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Jan 4, 2019

Secret License Suspensions for Criminal Convictions

Title 29-A of the Maine Revised Statutes lists several driving related crimes with a list of minimum criminal consequences if you are convicted. Some of these consequences include a court ordered license suspension. For example, the minimum license suspension on a conviction for Operating Under the Influence is one hundred fifty days and Driving to Endanger carries a minimum thirty-day license suspension. There are some crimes that the State Legislature did not mandate a license suspension, but the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will automatically impose one anyway. Prosecutors and judges cannot advise you on these hidden license suspensions or may not even know they exist, and you will likely not realize there is a suspension until it is already imposed.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles will impose license suspensions ranging from thirty to ninety days for certain driving offenses. Considered most severe, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will automatically impose a ninety-day license suspension for Eluding a Police Officer (high speed chase, for example) and Passing a Roadblock. Both crimes are class C felony offenses, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a five thousand dollar fine, and two years of probation. While the crime statute for these offenses does not include a license suspension, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will impose a ninety-day suspension, effective either immediately after conviction or soon after. If the Court does not order a longer suspension for Operating After Suspension, a Class E misdemeanor, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will impose a sixty-day license suspension. While the maximum sentence for Operating After Suspension is six months in jail and a one thousand dollar fine, there is no minimum sentence in the statutes. However, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will impose the sixty-day license suspension after your conviction. There are minimum license suspensions in the statutes for Operating After Suspension, but this is only if some other factor is present. For example, if you are convicted of Operating After Suspension when you were suspended for an Operating Under the Influence conviction, the Legislature requires jail time and a one-year license suspension, consecutive to any other license suspensions. Lastly, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will impose a thirty-day license suspension for several different driving offenses. While no court will order the suspension, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will suspend someone’s license for thirty days if that person is convicted or adjudicated of any of the following:

  1. Failure to Stop for a Law Enforcement Officer
  2. Leaving the Scene of an Accident where there was a bodily injury (not just property damage)
  3. Operating Alone with a Permit
  4. Operating Without a License
  5. Passing a Stopped School Bus
  6. Criminal Speeding (30+ miles over the limit)
  7. Altering, Loaning, or Unlawfully Using a Driver’s license
  8. Displaying a Suspended License
  9. Falsifying an Application for License or Registration
  10. Giving False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer.

While not criminal convictions, any admissions or defaults on moving violations add points to a driving record, with a fifteen-day license suspension once you reach twelve points within one year. These point violations range from an 8-point offense (operating after suspension) to a two-point violation. Again, law enforcement and judges will not advise you on these point violations and any subsequent suspensions. After you accumulate six points in one year, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will send you a warning of suspension. However, if you receive twelve points in in a single traffic stop, the warning will come too late. On the surface these driving offenses may seem minor, but there are often hidden consequences that those without lawyers do not know until it is too late, including license suspensions. If you are charged with a driving crime and are worried about a license suspension, contact the attorneys of MCD Group immediately for a consultation.

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