DUI and Driving with a Suspended License

Understand Your OUI Rights.

While Operating After Suspension (OAS) does not typically result in jail time, the penalties are much more severe if you lost your driver’s license because of a DUI. Potential penalties include a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to 2.5 years.


When your license has been suspended or revoked in Massachusetts, you lose the privilege of driving a motor vehicle until your license is reinstated. The government assumes you understand this and that you will refrain from driving, even if you’re still in possession of a car.

It can be difficult, however, to give up this privilege. People who rely on their vehicle to get to work, to school, to the doctor, or to visit their family and friends are severely disadvantaged when they lose the right to drive. Nonetheless, operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked license is a criminal offense that carries the possibility of jail time.

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Causes of License Suspension

An individual’s license can be suspended or revoked for a variety of reasons, including failure to appear in court.. However, two of the most common causes are accumulating too many traffic violations and DUI.

If you accumulate the following traffic violations, you face a suspension of either 30 or 90 days:

  • 3 speeding tickets within 12 months – license suspension for 30 days
  • 3 surcharged events (such as moving violations) within 2 years – license suspension for 90 days and mandatory completion of a driver education course

If you are convicted of First Offense DUI, you face the following potential maximum penalties:

  • A fine of $500 to $5,000
  • Imprisonment of up to 2.5 years
  • License loss of 1 year

Subsequent DUI offenses carry harsher penalties and longer license suspensions.

If your license has been suspended because of a previous DUI arrest or a DUI conviction, it’s imperative that you refrain from driving until your license is reinstated or you obtain a hardship license. You should speak to a Massachusetts DUI attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Potential Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License

For most license suspensions, you face the following potential penalties if convicted of Operating After Suspension (OAS) in Massachusetts:

  • A fine of $500 to $1,000
  • Imprisonment of up to 10 days
  • A minimum 60-day loss of driver’s license

A subsequent offense is punishable by even harsher potential penalties:

  • A fine of $1,000
  • Imprisonment of 60 days to 1 year
  • A minimum 60-day loss of driver’s license

However, operating a motor vehicle while your license is suspended because of a DUI is a much more serious offense. You face the following potential penalties if convicted of Operating After Suspension for DUI in Massachusetts:

  • A fine of $1,000 to $10,000
  • Imprisonment of 60 days to 2.5 years (60 days is mandatory)
  • Additional 1-year loss of driver’s license

If you are convicted of Operating After Suspension for DUI WHILE Under the Influence (that is, you are deemed to be under the influence of alcohol while operating on a license that is suspended for an OUI), you face even harsher mandatory minimum fines and jail time:

  • A fine of $2,500 to $10,000
  • Imprisonment for 1 year to 2.5 years (this sentence runs consecutive to any sentence imposed on the underlying OUI charge)
  • Additional 1-year loss of driver’s license

While Operating After Suspension is a misdemeanor criminal offense that does not typically result in jail time, the consequences can be severe if you are convicted. You will have a misdemeanor criminal conviction on your record that could appear in background checks and impact your life.

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI or for Operating After Suspension for DUI, speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney to discuss your case. A DUI is a serious charge that carries the possibility of jail time and a long-term loss of your driver’s license. A conviction of OAS can also severely affect your DUI case if it is still pending, as well as your eligibility to apply for a hardship license.

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Call DUI Attorney Joseph J Higgins for a free case evaluation today at 508-930-4273