Frequently Asked Questions about Alleged Criminal Violations in Arlington, Edmonds, Everett, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe and the rest of Snohomish County, Washington
Can the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) really suspend my license for unpaid traffic tickets?
Yes. The Department of Licensing has that ability, and often does suspend drivers’ licenses for unpaid tickets. Under the court case City of Redmond v. Moore, the DOL is required to give drivers the ability to contest a suspension before it goes into place by way of a hearing, so the DOL is supposed to mail a notice of impending suspension to the address on file at the DOL. Ignoring letters from the DOL (and not paying tickets) can have severe consequences. Many of our clients did not know their license was suspended until pulled over by a law enforcement officer, at which point the clients are often arrested.
Driving with a suspended license is a crime, classified into various degrees. If your license was suspended due to failure to pay a traffic ticket, you are likely suspended in the third degree, which is a simple misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $1000 fine. While a “minor” crime, this charge does count as criminal history and may result in jail time and/or probation.
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