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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Former Traffic Court Judge

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License revocations versus suspensions: Know the difference

A suspension and revocation are not the same. In the case of a suspension, you lose the right to drive for a period of time before it is returned to you. Sometimes, the courts require you to pay a fee before the suspended license will be returned to you and your driving privileges restored.

If you're told you're having your license revoked, that's different. It means you're losing the right to drive, having your license taken away and your privilege voided. In that case, to get a new license, you have to reapply for a license at the local Department of Motor Vehicles. You must wait until the revocation period is over. If you don't meet the DMV's standards or have a poor driving record, the DMV can refuse to issue you a license.

In New York, if you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and receive a first offense, you will lose your license for six months. It will be revoked for six months if you receive a DWI from a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you are impaired by a drug, you will receive a six-month suspension of your license instead. If you commit a second offense within 10 years, you will have your license revoked for a year. Driving while ability impaired by alcohol, or a DWAI, results in a 90-day suspension. A second offense results in a six-month revocation.

Regardless of the charge you face, it's in your best interest to build a strong defense. These penalties affect you financially and have the potential to impact your family and your social and work life.

Source: New York Department of Motor Vehicles, "Suppose Your License Was Taken Away," accessed July 06, 2017

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