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Driving with a Suspended License For Unpaid Fines Could Become A Thing of the Past


Driving with a suspended license can be a serious offense that can result in legal action. Although many people think that driver’s licenses can only be suspended due to negligence behind the wheel, that isn’t the case.

Did you know that each year, countless people have their driver’s license suspended as a result of unpaid fines? Well, that might not be the case for much longer in many states across the country. More and more states are moving towards changing laws so that unpaid fines will no longer lead to a suspended license.

Illinois could be the next state to join the list. According to ProPublica Illinois, In February of 2018, a bill was introduced to “to end license suspensions for unpaid parking tickets.” Local lawmakers believe the bill will face the most opposition in Chicago because the city generates millions of dollars each year from parking ticket fines. The city uses the threat of license suspension as a way to force people into paying.

Recent studies have also shown that license suspension as the result of unpaid fines primarily impacts black motorists.

Data from the Illinois Secretary of State and the U.S. Census Bureau revealed the following:

  • Drivers from predominantly black zip codes received nearly half of the unpaid fine related suspensions, despite Illinois only being 14% black.

  • Drivers from low-income areas received more than half (54%) of the suspensions.

  • 18-20 of the zip codes (most of which were in Chicago) with the highest number of suspensions were predominately black.

What to do if You’re Caught Driving with a Suspended License

If you’re caught driving with a suspended license, it’s important to call an attorney right away. Whether it’s your first offense or your second, getting the appropriate legal advice could be the difference between a minor consequence and a major one.

Your attorney can not only assist you in understanding your license suspension, but he/she can also tell you which steps to take to avoid having your license permanently revoked.

What Are the Consequences of Driving with a Suspended License?

The penalties for driving with a suspended license may be different in each state. However, no matter where you are - it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle without a valid license.

In the state of Tennessee, driving with a suspended license is a class B misdemeanor that can result in the following consequences:

  • For non-residents: no more than 6 months in prison, a fine of no more than $500, or both.

  • Residents - first offense: no more than 6 months in prison, a fine of no more than $500, or both, as well as an increased license suspension

  • Resident with multiple offenses: classification raised from a class B to a class A misdemeanor; no more than 11 months and 29 days months in prison, a fine of no more than $2,500, or both. Additionally, the license suspension period may be increased.

Ultimately, a suspended license can result in a revoked license if the proper precautions aren’t taken.

Contact Us

Attorney Brian Lee Nash has nearly a decade of experience working with a wide range of clients. He brings a vast amount of knowledge, drive, and determination to every case he works with.

Do you have more questions about license suspension? Attorney Brian Lee Nash can help. Contact Nash Law, PLLC today at 615-628-7555.

This article was written by the author on behalf of Nash Law, PLLC.