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Driver's License Revocation Due to Unrelated Crimes

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Can a Driver's License be Revoked or Suspended Based on a Criminal Conviction Unrelated to Driving? 

Yes.  Some states have laws that allow a driver's license to be revoked or suspended given if there is a conviction for an unrelated crime.  For example, in Georgia, a driver's license may be suspended if one is convicted of marijuana possession.

Is Revocation/Suspension of a Driver's License Due to Unrelated Charges Considered a Violation of Due Process?

Not necessarily.  Most states allow laws that revoke or suspend licenses due to unrelated criminal convictions, so long as the law serves a legitimate government purpose.  While some states limit the term "legitimate" to auto usage and public driving, others interpret the word much more broadly.  For example, Florida law allows revocation of a license due to cocaine possession, meant primarily to deter illegal drug use.

Do License Revocation/Suspension Laws Targeting Minors Receive Special Consideration?

Yes, since most courts consider restricting the illegal activity of minors a legitimate interest.  As a result, many license revocation laws that may otherwise be deemed unconstitutional for adults can be considered valid if applied to minors.  Take for instance a law suspending licenses based on one's possession of alcohol. Though such a law seems completely arbitrary when applied to adults, it is definitely feasible for minors who are below drinking age.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

If your driver's license has been either revoked or suspended due to a criminal conviction unrelated to auto usage, you should contact an attorney to help assert your rights.  A lawyer can inform you of local state and city laws concerning license revocation/suspension, as well as recent attempts to overthrow such laws.  Because "legitimate government purpose" is an amorphous standard, an attorney is essential in finding out how a court may potential rule on your particular case.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 06-11-2012 03:51 PM PDT

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