Fighting the charges of driving while your operator’s
license or vehicleregistration is refused, suspended or revoked in the
State of Connecticut
If you are given a ticket for operating while your driver’s
license or privileges are suspended in Connecticut, this is a serious matter.
This is because you have not merely been given a ticket but charged with a
crime. What’s more, under Connecticut law the charges must be returned to
the court by no more than 10 days from the arrest. In other words, if you
or an attorney on your behalf does not appear in court for you, there will
be a warrant issued for your arrest. It does not matter what your situation
is or where you live, you must appear in person or by counsel on the return
Connecticut Motor Vehicle Law, Chapter 248 entitled “Vehicle
Highway Use” prohibits operation under suspension. CT MV § Sec. 14-215 states
that no person may operate a motor vehicle in Connecticut when either his
operator’s license or right to operate in Connecticut has been refused, suspended or revoked,
shall operate any motor vehicle during the period of such refusal, suspension
or revocation. Further, No person shall operate or cause to be operated a
motor vehicle of which the registration has been refused, suspended or revoked.
The law is a “strict liability” crime, in that it does not place
knowledge upon a person in order to be charged and / or convicted. When arrested
many people have no idea that they are under suspension, as a suspension can
arise for a number of reasons, such as failing to pay parking tickets, failing
to answer a summons, failing to re-insure a vehicle, or for civil reasons
unrelated to the vehicle or driving.
penalties for a conviction of CT MV L. § 14-215, driving upon a suspended
license or registration are severe. First off, a conviction creates a permanent
criminal history that you will have to disclose to future employers and can
be obtained in a public records background check. A first offense carries
as many as many as 90 days in jail. A second conviction on MV Law § 14-215
can land you in jail for more than 1 year.
If your suspension arose because of failure to appear for court relating to a motor vehicle charge (i.e., speeding) which
occurred in Connecticut or any other state, or you possess a Connecticut commercial
driver’s license, then a first conviction carries with it a fine of up to
$500.00 and 100 hours of community service, and successive convictions can
land you in jail for up to 90 days “which may not be suspended or reduced
in any manner.”
If your suspension
arose because of a DWI charge, CT. MV L. § 14-227(a), or failing to consent
to a chemical test, CT Motor Vehicle Law § 14-227(b), or a violation of Title
53a of the Connecticut Penal Code, § 53a-56b manslaughter in the second degree
with a motor vehicle, a Class C felony, or due to a violation of Title 53a
of the Connecticut Penal Code, § 53a-60d, assault in the second degree with
a motor vehicle, a Class D felony, the fine will range from $500.00 to $1,000.00
and a jail sentence of up to 1 year, however, at least a mandatory 30 day
consecutive jail sentence. Upon successive convictions the minimum fine and
jail time increases.
and how we Defend Your Case
does not fool around with operating under suspension, and neither should you.
You need an advocate that understands the administrative Connecticut Department
of Motor Vehicles regulations along with the criminal law and ramifications.
are defenses to a charge of driving under suspension. First, the underlying reason
for the stop must be legal. In other words, if the police had no probable
cause to stop you than the information subsequently gleaned from the illegal
stop, i.e., that you were under suspension, must be suppressed as “fruits
of the poisonous tree.” The ticket you were given must also be correctly completed
to, at a minimum, name you as the defendant and apprise you of the charges.
Another avenue to review is the notice you were given by the DMV itself of
the suspension; while you do not need to have “actual knowledge” of the suspension
the DMV is nonetheless under a duty to appropriately advise you of the suspension.
firm reviews and considers all of the defenses while at the same time works
towards “mitigation” of the situation. This requires that we assist you in
clearing the underlying reason for the suspension, whatever that reason may
be. This will go a long way in negotiating a plea bargain for a non-criminal
matter or an outright dismissal of the charges.
is required, our law firm will walk you though
the process so that you do not have to go it alone!