Driving with a suspended license—also known as driving while your license is under restraint—may seem like a victimless crime, but it’s one that carries significant penalties in Colorado. While there are emergency situations in which you may be granted exception, it’s certainly never a good idea to tempt fate and risk being caught. Even worse, driving under restraint when you have been drinking or consuming other impairing substances could have potentially serious and long-term consequences.
Colorado laws regarding driving under restraint
If your license has been revoked, suspended, or denied for any reason, that means it’s under restraint. Whether or not you have a Colorado license, if you are caught driving under restraint (DUR) within the state, you’ll face Colorado criminal penalties if convicted.
Most licenses are initially revoked due to previous convictions of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI). In these cases, the penalties for DUR include the following:
- For a first DUR offense—
- At least 30 days mandatory jail time, with the possibility of up to one year incarceration
- $500-$1000 in fines
- Extension of your initial license suspension by one year
- For a second or further DUR offense—
- At least 60 days mandatory jail time, with the possibility of up to two years
- $500-$3000 in fines
- Suspension of your license for four years
Exceptions for emergency and other defenses against a DUR charge
Losing your driving privileges for any length of time creates stress and difficulty in your life, particularly if others depend on you for transportation. A reliable Brighton DUI attorney can help you fight DUR charges that would extend your time without a license. Some reasons you might be given exception or avoid conviction include the following:
- You only drove due to an emergency – Colorado law allows for exceptions to certain DUR penalties if you drove a vehicle in an emergency situation. You’ll likely avoid mandatory jail time, but could still be responsible for fines—it’s up to the court’s discretion.
- You were reasonably unaware that your license was suspended or otherwise under restraint – You never received notice that your license would be or had been revoked, and had no other reason to believe your license was invalid
- Your license was not actually under restraint – You were charged with DUR due to an administrative, technical, or clerical error, and your license was actually valid
Contact an experienced lawyer who can help you fight DUR charges in Colorado
If your license was revoked due to DUI or another violation and you now face an extended suspension after being charged with DUR, the qualified attorneys of the Law Office of John A. Anderson, Jr., LLC are here to provide the legal support you need.
To learn more about your rights, call (303) 880-7994 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation.