Driving Under Suspension Lawyer in Batavia, Ohio
It's easy to take driving privileges for granted. The freedom and convenience of getting in your vehicle to go anywhere you need to go doesn’t compare to anything else. Unfortunately, we don’t often realize how much our life depends on our ability to drive until we lose this privilege. And when that happens, some may choose—on purpose or by accident—to continue driving even though their driver’s license was suspended.
However, driving with a suspended license–commonly referred to as driving under suspension (DUS) in Ohio – is a serious criminal offense. If you are facing DUS charges, you might want to speak with a lawyer. Douglas A. Ball Attorney at Law is here to help you fight back against DUS charges and get your driving privileges restored. From his office in Batavia, Ohio, Attorney Douglas A. Ball serves Warren County, Batavia County, Clermont County, Brown County, and Hamilton County.
Understanding Driving Under Suspension (DUS) Charges
Ohio Revised Code § 4510.11 defines driving under suspension as any instance in which a motorist operates a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license. In Ohio, driving under suspension is typically charged as a first-degree misdemeanor.
Some people face criminal charges for driving under suspension when they are not aware that their license was suspended in the first place. Some of the most common reasons drivers in Ohio may get their licenses suspended include:
failure to provide proof of insurance;
accumulating 12 points on the driving record within two years;
refusing to submit to chemical testing in a suspected DUI/OVI case;
failure to pay on a child support order; or
a suspension ordered by a judge after the driver’s conviction for a separate offense.
If you do not agree with the suspension of your driver’s license, it’s not a good idea to continue driving until you get the suspension lifted through the process set forth by the law.
Possible Outcomes and Consequences of DUS Charges
Driving under suspension is a serious offense that carries severe punishment. Some of the possible outcomes and consequences when facing DUS charges in Ohio include:
community work service
additional suspension time
mandatory driving course
impoundment of the license plate
Typically, a driver who was convicted of driving under suspension will face an extension of the license suspension for up to one year. The driver is responsible for paying the reinstatement fee when the suspension ends. A DUS conviction can also result in higher insurance premiums. In the worst-case scenario, repeat offenders could face permanent revocation of their driver’s license.
Defenses to Driving Under Suspension (DUS) Charges
Depending on the facts surrounding your case, there may be several possible defenses to driving under suspension charges, including:
You were not aware your license was suspended. Typically, the state has the burden to prove that the driver was notified of the license suspension. This is true in many states. However, state law in Ohio does not require the driver to be personally notified when their license is suspended; although, it is required that the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) mails a notice to the driver’s last known address. Drivers who move or change their address are legally required to notify the BMV of the changes.
Your license should not have been suspended in the first place. Sometimes, the BMV may suspend your license due to a mistake. If you can prove your license should not have been suspended in the first place, you can get DUS charges dismissed.
You took the required action to correct the suspension. If you took the required action to correct the suspension of your driver’s license (e.g., paying the traffic tickets) but were charged with DUS anyway, you could use this as a defense. However, the law requires you to go through multiple steps (beyond just taking the required action to correct the suspension) to get your suspension lifted.
There were mitigating circumstances. If you were caught driving with a suspended license, you can avoid DUS charges if you can prove there were mitigating circumstances. An example of mitigating circumstances would be having to transport a family member to a hospital in the event of an emergency (e.g., your pregnant wife is going into labor).
These are not the only defenses available to those who were charged with driving under suspension. Consider speaking with a lawyer to determine the most appropriate defense strategy for your situation.
The Role of a Driving Under Suspension Lawyer
Just because you were charged with driving under suspension does not mean you will be convicted. You may still have a chance to fight the charges to protect your driving privileges, your future, and your freedom. However, you may need the assistance of a driving under suspension lawyer when facing DUS charges.
The responsibilities of your lawyer in a DUS case include but are not limited to:
analyzing your case for violations of your rights;
determining whether the police had probable cause to stop your vehicle;
identifying possible instances of police misconduct during the traffic stop;
negotiating with the prosecutor to get the charges dismissed or obtain a favorable plea agreement;
gathering evidence to challenge the DUS charges; and
building a defense strategy to help you avoid a conviction or reduce the penalties.
Every case is different, which is why you may want to schedule a consultation with a skilled lawyer when facing DUS charges. The sooner you start working with a lawyer, the better your options will be. Attorney Douglas A. Ball has a proven track record of success in defending individuals charged with driving under suspension in Batavia and other parts of Ohio.
Driving Under Suspension Lawyer
Serving Batavia, Ohio
If you are facing criminal charges for driving under suspension, reach out to Attorney Douglas A. Ball in Batavia, Ohio. The driving under suspension lawyer at Douglas A. Ball Attorney at Law has the necessary knowledge and experience to help you fight DUS charges and achieve the justice you deserve. Reach out to Douglas A. Ball today to request a consultation.