Driving While Suspended: Fines, Suspensions and Jail Time in Ohio
Getting your driver’s license suspended in Ohio can happen for many reasons – from racking up too many points on your record to failing to pay child support. And if you continue driving after your license is suspended, you could face fines, an extended suspension, and even jail time.
I know, because this happened to my cousin, Joe. He got pulled over for speeding and the cop saw his license was suspended. Joe got slapped with a big fine, 6 months of probation, and couldn’t drive for a whole year. It was a nightmare for him.
So in this article, I want to go over the penalties for driving while suspended in Ohio, some of the common ways licenses get suspended, and what you can do if you get caught driving on a suspended license. My goal is to help you avoid the mess my cousin Joe got into!
Penalties for Driving While Suspended
Let’s start with the penalties if you get caught driving on a suspended license in Ohio:
- It’s a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000
- Your license suspension will likely get extended another 1 year
- For second offenses within 3 years, your car can be immobilized for 60 days
- Third offenses can lead to your car being seized and forfeited!
They don’t mess around with suspended license violations here. Even first offenses are serious business.
The penalties depend partly on why your license was originally suspended. For example, if it was for unpaid court fines or failure to appear in court, you may “only” face fines up to $1,000 and 500 hours of community service.
But for most other types of suspensions, first offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. Not good!
Common Reasons for Suspension
Some of the most common ways people get their license suspended in Ohio include:
- Too many points – If you rack up 12 points in 2 years, automatic suspension
- DUI conviction – Suspended for at least 1 year on first offense
- Reckless driving – Can result in an immediate suspension
- Failure to appear in court – Missing a court date leads to suspension
- Failure to pay child support – The BMV will suspend after you fall behind
What To Do If You Get Caught
If those penalties scare you, then my advice is simple – do not drive if your license is suspended! Find another way to get around.
But I know that’s easier said than done. What if you get pulled over before you even realize your license was suspended?
Here’s what to do:
- Remain silent – Don’t admit to anything or try to talk your way out of it. That can only hurt your case down the road.
- Contact a lawyer – A suspended license attorney can review your case and defend your rights. This is so important!
- Review options – The lawyer can help you get driving privileges or restore your license.