In America, driving is a privilege that most people rely upon to navigate daily life. There are about 214 million licensed drivers in the US, of which 5.4 million reside in Washington. While the majority of citizens use private vehicles for transportation, thousands of driving privileges are taken away daily. There are many reasons that a Washington State driver’s license can be suspended.
License Suspension or Revocation?
A suspended license is a temporary driving ban issued by the Washington State Department of Licensing. This differs from a license revocation, which is permanent. When a driver’s license is suspended, you have the option to try and reinstate your license after the designated suspension period has passed. If your license has been revoked, you are no longer allowed to legally drive in the state of Washington.
A license suspension can come about from a variety of circumstances, some which are not even directly related to driving.
Anyone who is caught driving under the influence of drugs and/ or alcohol faces an automatic license suspension. The duration of the suspension depends on how many DUI arrests or convictions the suspect already has on record. Suspensions can come from Washington DOL and as a result of a criminal conviction. A first-time DUI arrest or conviction leads to a license suspension of at least 90 days.
A reckless driving conviction can happen on its own, but often it is also the result of reduced DUI charges. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime which leads to a license suspension of at least 30 days.
Failure to Appear in Court or Pay Court Fines
Failing to appear in court is a minor crime for which you can have your driving privileges taken away. Failing to pay court fines or traffic tickets can also affect your privilege. In fact, almost 300,000 Washington drivers were suspended in 2011 for simply failing to pay citations. This can start a cycle where the fees pile up and your license becomes more difficult to reclaim.
Too Many Moving Violations
Washington State has no official point system. With that said, a certain amount of moving violations per year can lead to licensing issues. If you receive 6 moving violations in a span of 12 months, you could face a license suspension of 60 days.
If you face license suspension in Washington for DUI or other crimes, you need a tough criminal defense attorney on your side. Daniel J. Murphy, Jr. of Murphy’s Law Offices works throughout Washington to defend the criminally accused. He can put together a strong legal defense and work to get your license back. Call (253) 312-6122 for a free consultation.