Why Is My License Suspended?

We take calls all the time from people who have gotten their license in a mess and need help digging out of the hole and back to driving. This article will take an in-depth look into the “Why” of the BMV.

First, Indiana separates suspensions by discretionary and mandatory suspensions. By statute, a court is allowed to impose a license suspension for any conviction in which the operation of a vehicle is an element of the offense. This suspension may be for any period up to the maximum period of incarceration for the offense. Additionally, any offense that includes the element of causing or resulting in serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle carries a mandatory minimum license suspension of one year, foe example, driving under the influence of alcohol.

First Offense Misdemeanor OVWI Offenses

Previously, first time OVWI convictions carried a mandatory license suspension. That rule is no longer in affect as the language now states the court may suspend a person’s driver’s license up to the maximum allowable period of incarceration for first time OVWI convictions. For Class C misdemeanor offense, the court may suspend the person’s license for any fixed period of time up to 60 days. For Class A Misdemeanor offenses, the court can suspend the person’s license for any fixed period up to 365 days. These suspension terms apply to OVWI (IC 9-30-5-2), OVWI with a BAC of at least .08/.15 (IC 9-30-5-1), and Operating With a Controlled Substance in the Body (IC 9-30-5-1). It should be noted these discretionary suspension rules do not apply to refusal suspensions imposed by the BMV. When the court holds there has been a chemical test refusal, there is a mandatory one year license suspension, even if the court does not order an additional license suspension. As we have gone over in previous blogs, a refusal suspension is not something you can get a specialized driving privilege for so you would not be eligible for a conditional/hardship license if there is a refusal.

OVWI with a Prior Conviction for OVWI

Any conviction for operating while intoxicated where the person has a prior conviction for OVWI incurs a mandatory minimum license suspension of one year. There is not a time limit for having a previous conviction and the previous conviction used for this consideration can be from any time period. This mandatory suspension cannot be negotiated by plea agreement and even if a level 6 felony is granted alternative misdemeanor sentencing, there is still a mandatory license suspension of 365 days as a result of the prior offense. This type of suspension is one where you could get a specialized driving privilege and drive conditionally if allowed by the court.

Offense Period Of Suspension Mandatory/
Discretionary Suspension
SDP Eligible
OVWI/MC 0-60 days Discretionary Yes
OVWI at least .08 but less than .15/MC 0-60 days Discretionary Yes
OVWI with a Controlled Substance/MC 0-60 days Discretionary Yes
OVWI/MA 0-365 days Discretionary Yes
OVWI at least .15 BAC/MA 0-365 days Discretionary Yes
OVWI causing SBI/Varies 1 year minimum – Maximum allowed period of incarceration dependant on charged offense Mandatory Yes
OVWI causing death/Varies 2 year minimum – Maximum allowed period of incarceration dependant on charged offense Mandatory No
OVWI with a prior/Varies 1 year minimum – Maximum allowed period of incarceration dependant on charged offense Mandatory Yes
Refusal of a chemical test 1 year minimum, 2 years if prior OVWI conviction Mandatory and consecutive to any court imposed suspension No

 

License Suspensions for Other Operating Offenses

Offense Period Of Suspension Mandatory/
Discretionary Suspension
SDP Eligible
Operating without Ever Receiving a Valid License/MC 0-60 days Discretionary Yes
Operating without Ever Receiving a Valid License with a Prior/MA 0-365 days Discretionary Yes
Driving While Suspended with a prior conviction/MA 0-365 days Discretionary Yes
Driving While Suspended resulting in bodily injury/F6 0-2 ½ years Discretionary Yes
Driving While Suspended resulting in death/F5 2 years -6 years Mandatory No
Operating Without Financial Responsibility/IFC or MC 90 days – 365 days Mandatory Yes
Leaving the Scene of an Accident/MB 180 days Mandatory Yes
Engaging in a Speed Contest/MB 0-180 days Discretionary Yes
Reckless Driving/MC 0 – 365 days Discretionary Yes
Aggressive Driving/MA 0-365 days Discretionary Yes
Operating without Valid Registration 0-60 days Discretionary Yes

Child Support Delinquency Suspensions

If the BMV receives notice from a Title IV-D agency or prosecutor’s office that a person has failed to appear for a hearing or was found to be delinquent, the BMV is required to suspend the person’s driver’s license until the arrearage is paid in full or a payment plan is established with the Title IV-D agency. The BMV or a court is not permitted to reinstate the person’s license until the arrearage is paid or payment plan is established. However, this suspension is eligible for a specialized driving privilege/conditional license. If the person is a CDL driver, they have 30 days to petition a court for specialized driving privileges before their license is suspended.

BMV Point Suspensions

Almost every traffic infraction is assigned a point value based on the seriousness of the infraction. The point value can be anywhere from zero to eight points for a single infraction. For example, a conviction for driving while suspended comes with an eight point hit, driving 26 or more miles per hour over the speed limit comes with a six point violation, driving from 16 to 25 miles per hour over the speed limit comes with a four point violation, and driving from 1 to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit comes with a two point hit. These points accumulate on your record for a span of two years.

Points begin to really matter once you get to 18 points in two years. For every two points you have over 18, the BMV will suspend you for one month. Therefore, at 20 points you will be suspended for one month, 22 points will be two months, 24 points will be three months and so forth. This is also an administrative suspension and a specialized driving privilege is to drive while this suspension is active. To look up the point value for your particular ticket, check out Indiana Administrative Code number 140 IAC 1-4.5-10 for the point value table. Point suspensions are eligible for specialized driving privilege.

If you or a loved one find yourself in a hole with your driving situation, feel free to call one of the traffic attorneys at Banks and Brower. Our attorneys have seen it all when it comes to interpreting driving records and can set you up with a plan to get you back to driving. Whether the best option is a conditional license or if you eligible for full reinstatement, we will be happy to sit down with you and review. Feel free to contact us 24/7/365 at 317-870-0019 or info@banksbrower.com