Traffic and Motor Vehicle Related

401-274-3331

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986 Hartford Avenue
Johnston, RI 02919

RHODE ISLAND SUSPENDED LICENSE DEFENSE LAWYER – BENJAMIN A. MESITI, ESQ.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM CHARGED WITH DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE, OR WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE?

In Rhode Island, the charge of driving without having obtained a license, and driving on a suspended license are essentially the same. This is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail. Most people who are charged with this crime do not get sent to jail, rather they are ordered to pay a fine of $250 or more, with a possible period of probation for subsequent offenses. In some cases, the Court will allow you to obtain your license, or fix your suspension, within a certain period of time, and if you do so, the case will be dismissed and you will only be required to pay court costs.

 

WILL I LOSE MY LICENSE?

The court may order that your license, or right to have a license, be suspended for a certain period of time. We often request that the court not impose any further suspension, thus allowing you to get your license issue resolved without having to wait for a period of suspension to expire first.

WILL I GO TO JAIL?

Most people who are charged with this crime never serve any time in jail; however, there are offenders who repeatedly drive despite the fact that they are not licensed. In these cases, the Court may impose jail time, especially when the offender is already on probation for the same charge.

There is one particular circumstance in which there is mandatory jail. That is for a charge of driving while your license has been suspended by the court for certain offenses such as DUI, refusal, reckless driving or manslaughter. If you are caught driving while your license is suspended for any of these offenses, or others enumerated in Title 31-11-18.1, you are facing a minimum mandatory 10 days in Jail.

IF YOU’VE BEEN CHARGED WITH DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE OR DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE, CALL MESITI LAW AT (401) 274-3331. WE ARE AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY!,/p>

TITLE 31

Motor and Other vehicles
CHAPTER 31-11
Suspension or Revocation of Licenses – Violations

SECTION 31-11-18

   

§ 31-11-18  Driving after denial, suspension, or revocation of license. – (a) Any person who drives a motor vehicle on any highway of this state who never applied for a license, or who drives after his or her application for a license has been refused, or after his or her license has expired or who otherwise drives without a license, or at a time when his or her license to operate is suspended, revoked, or cancelled, for reasons other than those provided for in § 31-11-18.1, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

   

(b) The division of motor vehicles, upon receiving a record of the conviction of any person upon a charge of driving a motor vehicle while the license of the person was suspended, shall suspend the person's license for an additional three (3) months. Upon receiving a record of second violation, the division of motor vehicles shall suspend the license for an additional six (6) months. Any subsequent conviction shall result in license revocation. Upon receiving a record of conviction of any person upon a charge of driving after his or her application for a license has been refused, or upon a charge of driving by one who never applied for a license or who otherwise drives without a license, or after his or her license has expired or has been revoked or canceled, the division of motor vehicles shall not issue a new license for an additional period of one year from and after the date the person would otherwise have been entitled to apply for a new license.

   

(c) Upon a first conviction under this section, a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) shall be imposed, and imprisonment for a term not to exceed thirty (30) days may be imposed. For the second and any subsequent conviction, a fine of not less than three hundred fifty dollars ($350) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) may be imposed and an imprisonment for up to one year may be imposed. The imposition of fines may be in addition to the suspension of license that may be imposed by the court.

   

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any person driving after his or her license has expired shall be issued a summons to appear in district court not fewer than ten (10) days after the issuance of the summons, and shall not be taken into custody based solely on this charge. Any person who shall cause his or her expired license to be reinstated by the division of motor vehicles within ten (10) days after issuance of the summons may present proof of reinstatement at the headquarters of the charging police department. Presentation of proof of reinstatement within ten (10) days after the issuance of the summons shall cause the summons to be voided and shall otherwise constitute a complete defense to the charge of driving after expiration of license and a bar to prosecution for that charge. Any summons or records relating to the summons shall be expunged pursuant to the provisions of chapter 1.3 of title 12. For the purposes of this subsection, each of the several state police barracks shall be considered as a separate police headquarters.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1950, ch. 2595, art. 17, § 3; P.L. 1951, ch. 2826, § 16; G.L. 1956, § 31-11-3; G.L. 1956, § 31-11-18; P.L. 1962, ch. 204, § 1; P.L. 1979, ch. 278, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 323, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 279, § 1; P.L. 1983, ch. 229, § 3; P.L. 1988, ch. 646, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 157, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 446, § 1.)

TITLE 31

Motor and Other vehicles
CHAPTER 31-11
Suspension or Revocation of Licenses – Violations

SECTION 31-11-18.1

   

§ 31-11-18.1  Driving after denial, revocation, or suspension for certain violations. – (a) Any person who drives a motor vehicle on any highway of this state who never applied for a license or who drives after his or her application for a license has been refused, or after his or her license has expired or who otherwise drives without a license or at a time when his or her license to operate is suspended, revoked, or cancelled, for: (1) operating under the influence of a narcotic drug or intoxicating liquor; (2) refusing to submit to a chemical test; reckless driving; (3) manslaughter from the operation of a motor vehicle or operating so as to endanger resulting in death; or (4) three (3) moving violations within a one-year period; shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first and second offenses and shall be deemed guilty of a felony for the third or subsequent offenses.

   

(b) The division of motor vehicles upon receiving a record of the conviction of any person upon a charge of driving a motor vehicle while the license of the person was suspended, for reasons set forth in this section shall suspend the person's license or deny the person's application for any length of time that it shall deem proper but in no case less than an additional three (3) months. Upon receiving a record of conviction of a second violation of driving a motor vehicle while the license of that person was suspended for reasons set forth in this section, the division of motor vehicles shall suspend the person's license or deny the person's application for any length of time that it shall deem proper but in no case less than an additional six (6) months. Any subsequent conviction shall result in license revocation. Upon receiving a record of the conviction of any person upon a charge of driving after his or her application for a license had been refused, or after his or her license had been revoked or cancelled for reasons set forth in this section, the division of motor vehicles shall not issue a new license for an additional period of one year from and after the date the person would otherwise have been entitled to apply for a new license.

   

(c) Upon a first conviction under this section a mandatory fine of five hundred dollars ($500) shall be imposed, and if the person was driving after his or her application for a license had been refused, or at a time when his or her license to operate was suspended, revoked, or cancelled for operating under the influence of a controlled substance or intoxicating liquor, or his or her refusal to submit to a chemical test, reckless driving, manslaughter from the operation of a motor vehicle, or operation so as to endanger, death resulting, the person shall be imprisoned for a minimum of ten (10) days.

   

(2) A mandatory fine of five hundred dollars ($500) for a second conviction under this section within a five (5) year period shall be imposed, and if the person was driving after his or her application for a license had been refused, or at a time when his or her license to operate was suspended, revoked, or cancelled for operating under the influence of a controlled substance or intoxicating liquor or his or her refusal to submit to a chemical test, reckless driving, manslaughter from the operation of a motor vehicle, or operation so as to endanger, death resulting, the person shall be imprisoned for a minimum of six (6) months to one year.

   

(3) For any subsequent conviction within a five (5) year period, a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) shall be imposed and the person may be imprisoned for up to one year or be required to participate in a public service program designated and approved by the court. If the person was driving after his or her application for a license had been refused or at a time when his or her license to operate was suspended, revoked, or cancelled for: (i) operating under the influence of a controlled substance or intoxicating liquor; (ii) his or her refusal to submit to a chemical test; (iii) reckless driving; (iv) manslaughter from the operation of a motor vehicle; or (v) operating so as to endanger, death resulting; the person shall be imprisoned for a minimum of one year. Jurisdiction for violations of this section is given to the district court and the court shall have full authority to impose any sentence authorized for violations of this section.

   

(d) No fines, suspensions, treatment, or jail provided for under this section can be suspended.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1980, ch. 323, § 2; P.L. 1982, ch. 178, § 1; P.L. 1983, ch. 229, § 4; P.L. 2005, ch. 379, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 102, § 2; P.L. 2010, ch. 318, § 2.) 1

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