Dealing with a suspended driver’s license (A.R.S. §28-3473) can be inconvenient at best, and at worst it can interfere with your relationships, education, and job. Unfortunately, trying to get around a suspended license simply by driving anyway can make matters much worse. This is because driving on a suspended driver’s license in Arizona is a charge that has the potential to expose you to jail time jail time or fines, depending upon whether you have been convicted more than once of this charge.
Driving on a Suspended License Penalties
Arizona law with respect to driving on a suspended driver’s license changed recently, although A.R.S. §28-3473 still outlaws “knowingly operating a motor vehicle” with a license that is disqualified from driving via a suspension, revocation, refusal, cancellation or other means. But beginning in 2011, a first offense of driving on a suspended driver’s license in Arizona no longer carries with it mandatory fines or jail time. However, you may still receive up to six months of jail time or probation.
Second offenses and beyond carry stiffer penalties, with a second conviction usually carrying a penalty of five days in jail. When you have additional prior convictions for driving with a suspended driver’s license in Arizona, a prosecutor may seek a term of thirty days in jail for your third offense, ninety days for your fourth offense, and a six-month term for your fifth offense. While these penalties are not required, a history of multiple offenses tends to encourage judges to hand down jail time. In addition to spending time behind bars, the local police may impound your vehicle for up to a month.
Our free consultations last about 30 minutes and we’ll listen to the details of your case and you’ll leave our office with a better understanding of what you’re facing and how we can help.
Defenses to Driving with a Suspended License
DM Cantor has extensive experience fighting charges of driving with a suspended driver’s license in Arizona, among other charges, and we know which defenses to assert on your behalf depending upon the facts of your case. In cases involving suspended license driving, we may be able to defeat your charges by focusing on the fact that you were not “knowingly” driving with a suspended license. Thus, the prosecutor must show that you were properly notified of the change in status of your license. Unfortunately, recent decisions in this area of law allow the state to merely demonstrate that you “should have known” about the suspension. This means that if you move but don’t notify the DMV of your new address, you technically still “should have known” about the suspension.
Ultimately, though, the Judge will determine your degree of knowledge. This provides an opportunity for our firm to make arguments that appeal to the Judge’s understanding. For example, we can argue that your license was only still suspended because you didn’t read the fine print on the back of your suspension notice requiring you to pay a reinstatement fee to restore your driving privileges, even after you’ve waited the full term of the suspension clearly indicated on the front of the notice. This relatable defense is one that juries often respond to.
In addition to those specific defenses, DM Cantor can attack your charges through a variety of other means. For example, we may argue that your charges should be dropped because your Miranda rights were violated — either by the police’s failure to properly read you your rights or that your requests for an attorney were not respected. This defense can also arise where you are coerced or deceived into making a statement that you would not have willingly made otherwise.
Our firm may also be able to suppress evidence the state brings if it comes from misleading or inaccurate police reports, among other improper sources.
DM Cantor has helped countless individuals across Arizona fight charges thanks to the firm’s dedication, insight, and strategic lawyering. With many former prosecutors at the firm, we are well-positioned to understand what will and won’t work for your specific case. The firm is also the recipient of Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating, AV®, and David Michael Cantor is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist.
Contact DM Cantor 24 hours a day at 602-307-0808, or use our confidential email form for 24 hour assistance.