Driving on a suspended license in Nevada is a misdemeanor carrying a punishment of potentially mandatory jail time and steep fines. Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers have enjoyed great success in getting these charges dismissed or reduced so you avoid incarceration and keep your record clean.
Legal definition of "driving on a suspended license" in Nevada
Nevada state law says that, "any person who drives a motor vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access at a time when the person's driver's license has been cancelled, revoked or suspended is guilty of a misdemeanor."
Many good drivers in Las Vegas have their licenses suspended at some point for various reasons, such as:
- getting a Nevada DUI conviction,
- having 12 or more Nevada demerit points on their license,
- allegedly failing to pay a traffic ticket or child support, or
- being found guilty of a Nevada graffiti violation
And minors may have their licenses suspended in Nevada for being truant or getting convicted of crimes related to firearms, alcohol and drugs.
Penalties (NRS 483.560)
The typical sentence for the misdemeanor of driving while your license is suspended in Nevada include the following:
- up to six months in jail and/or
- up to a $1,000 fine, and
- perhaps further license suspension or revocation.
But if the license was suspended because of a Nevada DUI conviction, a Clark County judge is required to impose at least 30 days of jail (or 60 days of home confinement) as well as a fine of $500 to $1,000.
The Notice Defense
Your Nevada driver's license may not be suspended unless the Nevada DMV or law enforcement makes an adequate effort to inform you about it. If your attorney can show that authorities failed to give you proper notice of your license suspension, then your charges for this offense in Las Vegas should be dismissed.
When Nevada authorities mail you a letter about your suspended license to your last known address, the state assumes you have been properly notified after eight (8) days from the date of the mailing whether or not you actually receive the letter. And once the suspension period ends, you can't then be convicted of violating NRS 483.560 even if you neglect to formally reinstate the license with the DMV.
If a Clark County court ever convicts someone of driving on a suspended license and that person claims not to have received proper notice of the suspension, then he/she may petition the Nevada Supreme Court with a writ of certiorari to contest the case.
Anyone who has his/her license suspended in Nevada is entitled to an administrative hearing at the DMV to contest the suspension. These proceedings are like "mini-trials" where your attorney may present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
An out-of-state resident who has been charged with driving in Las Vegas on a license that is suspended is still subject to the same misdemeanor penalties that a Nevada resident would be. But a local attorney can usually appear in a Clark County court on their behalf without them having to come back into the state to answer the charges.
Call us for help . . . .
Have you been arrested or charged for driving on a license that's suspended in Nevada? Then phone our Las Vegas DUI defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free phone meeting. And if you are not a U.S. citizen, we will take every legal measure possible to keep you out of Immigration Court and removal proceedings.
See our article about medically-restricted licenses in Nevada.
To learn the California law, go to our article on California "driving on a suspended license" law.