You can easily place your driving privileges in jeopardy with a charge of driving under the influence (DUI). One of the first things that happen after an arrest is the confiscation of your driver's license and, if you are convicted of a DUI, it may take you some time to get your regular license back. Read on to find out more about driver's license revocation and suspension.
The Differences Between Suspended and Revoked
When you have your driver's license suspended, it's pretty bad news. A revocation, though, is much worse. You might want to consider a suspension to be a temporary measure and a revocation to be more permanent. You can, however, get your driving privileges reinstated no matter what the status is if you follow the procedure in your state, abide by other conditions after a DUI charge, and get a lawyer on your case right away.
Driver's License Suspensions
While meant to be temporary, a lot depends on the nature of your DUI when it comes to being reinstated. While things can vary from state to state. In many cases, you are issued a temporary paper permit to drive for a very short period of time after you are released from jail. It's best to carefully review the information on the paper (often colored pink) and find out how long you can drive before it expires. You might only have 10 days or so before you have to take other actions, for example. Keep in mind that you are dealing with both the court system and the department of motor vehicles (DMV) to get your license back.
You will likely have to resolve your court case before you get your regular driver's license back, but you may be able to request a so-called hardship license in the meantime. You must show that you have a need to drive and there are restrictions on your driving after it's issued. For example, you might need to show that you are employed and/or have to take your children to school or to the doctor. Even then, you might only be allowed to drive to certain places and at limited times.
Driver's License Revocation
It's uncommon to have your license revoked for a simple, first-time DUI charge. In most cases, revocation is reserved for repeat offenders or those who were charged with an aggravated DUI. Aggravated means that the offender is suspected of:
- Injuring others when driving under the influence.
- Wrecking into another car or hitting a pedestrian while drunk.
- Deaths almost always result in more serious felony charges.
- Having a minor child in the car when driving under the influence.
- Driving with a suspended license.