There are many different factors that go into DWLS (Driving While License is Suspended) cases such as: Were you intentionally driving while your license was suspended? Is this your first offense? Did you cause serious bodily harm to someone? Etc. For some of these factors it could be the difference between a criminal or civil matter and these are a few of the reasons why each case is unique. Also, each time you are found guilty of a DWLS it will count as one of your three strikes to become a Habitual Traffic Offender, so be careful.
If you are charged with driving while your license is suspended, revoked, canceled or disqualified WITHOUT your knowledge it is a civil instead of a criminal matter. It is also important to remember that paying your DWLS ticket admits guilt.
Being charged with DWLS while you did have knowledge of your suspension is a criminal matter and you will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. This is a more serious matter than a DWLS without knowledge and brings bigger penalties.
If you are found guilty of DWLS a second time you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
If you are found guilty of a DWLS a third time, you will be charged with a felony to the third degree. If this was your third offense in 5 years, you will also be a Habitual Traffic Offender which brings an automatic 5-year revocation of your driver’s license.
If you were driving while your license was suspended and caused a fatality or serious bodily harm to another person you will be charged with a third-degree felony. The state will most likely take this much more serious than other DWLS offenses and it’s very important to contact an attorney immediately.