Under NRS 483.560, Nevada law makes it a misdemeanor to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or public premises while your driver’s license has been canceled, revoked or suspended. A conviction carries penalties of
- up to 6 months in jail,
- up to $1000 in fines, and
- an extension of the existing license suspension.
But it may be possible to overcome NRS 483.560 charges by showing that:
- there was never actually a suspension;
- the DMV failed to notify the defendant; or
- the suspension period had already lapsed
In this article, our Las Vegas DUI defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are the penalties for driving with a suspended license?
- 2. How do I fight the charges?
- 3. Can I avoid another suspension or revocation?
- 4. Can I get a restricted license?
- 5. How do I reinstate my license?
- 6. What if I live out of state?
- 7. Do license suspensions carry from state to state?
- 8. When can I seal the case?
- 9. Do suspended licenses show up on background checks?
- 10. Will my insurance know if my license is suspended?
The punishment depends on why the license was revoked:
Reason for suspension in Nevada
Punishment for driving on a suspended license (NRS 483.560)
|Driving under the influence (DUI)|
The judge may not grant probation. But jail can be served intermittently if:
|Non-DUI charges or issues, such as:|
If the defendant had a restricted license, the revocation period will be extended for another year.
If the defendant’s license had been suspended or canceled for an indefinite period, a first-time violation carries an additional 6-month license revocation. A subsequent violation carries an additional 1-year revocation.
Common defenses to driving on a suspended license are:
- There was never a suspension or revocation,
- The defendant had no notice, and/or
- The suspension period passed
Most of these cases resolve through negotiating with the prosecutor. Otherwise, defendants may request a bench trial in pursuit of a full acquittal.
2.1. There was never a suspension or revocation
The Nevada DMV is a large bureaucratic organization. Therefore, clerical errors are inevitable.
Perhaps the defendant can show that the DMV was mistaken about the suspension status. If so, then the case should be dismissed.
2.2. The defendant had no notice
Notice is required before Nevada driving privileges can be suspended. Adequate notice is typically in the form of a:
- A document that police hand drivers following a DUI arrest; or
- Certified letter mailed from the DMV to the defendant’s last known address
If the defense attorney can show that authorities failed to give the defendant proper notice, then the charges for violating NRS 483.560 should be dismissed.1
2.3. The suspension / revocation period passed
If a defendant drives after his/her suspension or revocation period already ended, then by definition the defendant may not be convicted of violating NRS 483.560. This is true even if he/she neglected to formally reinstate his/her driving privileges. However, the defendant may instead face charges of driving without a license (NRS 483.230).
Violating NRS 483.230 misdemeanor. Penalties include up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.
Nevada defendants facing an additional suspension for driving on a suspended license can request a DMV Hearing. These administrative proceedings are like mini-trials:
The defense attorney would contest the suspension. Both sides may present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. And then the judge delivers a decision.
DMV hearings are more difficult to win than criminal trials. This is because the judge requires very little evidence to find fault. However, DMV hearings are still worth pursuing. They are an opportunity to test defense theories for any related criminal cases.
Possibly. In DUI or DUID cases, it depends on the specific charge. And there may be a wait:
Nevada DUI offense
Waiting time to get restricted driving privileges
|DUI 1st||Immediately if the defendant gets an ignition interlock device.|
|DUI 2nd||No restricted license is available.|
|DUI 3rd or DUI causing injury or death (NRS 484C.430)||1 year into 3-year revocation.|
Restricted licenses may permit drivers to travel to and from:
- The grocery store, and/or
- Court-ordered child visitation2
Not everyone can get a restricted license. Call the DMV at 775-684-4364 (Option 2) for eligibility information. And refer to the Nevada DMV restricted license application.
It depends on the circumstances of the case. Call the DMV for specific instructions:
|Nevada DMV location||Phone number|
|Las Vegas||(702) 486-4368 option 1|
|Reno/Carson City||(775) 684-4368 option 1|
|Rural Nevada (Toll-Free)||(877) 368-7828 option 1|
Some applicants must retake the driving skills test. This is typical after a one-year or longer suspension.3
An NRS 483.560 violation is just a misdemeanor. Therefore, local Nevada attorneys can usually appear in court on the defendants’ behalf. Out-of-state defendants should not have to come back in state. An exception is if the case goes to trial, which is rare.
Most state DMVs communicate with each other. And they often honor each other’s suspension laws. Therefore, drivers charged in Nevada may face a suspension in their home state. And vice versa.
Non-Nevada residents should consult with counsel in their home state about local DMV consequences.
A Nevada conviction for violating NRS 483.560 is sealable. But defendants must wait one year after the case ends.
Though if the charge gets dismissed, then there is no waiting period. Defendants can file the paperwork immediately.4
No. This is because suspended licenses are administrative, not criminal matters. But if a person gets cited for driving on a suspended license, then that criminal case will show up on future background checks.
Insurance companies can always check whether a person’s license is suspending by pulling his/her motor vehicle report. Having a suspended license should not affect the person’s ability to get or keep insurance.
Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney…
Charged with violating NRS 483.560 in Nevada? Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys are here. Call for a free consultation.
See our article on the difference between revoked and suspended driving privileges in Nevada.
Arrested in California? See our article on driving with suspended driving privileges (14601 VC).
Arrested in Colorado? See our article on driving under restraint (42-2-138 C.R.S.).
- See NRS 483.560; Zamarripa v. First Judicial Dist. Court, 103 Nev. 638, 747 P.2d 1386 (1987).
- NRS 483.360.
- License suspensions & revocations, Nevada DMV.
- NRS 179.245; NRS 179.255.