Driving while your licence is suspended is a serious offence and can add years to any previous penalties by extending a suspension. Whether driving while unauthorized or driving while disqualified, you should seek the legal counsel of suspended licence lawyers immediately to preserve your rights and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Driving while unauthorized includes driving while your licence is suspended because of accumulating too many demerit points or being charged roadside with impaired driving with an immediate roadside licence suspension. A driver can accumulate up to 15 demerits, upon which a licence will be suspended. Initial suspension because of demerits can result in a 1-month suspension. Once reinstated, your licence will retain seven demerits for a period of 2 years.
Driving while disqualified is a criminal offence and covers driving under a judicially imposed licence suspension.
Both have devastating consequences. Losing your driver’s licence can have catastrophic consequences for you and your family. In addition to losing your ability to drive, a suspended licence complicates getting to your job or school, supporting your family’s needs, and attending social gatherings. Imagine the additional cost of hiring a private car to get you to work or school, the additional time if you have to rely on public transportation, biking, or walking, and the massive inconvenience. For those clients with professional driver’s licences, a suspension means no longer being able to drive for a living. Therefore, it is essential to consult with an experienced suspended licence lawyer to preserve your right to appeal and your driving privileges. At Bulwark Law, our lawyers know how to defend your driving rights with professionalism and efficacy.
What Can Cause Your License to Be Suspended?
Driving privileges can be suspended through an Immediate Roadside Suspension when a police officer suspends a licence where the driver is suspected of driving under the influence. A licence can also be suspended by a judicial order at the completion of a trial. Either way, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle when your licence has been suspended in Alberta or in another Canadian province.
At the close of the suspension period, your driving privileges are not automatically reinstated. Each offending driver must actively apply for licence reinstatement. Many drivers erroneously believe they can just start driving again once the suspension has expired.
To reinstate a driver’s licence in Alberta, you must go to an Alberta Registry Office and provide proof that you have met all of the reinstatement conditions that were previously imposed, such as under an Immediate Roadside Suspension or by judicial order. Upon paying a reinstatement fee, your driving privileges will be reinstated.
Any licence suspension will remain on your driving record for two years. The impact of a licence suspension can result in higher car insurance premiums for up to 6 years.
What Are the Potential Consequences of Driving with a Suspended Licence?
A conviction for driving while unauthorized, as a first-time offence, can result in:
- Up to a $2000 fine
- Automatic additional driving suspension of 6 months, which is mandatory
- Seizure of your vehicle for 30 days, along with the towing and impound fees
A second conviction within one year means facing a minimum of 14 days in jail, to as much as six months in jail, along with an additional 6-month driving suspension and fines.
If you are prosecuted criminally, you will receive a penalty under the Criminal Code plus a driving suspension. But more importantly, you will now possess a criminal record. And a criminal record can inhibit many aspects of your life, interfering with employment, obtaining financing, securing a residence, and travelling abroad, especially to the United States. For a permanent resident, a criminal record can adversely impact your immigration status.
Then there are the more personal consequences of a suspended licence. Your independence is curtailed because of the added inconvenience of not being able to jump into the car to do errands, get the children to school, or get to your job or social events. These additional hassles can affect your mental and physical health, and they can add a level of stress to relationships within your family.
How Can a Suspended Licence Lawyer Help You?
You need an experienced and skillful lawyer to help when you face the devastating consequences of a licence suspension. First, your lawyer will advise you to remain silent and then begin working as soon as possible to protect your rights and protect you from a criminal record by:
- Investigating the police to challenge their methods and how they secured evidence and witness testimony
- Negotiating with prosecutors
- Developing a comprehensive, well-thought-out legal strategy
- Preparing to go to trial if necessary
In addition, prosecutors who face defence lawyers with a long record of success are more likely to consider withdrawing their charges or charging for lesser offences.
You need rigorous defence from the very start of any prosecution. Bulwark Law can help.
Contact Bulwark Law Today
Your economic livelihood and future are at stake when facing a charge of driving with a suspended licence or driving while disqualified. At Bulwark Law, our lawyers are compassionate and skilled. We have an enviable reputation amongst judges and prosecutors in Calgary and throughout Alberta for fierce representation and a full understanding of motor vehicle laws, criminal law and procedure. Call us today at 403 678 7360 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.