Did you know that the most common reason for having your license suspended is because of a failure to pay a ticket?
Whether your reason was procrastination, forgetfulness, or because you believe that you did not deserve the ticket, you are still obligated to address the ticket itself, either by paying the fine or by contesting it in court.
A simple traffic citation that is left unaddressed (e.g. you fail to appear in court for your traffic violation) could result in a license suspension — forgetting to pay or address traffic citations is a dangerous business.
Having your license suspended means that you will have to take extra measures to get that ruling revoked with a Seattle lawyer in mind. This is a real inconvenience to people who have to drive daily to work or school and can potentially result in other traffic issues such as driving misdemeanors going on your record or a revoked license.
If you are facing license suspension and are wondering what steps to take, this article details what to do if you are facing driver’s license suspension in Washington State.
Understanding The Different Types Of License Suspension In Washington State
There are three degrees of drivers license suspension in Washington State. There are three different degrees of suspension in Washington State.
All of them come with significant penalties, fines, or even jail time. If you receive a first-degree license suspension, you will be subject to up to a year in jail and heavy fines. You are also likely to have your license entirely revoked if you get a first-degree license suspension.
Third-Degree License Suspension
Third-degree license suspension in Washington State can cost you up to $1,000 in fines and carries a maximum sentence of up to 90 days in jail. This type of license suspension is a misdemeanor and is brought about by an unpaid traffic ticket or a similar offense.
Second-Degree License Suspension
Considered a gross misdemeanor, license suspension in the second degree carries a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail along with a hefty $5,000 fine. Although this type of misdemeanor rarely results in jail time, but if you have a history of poor driving habits, jail time becomes more likely.
First-Degree License Suspension
License suspension in the first degree is the most serious.
If you have had three serious driving convictions such as a DUI, negligent or reckless driving charge, you may face license suspension in the first degree.
This type of license suspension is considered a gross misdemeanor and comes with heavy legal fines and/or time in jail.
Drivers facing a first-degree license suspension will spend a mandatory jail sentence that could be extended for up to a year in jail.
What Driving Offenses Cause License Suspension?
There are numerous offenses that can lead to license suspension. The most common is an unpaid traffic ticket. Some of the more severe actions which lead to license suspension are:
- Getting a DUI conviction
- Driving without insurance
- Negligent or reckless driving
- A hit-and-run conviction
- Causing a fatal accident
- Drug charges
- Refusing to do a breathalyzer test (most states have an implied consent law that makes it unlawful for you to refuse to take a breath test if you have been asked to).
- Failure to appear in court when you are summoned
Even non-driving legal offenses can lead to license suspension. Failing to show in court for things like child support or other legal responsibilities make you more likely to have your license suspended.
Choosing to drive while your license is suspended will lead to a higher degree of suspension (such as first-degree suspension) more fines and most probably, a revocation of your license.
What To Do If You Are Facing License Suspension In Washington State
Facing license suspension is a serious matter.
It could lead to having to find other transportation options for your daily commute, heavy fines, a gross misdemeanor appearing on your record, or even time spent in jail.
If you would like to contest your impending license suspension or get your penalties lessened, it’s essential to work with a driver’s license suspension attorney.
Working with a seasoned attorney is the best way to ensure a favorable outcome for your license suspension case. A license suspension lawyer will be able to help the court to see how necessary your license is for your employment or education and fight back if the charges you are facing are too severe for the driving offense committed.
Matthew Leyba, of Leyba Defense, is a seasoned defense attorney working with drivers in Seattle and the surrounding area. To start building your defense and fight for your driving privileges, contact Matthew Leyba today.