We have discussed before what to do if charged with driving while under suspension (DUS), first offense. Often, folks who do not realize the seriousness of a DUS first offense do not take the charge seriously and wind up with a conviction.

That turns out to be very bad news, indeed. Repeat offenses of driving while under suspension are treated more harshly. Also, additional penalties may apply if the reason why your driver’s license is suspended is because of an alcohol-related offense, such as DUI.

You will remember that driving while under suspension is the operation of a motor vehicle while your license is suspended. The criminal penalties for the various offenses are as follows:

Not alcohol-related

  • First offense DUS. A $300 fine plus cost or jail for up to 30 days, or both.
  • Second offense. A $600 fine plus cost or jail time up to 60 consecutive days, or both.
  • Third offense and subsequent offenses. A $1,000 fine and either jail for up to 90 days or house arrest with monitoring for 90 days up to six months. A portion of the imprisonment or home detention may not be suspended—which means that the convicted offender will spend time in jail or home detention.

Alcohol-related driving while under suspension

  • First offense. A $300 fine plus cost or jail of not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days.
  • Second offense. A $600 fine plus cost or jail of not less than 60 days nor more than six months.
  • Third and subsequent offenses. A $1,000 fine and jail for not less than six months nor more than three years. No portion of the minimum sentence imposed may be suspended.

In addition to the criminal penalties your license will be suspended for a period from 30 days to indefinitely, depending on the nature of your original license suspension. To get your driving license back at the conclusion of your suspension, you will have to purchase SR-22 insurance—an expensive insurance for risky drivers—and pay various reinstatement fees.

Habitual Offender Status

Last but not least, if you collect a certain number of specific driving offenses in a three-year period, the state may deem you an habitual traffic offender. If you are an habitual traffic offender, your driver’s license is revoked for five years, and if you are convicted of driving while an habitual traffic offender you are guilty of a felony and can be jailed for up to five years.

If you are charged with a driving while under suspension, it is important to take it seriously. The criminal defense lawyers at Holland & Usry, P.A., regularly handle such cases. If you would like to discuss your case with one of our lawyers, please contact our office toll-free at 888.230.1841.

John Holland
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John Holland is a Spartanburg Family law attorney, practicing since 2012.