What Circumstances Lead To License Suspension?
Interviewer: Are people suspended because of a previous DUII, or an ongoing DUII? Are they suspended for a minor infraction they did not know about? What usually leads to a suspension?
Shannon: Yes; suspension is usually due to a previous or ongoing DUII. It could be for a number of different reasons. It could be suspended for a previous crime. Perhaps it was a traffic related crime. Perhaps they were suspended and did not take the steps needed to correct the suspension.
A lot of the times, it is because the person was unaware of something. There could be some requirement in Oregon. For instance, the DMV contacts you and wants you to show proof of insurance. Meanwhile, you switched your residence and did not get that notification to show proof, or whatever else, the DMV is requesting.
They can suspend you for those reasons. Even if you do not receive actual notice, you could still have a suspension on your record. Sometimes, the first time a person is aware of their suspension is during a traffic stop. That is how they find out.
Interviewer: Can the police tell if your license is suspended just by running your plate?
Shannon: Yes; the police can determine if a license is suspended just by running your plate. They can even tell if it is administratively suspended; or if it is misdemeanor suspended. They can also tell if it is for a previous criminal matter; or if it was for some other reason related to the department.
Interviewer: In cases where someone was suspended, what reason do police give for pulling the person over? Did police see the driver was suspended; or was the driver stopped for a traffic infraction?
Shannon: Most of the time, it is a traffic infraction. Although, I have had situations where the police officer sees the person in front of them and runs the plate. He sees the vehicle is only registered for one person; and that is the person driving while suspended.
I have had occasions where that is the case. There was not actually an observed traffic infraction. However, there was a stop based on the officer’s belief the person did not have a valid driver’s license.
Interviewer: If a person is pulled over and found to have a suspended license, are they treated harsher charge-wise? Does this enhance or make their DUII aggravated, or worse?
Shannon: In my experience, the officer does not treat the defendant harsher; other than issuing a driving while suspended misdemeanor charge. It is another citation. Another misdemeanor does not enhance a DUII. In this case, it does not aggravate or enhance it.
Now, if you were driving under the influence while suspended and somebody was injured, that could be bumped up to a felony issue. That is aggravated driving while suspended. However, just driving while suspended is not enough to aggravate the DUII.
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