You can lose your driver’s license in two ways: by a court order following a criminal conviction or by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) suspending your license through an administrative process. Many scenarios can lead to either of these procedures. For example, you may lose your license when you are convicted of operating a vehicle while influenced by alcohol or drugs. You may also lose your license if you accumulate too many points on your driving record or if you refuse to submit to a chemical test when pulled over for a DUI/OVI. The process of an Ohio license suspension and how you fight it depend on whether it is a criminal or administrative process.
To learn your rights in regard to a license suspension, call Cincinnati traffic lawyer Bradley J. Groene at as soon as possible. In either situation, you have a limited amount of time to challenge the suspension. Brad can explain the process and how to appeal the decision.
Having Your Licensed Revoked by the OMBV
Under Ohio law, you can have your licensed suspended if you:
- Refuse to submit to a chemical test when lawfully arrested for a DUI/OVI
- You blew at or over a 0.08 percent BAC when lawfully stopped by the police
- You could not show proof of auto insurance during a traffic stop
- You caused an accident and you were uninsured at the time
- You accumulated 12 points on your driving record within 2 years through a variety of traffic offenses
A suspension for one of these reasons is a civil administrative process. It is not a criminal charge and is not determine or fought in the Ohio criminal court system. When you face an administrative license suspension (ALS), you and your attorney must work directly with the BMV to challenge the suspension or obtain limited driving privileges.
Receiving Notice of a License Suspension
If an ALS is triggered during a traffic stop, you receive immediate notice of the suspension. The police officer will confiscate your license and provide you with a copy of BMV Form 2255 regarding the ALS. You should immediately stop driving and contact an attorney about challenging the suspension. You have 30 days from your arraignment for the criminal charges related to the stop to file an appeal.
When your license is suspended due to accumulating too many points, you receive a letter from the BMV. The letter states why your license has been suspended as well as when the suspension begins and ends. You have until the suspension date on the letter to file your appeal.
Duration of an ALS
The BMV does not have discretion in determining the length of the suspension. ALS are imposed based on class, from Class F to Class A, which is the harshest punishment. Class F is a suspension until all conditions are met. Class E requires a license suspension for 3 months while a Class A suspension lasts 3 years. The class of your suspension and therefore the duration depends on the reason for the ALS and your history. For example, if your license was suspended for refusal to take a breath test, then the duration of the suspension depends on if you have any prior refusals. Without any previous refusals, your license is initially suspended for 1 year but you may seek driving privileges after 30 days. However, if you previously refused a breath test one other time, your suspension is for 2 years and you may only seek driving privileges after 90 days.
Contesting an ALS
You should file an appeal of a civil suspension of your license as soon as possible. Whether you received notice of your license suspension during a traffic stop, accident or through a letter, you should call an experienced Cincinnati license suspension lawyer right away. The sooner you begin working on an appeal with an attorney, the greater your likelihood of retaining your driving rights.
If the BMV is imposing an administrative suspension while you also face criminal charges, your attorney will fight for your driving privileges on both a civil and criminal front. Even if you successfully appeal an ALS, you may later lose your driving privileges if you are convicted of a criminal offense. However, if you lost your driving privileges through an administrative procedure and are later found not guilty of the criminal offense, your attorney may be able to have your license reinstated right away.
The Potential for Limited Driving Rights
You may be able to drive for certain reasons after losing your license. The BMV may grant you limited driving privileges after a period of time known as a “hard suspension.” Your attorney can also return to court or the BMV to ask for a restricted driver’s license after this hard suspension. Limited privileges can include the right to drive to work, school, medical appointments, and court-ordered treatments such as counseling or drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer Bradley J. Groene Can Help
Your first step after notification of a license suspension should be to call an attorney who will defend you against criminal charges and appeal the suspension through administrative channels. When you have school, work, and a family who depends on you, it is not an option to go months or a year without driving. Bradley J. Groene has years of experience helping individuals like you keep your driver’s licenses or having your driving rights reinstated as soon as possible. Brad will review whether all of the conditions for imposing an ALS have been met, and if not, your strongest defense possible under the law. For example, Brad will analyze whether your initial stop by the police was lawful and whether BMV Form 2255 was filled out correctly.