In Georgia, if a person is driving on a suspended license, he/she may face jail time, probation, as well as monetary fines. If the accused is found guilty of driving while his/her license is suspended, the accused will be charged with a misdemeanor, as long as it is his/her first offense within the last 5 years.
According to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-121, any person who drives a motor vehicle on any public highway of this state without being licensed or while his/her privilege to drive in the State of Georgia is suspended, disqualified, or revoked may be found guilty of the offense of driving while license is suspended. Under Georgia law, there are numerous violations that can lead to a driver’s license being suspended or revoked. Some include, but certainly are not limited to:
- Conviction of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI);
- After a DUI arrest, failure to consent to a blood, breath, or urine test following the reading of Georgia’s implied consent law;
- Conviction of driving without insurance;
- Conviction of vehicular homicide;
- Failure to pay Georgia’s Super Speeder fine within its required deadline; OR
- For accumulating 15 traffic points within a 24-month period.
As stated above, the offense of driving while license is suspended/ revoked will be characterized as a misdemeanor if it is the driver’s first offense within the previous 5-year period. If the accused is convicted of a misdemeanor, he/she may be sentenced anywhere between 2 days and 12 months in jail and/or a fine of $500-$1,000. However, if the accused has had a prior conviction or two prior convictions, within the last 5 years, for driving while license is suspended, he/she may be charged with a “high and aggravated misdemeanor.” This means that the sentence may involve anywhere between 10 days and 12 months in jail and/or a fine of $1,000-$2,500. Finally, if the accused has had four or more convictions of driving while license is suspended within the last 5 years, the charge will be classified as a felony. A person convicted of a felony may be sentenced to 1-5 years in prison with a fine of $2,500-$5,000.
Upon receiving the accused person’s record of conviction for driving while license is suspended, the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services will impose an additional suspension or disqualification of 6 months. Once the additional 6 months has expired, the driver is eligible to reinstate his/her driver’s license.
Due to the severity of the penalties for driving on a suspended license, it is of vital importance to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable of all possible options for an accused dealing with such serious allegations. At the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, we are skilled at defending such charges. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been arrested for driving while license is suspended, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.