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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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Will I Lose My License if Convicted of a Federal Crime? Consequences Explained

By Spodek Law Group | October 19, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 20, 2023)

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 09:33 am


Will I Lose My License if Convicted of a Federal Crime? Consequences Explained

Getting convicted of a federal crime can lead to all sorts of consequences that can seriously impact your life. One big question many people have is “will I lose my license if I’m convicted of a federal crime?” The answer isn’t straightforward — it depends on the specific crime you’re convicted of and the laws in your state.

In this article, we’ll break down how federal convictions can affect your driver’s license and ability to drive. We’ll look at the types of crimes that can cause you to lose your license, how long you might lose it for, and what options you have. We’ll also discuss professional licenses and other effects on your driving privileges.

Driver’s License Suspension for Federal Crimes

In most cases, being convicted of a federal crime won’t automatically cause you to lose your driver’s license. But there are certain types of convictions that can lead to suspension:

  • Drug offenses – Getting convicted of a federal drug crime like drug trafficking or distribution can result in license suspension in most states.
  • Sex crimes – Crimes like human trafficking, child pornography, and commercial sexual exploitation of a minor can also trigger license suspension.
  • Felonies – Some states will suspend your license for any federal felony conviction.
  • Crimes involving a vehicle – If you use a car to commit a federal crime like drive-by shooting, license suspension is very likely.

The length of time your license is suspended for depends on the laws in your state. For example, a drug trafficking conviction can lead to 6 months of suspension in California but 5 years in Georgia. Talk to a criminal defense lawyer to understand the consequences in your state.

Restoring Your Driving Privileges After Conviction

If your license is suspended due to a federal conviction, you may be able to get your driving privileges back by:

  • Waiting out the suspension period – Once the suspension ends, you can go to the DMV and get your license reinstated.
  • Applying for an occupational license – This restricted license allows you to drive for certain work purposes.
  • Getting your conviction expunged – Having the conviction removed from your record can lift the suspension.
  • Applying for a pardon – A presidential or governor’s pardon may allow you to get your license back.

The options available depend on the laws where you live. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you on the best way to regain your driving privileges after a conviction.

Professional and Commercial Driver’s Licenses

A federal conviction doesn’t only affect your personal driver’s license — it can also lead to loss of a professional license like a:

  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • Pilot’s license
  • Boating license
  • Ham radio operator license

For instance, a federal drug conviction can disqualify you from having a CDL for at least a year. And sex offenses will bar you from getting or keeping a pilot’s license. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a list of disqualifying crimes for pilots.

Other Effects of Federal Convictions on Driving

Beyond losing your license, a federal conviction can impact your driving in other ways:

  • Higher insurance rates – A serious federal conviction can label you “high-risk” and drive up your car insurance premiums.
  • License reinstatement fees – You may have to pay hundreds in fees to the DMV when getting your license back.
  • Ignition interlock – A condition of license reinstatement may be installing this breathalyzer device in your car.
  • Travel restrictions – Certain crimes bar you from driving commercially across state or national borders.

The consequences really depend on the nature of your conviction. Talk to an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer to understand how your specific case could affect your license and driving privileges. Don’t just assume you’ll lose your license – there may be ways to mitigate the penalties.

Defending Your Rights After a Federal Indictment

Being indicted on federal charges doesn’t have to lead to conviction and forever losing your freedoms. With an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer on your side, you can possibly get charges reduced or dismissed and avoid the harshest penalties like license suspension.

A skilled attorney will thoroughly examine the prosecution’s evidence against you, identify any illegal searches or interrogations, and build a strong defense to weaken and discredit the government’s case. They may be able to get charges dropped before it even reaches trial.

Don’t leave your future up to chance. The consequences of a federal conviction can follow you for life. Do everything possible to protect your rights and defend yourself from the start. Consult an experienced federal criminal defense attorney as soon as you learn you’re under investigation or indicted.

With sound legal advice and aggressive representation, you can potentially avoid conviction, incarceration, and loss of your driver’s license or professional privileges. Don’t wait to act – call a federal defense lawyer today to discuss your best options and build a winning case strategy.


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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

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