What happens if I drive on a suspended license?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2021 | Criminal Defense

A license suspension can be complicated.  You need to drive for several reasons, so not having a valid license can make transportation a daily problem. However, driving without your license is not a solution to that problem, as it comes with further penalties and fees.

Driver’s license suspension

There are many different reasons why the court suspends a person’s driving privileges, like not paying traffic tickets or driving while intoxicated. No matter the reason, the burden is the same for everyone: not being able to drive. In Tennessee, the only way you can get back your license is to serve the suspension period, pay a restoration fee and file the required proof of financial responsibility. Additionally, drivers may have to submit other documents, depending on the case.

Penalties and fees

The requirements to reinstate a driver’s license can be extensive, which is why some decide to take the risk of driving without a license.  But that is not a good idea. The Tennessee Code states that anyone who drives with a suspended license commits a Class B misdemeanor, which the court punishes with a sentence of 6 months in jail and a fine of $500.

The penalties for driving on a suspended license are harsher for those whose license got suspended because of vehicular assault, vehicular homicide or driving while intoxicated. In this case, the convicted may spend a maximum of 6 months in jail and pay a fine of $1,000.

The penalties also change for people who have one or more prior convictions of driving with a suspended license during the past 10 years. When a person with more convictions drives on a suspended license, they commit a class A misdemeanor and may spend up to 11 months in jail and pay a maximum fine of $2,500. If the suspension of their license resulted from any of the offenses mentioned above, then the person may spend up to a year in jail and pay $3,000.

Reinstating your license

Driving on a suspended license would not only cost you fees and time in jail, as the court would also extend the period of your suspension. If this happens, you will have even more problems than the ones you may have now. Fortunately, there are ways to reinstate a driving license in certain circumstances, so you can drive again.


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