should contact a DUI attorney.

An experienced DUI attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. This can include preventing a suspension of your license, even if the case goes against you. Additionally, a DUI attorney can help to seal or expunge previous DUI charges in order to prevent long-term damage to your reputation or insurance rates. 

If you’re facing suspension or revocation, an experienced DUI attorney can help to minimize or even eliminate the amount of time you spend without the ability to drive while controlling the extent of long-term inconvenience imposed by the allegations.

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