In general, a suspended drivers license is a type of punishment that one can receive when they are charged and convicted of an offense involving a driving-related incident like vehicular homicide. Thus, if a court issues a “lifetime suspension of driver’s license” as punishment for a driver, then this means that their driver’s license (along with any driving privileges that the license affords them) will be suspended for life. 

For example, a driver can face a lifetime suspension of their driver’s license if they drive in a reckless manner and injure another person while driving their car. Depending on state laws as well as the facts of a particular case, this can result in a driver either having their license temporarily suspended for a specified period of time or having their license permanently revoked for the remainder of their lifetime. 

Therefore, if you are facing charges that could potentially lead to a lifetime suspension of your driver’s license, then you should strongly consider hiring a local criminal lawyer as soon as possible for further assistance with your matter.

How Can My Driver’s License be Suspended?

When an individual’s driver’s license is suspended, it means that their right to drive as well as any other driving privileges have either been temporarily or permanently revoked. The exact parameters for this type of punishment will usually vary by state. However, the main difference between having one’s license suspended and having one’s license revoked is that a revoked license generally means that the person will lose their driving privileges forever. 

As mentioned, each state has its own laws with different definitions and requirements. Thus, in some states, the phrase “suspended for life” may be the equivalent of having a license permanently revoked. Since the laws can also differ greatly between jurisdictions, it may be best to consult with local counsel on such matters. A local lawyer will also be able to discuss other state driving regulations and requirements that may be pertinent to one’s case.

In general, however, some reasons that may cause a person to lose their driver’s license or to have their driver’s license permanently revoked for life in many states include the following:

  • Lack of auto insurance: In general, most states usually require drivers to purchase the minimum amount of car or auto insurance prescribed by their state laws. Having car or auto insurance can be useful for drivers in case they get into a motor vehicle collision and need someone to help them cover the damages. Thus, it follows that not having auto insurance or having car insurance that is expired can result in a temporary or lifetime suspension of one’s driver’s license depending on the laws in their state.
  • Failure to provide child support: Several states have adopted laws which mandate that a court suspend a non-custodial parent’s driver’s license as punishment if they owe or refuse to provide court-ordered child support.
  • Multiple traffic offenses: Some traffic violations may increase an individual’s chances of having their driver’s license suspended for life. This normally comes up in situations where the individual is considered a repeat offender (meaning that they already have multiple traffic offenses on their criminal record) or engage in the sort of reckless or dangerous driving habits that result in accruing points on their driver’s license (e.g., habitual speeding violations, rolling through stop signs, etc.).
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while under the influence (DUI) violations: Being convicted of a DWI or DUI violation is typically considered a very serious type of traffic violation, if not crime. This is especially true in situations where an individual has multiple convictions of DWI or DUI violations on their criminal record. 

Finally, it is important to note that the above scenarios represent the most basic examples. Thus, you may want to speak to a local criminal lawyer about how to lose your driver’s license in your state and/or about other similar concerns.  

When Can a Driver’s License be Suspended for Life or Revoked?

In general, a person can have their driver’s license suspended indefinitely and/or revoked for life if they demonstrate irresponsible or reckless behavior when operating a motor vehicle. Many states have enacted laws that set parameters for when a person’s actions may rise to the level of recklessness that could result in them losing their license. 

For instance, a person who places another driver or passenger at risk of serious injury and/or death could potentially have their driver’s license suspended for life if they are convicted of the charges and that is the punishment mandated by state law. Other examples of the type of conduct that could lead to suspension or revocation of a driver’s license include vehicular crimes, such as repeat drunk driving violations and vehicular homicide. 

Some further examples of driving-related crimes and/or scenarios wherein a court may order a lifetime suspension of a person’s driver’s license include the following: 

  • Dangerous or reckless driving: Dangerous and/or reckless driving is one of the primary ways that someone can receive the punishment of a lifetime revocation of their driver’s license. In addition to driving violations that involve charges of DUIs and/or DWIs, some other crimes that could lead to a lifetime suspension of one’s driver’s license if they are convicted of such charges include:
  • Driving crimes that involve aggravating factors: If a person is convicted of a driving-related offense while certain aggravating factors are present, then there is a higher chance that a conviction could result in a lifetime suspension of that person’s driver’s license. Aggravating factors refer to conditions that raise the degree of a particular crime. Accordingly, the more serious that a driving incident is, the more likely it is that a person may have their driver’s license revoked or suspended for life as a punishment. 

    • Some other crimes that could potentially result in a lifetime suspension of one’s driving privileges and/or rights include when any the following aggravating factors are combined with a crime found in the above list:

      • Driving while discharging a firearm or using a weapon; 
      • Driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, and/or controlled substances;
      • Driving with an invalid license (e.g., if a person’s license is suspended, revoked, or fake); 
      • Driving in a dangerous or reckless manner with a criminal record that contains the same or similar driving-related crimes; and
      • Driving or speeding to evade the police or other law enforcement officials. 
  • Having multiple DWI and/or DUI violations: While having one DUI and/or DWI on one’s criminal record may not necessarily lead to a permanent suspension of one’s driver’s license, persons who are found to be repeat offenders or who receive multiple convictions for these types of violations are at a greater risk of losing their driving privileges and rights for the rest of their lives. 

    • For example, a driver who is charged and convicted of a DWI or DUI violation more than three times, will probably have their driver’s license permanently suspended or revoked by a court for life.

What are Some Other Considerations Regarding Driver’s License Rights?

With the exception of some U.S. cities, most people need to drive in order to live their daily lives. For example, people drive to get to work, run errands, go to the gym, visit friends or family, and pick up their kids from school. Thus, having a driver’s license is essential to being a member of society in many parts of the country. Hence why license suspension or revocation issues are taken so seriously by license holders and the legal system.

In many cases, the court will even try to avoid suspending a driver’s license indefinitely if another appropriate punishment is available. In fact, there is a greater likelihood that a person’s driver’s license will only be suspended for a specified period of time, such as for three, five, or ten years.

The amount of time that a license is suspended will usually depend on the reason as to why it is being suspended (e.g., for a crime) and will ultimately be for a court to decide. 

The laws of a particular state will also provide general guidance to individuals, their legal representatives, and the courts as to what types of privileges and rights a person has as the holder of a driver’s license in that state. For instance, a state law may provide that a driver cannot have their license suspended for longer than five years if they were charged with a misdemeanor.

On the other hand, license holders who are convicted of driving-related felonies or who have already had their license suspended or revoked once before may cause their situation to worsen if they ignore a court order or continue to drive without their license. Individuals in such scenarios may not only face heavy fines and jail time, but they could lose their driver’s license rights for the rest of their lives. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Lifetime Driver’s License Suspension?

The idea of not being able to drive a motor vehicle for the rest of your life can be a scary prospect. Therefore, if you believe you are in danger of having your driver’s license suspended for the remainder of your lifetime, then it is strongly recommended that you consult with a local criminal lawyer as soon as possible for further legal advice on the matter.

An experienced criminal lawyer will already be familiar with the laws in your area and can advise you on your rights and privileges as a driver in your state. Your lawyer will be able to analyze the facts of your case and from their findings, can determine whether there are any defenses available that you might be able to raise against the charges. 

Your lawyer can also provide guidance on the best way to proceed as well as can help you navigate the legal system. In addition, your lawyer will be able to represent you during any court proceedings and may potentially be able to petition the judge overseeing your case for an alternative punishment on your behalf. 

Lastly, if you are required to draft and file certain legal documents for your case or need help understanding the possible consequences you may be facing, your lawyer will also be able to provide such legal services, which can be useful in achieving the best outcome for your case.