Difference Between Revoked and Suspended License
While driver’s license suspensions and revocations can happen for similar reasons, they are different. When your license is suspended, your driving privileges are temporarily withheld and can be reinstated after a specific amount of time or by correcting the mistakes that caused the suspension. When your license is revoked, your driving privileges are permanently canceled. Sometimes you can reapply for a new, valid license but you must repass the necessary tests. Revocation is much more serious than a suspension, but both can greatly affect your life.
How Our Driver’s License Lawyers Can Help You
If you are in a situation where you may have your license revoked or suspended, you must act quickly to preserve your driving privileges. Unless you request a DMV hearing within seven days of your arrest, your license will be suspended or revoked automatically. If you have found out that your license is going to be suspended or revoked after you have already plead guilty or were convicted in court, there is often very little an attorney can do. That’s why it is crucial to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Having a knowledgeable suspended license lawyer by your side is your best chance at keeping your driving privileges.
The Colorado Springs license suspension lawyers at the Gasper Law Group can defend you in court and help fight your DMV suspension to keep you on the road. Even if your suspension is upheld, we can usually get clients a restricted driving permit. We represent clients throughout El Paso County, Teller County, Pueblo County, Douglas County, Fremont County, and most of southern Colorado. Contact us immediately for a free initial consultation.
What Causes a License To Be Suspended or Revoked?
If you are like most people, you probably drive almost every day — whether it is to get to work, drop the kids off at school, or run errands, you rely on having a valid driver’s license to get around throughout your daily life. Unfortunately, there are numerous things that can put your driving privileges in jeopardy.
In Colorado, you could face suspension or revocation of your driver’s license for driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, accumulating too many points on your license, failing to keep adequate insurance on your vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, and failing to pay a traffic ticket or child support.
Colorado Drunk Driving License Suspension & Revocation
The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) oversees the suspension/revocation of your license if:
- You refused a chemical test at the time of arrest, your license is automatically suspended for one year, regardless of the outcome of your criminal case.
- You are under age 21, your license will be suspended for one year for drinking and driving (even if your BAC was less than .08).
There are two parts to a drunk driving arrest — the criminal DUI/DWAI charges and a separate hearing to suspend your driver’s license. After the arrest, law enforcement will take away your driver’s license and give you a temporary permit that is only valid for seven days. If you don’t request a hearing within seven days, you will not be allowed to drive until you get your license reinstated. Our license suspension lawyers usually request on the petition that the arresting officer appear at the hearing. Why?
- The officer may not show up, possibly resulting in dismissal of the DMV action against your license.
- There is no preliminary hearing in the DUI case. At the DMV hearing, the officer may “tip his cards” and say something we can use to challenge your criminal charges.
Consequences of Drinking and Driving
Among other penalties for adults in Colorado, the following will happen to your driver’s license:
- A first offense of DUI or DWAI carries a 90-day DMV suspension.
- A second DUI results in suspension for one year and likely an ignition interlock on your car before reinstatement.
- Three alcohol-related offenses in seven years can result in a five-year suspension as a “habitual user.”
Colorado’s underage drinking and driving (UDD) laws reflect the state’s “zero tolerance” policy for underage drinking. A first offense (also called “baby DUI”) can result in serious penalties including a three-month driver’s license suspension.
Read our DUI Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Colorado Driver’s License Points
Drivers start off with 0 points and when convictions are reported to the DMV, points are added to their record. A conviction for a traffic violation results when a driver pleads guilty to a charge, pays a ticket, or accepts a plea bargain. If a driver fails to appear in court, they may be considered automatically convicted (depending on the type of violation). The court notifies the Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) each time an individual is convicted of a traffic violation.
Different traffic violations carry different point values for Colorado drivers:
- Speeding (5-9 MPH over the speed limit): 1 point
- Driving without headlights at night: 2 points
- Failure to signal: 2 points
- Not wearing a seat belt: 2 points
- Failure to yield right-of-way: 3 points
- Careless driving: 4 points
- Failure to show proof of insurance: 4 points
- Improper passing: 4 points
- Running a stoplight or sign: 4 points
- Speeding (10-19 MPH over the speed limit): 4 points
- UDD (underage drinking and driving): 4 points
- Speeding (20-39 MPH over the speed limit): 6 points
- Reckless driving: 8 points
- DUI/DUID (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs): 12 points (instant suspension)
- Evading an officer: 12 points (instant suspension)
- Leaving the scene of an accident/hit-and-run: 12 points (instant suspension)
- Refusing a DUI test during a traffic stop: 12 points (instant suspension)
- Speed contest: 12 points (instant suspension)
- Speeding (40+ MPH over the speed limit): 12 points (instant suspension)
- Testing over the legal alcohol limit: 12 points (instant suspension)
How Many Points Until Your License Is Suspended in Colorado?
Whether you are an adult or a minor, points on your license should not be taken lightly. Minors are allowed fewer driving points than adults in Colorado. The following point accumulations will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
- Drivers age 21 and over:
- 12 points in 12 consecutive months
- 18 points in 24 consecutive months
- Drivers age 18 to 20:
- 9 points in 12 consecutive months
- 12 in 24 consecutive months
- 14 or more points total between ages 18 and 21
- Drivers under 18:
- 6 points in 12 consecutive months
- Total of 7 points before turning 18th
- Chauffeurs or professional drivers:
- 16 points in 12 consecutive months
- 24 points in 24 consecutive months
- 28 points in 48 consecutive months
The Colorado DMV License Suspension Hearing
If your driver’s license is suspended due to excessive points, you will receive notice in the mail of a hearing to determine the length in which your driving privileges will be suspended. You can be sentenced to a maximum of one year of lost driving privileges for excess points. If you fail to appear at the hearing, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year.
As previously mentioned, after an arrest for DUI or another serious traffic offense, you must request a hearing within seven days or forfeit your license.
At the hearing, various factors may be considered to determine the length of suspension, including the driver’s age, driving status, driving record, and type of violations. For example, drivers who have been cited for speeding, careless driving, or failure to use a turn signal may have their license suspended for a shorter period of time than someone whose driving record points reflect a DUI, reckless driving, or evading an officer. Having a suspended license lawyer represent you at the DMV hearing can be extremely beneficial, as they know the best way to present your case.
If the DMV suspends your license and it is your first offense, you may qualify for a probationary “red license” (temporary permit) for driving to work, school, and medical appointments. This restricted license is not available if you refused a chemical test. If the hearing officer grants you a probationary license and sets driving limitations, your driving privileges will be instantly revoked if you violate them.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Suspended License Lawyers
We understand the major inconvenience of a license suspension and the possible impact on a career or livelihood (commercial drivers, members of the military, etc.). Our legal team includes four former county prosecutors who know the system — when to negotiate and how to fight. To better preserve your driving privileges, contact our driver’s license lawyers today!