When is a driver’s license suspended in Massachusetts?

There are several reasons why you could have your driver’s license suspended in Massachusetts. The most common ones include:

  • Three speeding offenses in 12 months (30-day suspension)
  • More than four surchageable events within three years of the first offense (indefinite suspension or complete driver retraining)
  • Seven surchageable events within three years (a 60-day suspension)
  • Repeated traffic offenses (four years suspension)
  • Out-of-state license suspension or revocation (license suspended in Massachusetts until lifted in the other state)

The cases above are known as automatic suspensions and cannot be negotiated as long as you are found guilty of the linked offenses. Another category of suspensions The Law Offices of Keren Goldenberg handles regularly is “criminal suspensions”, which is handed to drivers who have been found guilty of major motor vehicle offenses. Offenses that can lead to criminal suspensions include:

  • Stealing a vehicle (suspension of between one and three years)
  • Vehicular manslaughter (suspension of between 15 years and life)
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident following damage or loss of property (60 days-one year suspension)
  • Fleeing the scene after being involved in an accident that caused injuries (1-2 years suspension)
  • Driving to endanger (between 6 days and one years)
  • Motor vehicle homicide (between 15 years and life)
  • Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (between one year and life)

Save for the DUI suspension, which will set you back a whopping $1,000 in license reinstatement fees, all the other criminal suspensions in the above list require a $500 reinstatement fee.

Discretionary suspensions

In some cases, your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked because of the following discretionary reasons:

  • If you are found to be a threat to your own safety and/or that of the public
  • If you are found to have operated a motor vehicle improperly

There are several reasons why a judge would issue a discretionary license suspension but all must fall under either of the above general statements.

Other non-driving-related reasons why your driver’s license could be suspended include being convicted of drug offenses, violating a court order to register as a sex offender, defaulting on child support payments, use of a fake ID to transact or gain illegal access to properties and restricted areas, and violating an outstanding arrest.

Driving with a suspended driver’s license in Massachusetts

If your driver’s license is revoked, you will still keep your cars and can even drive, but unlawfully. If you are busted doing it, you will get an extra suspension of up to one year and/or a fine of $500. In some instances, the offender could face jail term. This may include violating the suspension terms more than once in the same suspension period.

Can you appeal a license suspension in Massachusetts?

Yes, you can push to have your driving privileges back before the end of the suspension by requesting a hearing with the RMV offices. This is done on a walk-in basis and is often just one office visit long.

That having been said, RMV decisions in the hearing will not influence any associated criminal cases in court and vice versa.

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