What happens if I get caught driving while my license is suspended in Oregon?

A driving while suspended (DWS) charge can be a violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony in Oregon.

How You Are Charged Depends on the Underlying Reason for the License Suspension

Violation DWS

If someone drives a motor vehicle outside the limitations of a probationary permit or a hardship permit, drives a commercial motor vehicle during a period when that person’s driving privileges have been suspended or revoked, the DWS is a violation.

Misdemeanor DWS

Someone who drives while suspended for failing or refusing a breath or blood test or for a misdemeanor DUII conviction commits the crime of misdemeanor driving while suspended. If someone’s license is suspended for conviction of some misdemeanor crimes, then the DWS would be a misdemeanor.  If convicted of misdemeanor DWS, a defendant faces possible jail time, fines, and probation. There is a minimum $1,000 fine for someone caught driving with a suspension for a DUII conviction.

Felony DWS

Someone who drives while suspended for a conviction of  any degree of murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or assault resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle,  aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated driving while suspended or revoked, or if the revocation resulted from a conviction for felony driving while under the influence of intoxicants, commits the offense of felony DWS.

Driving while suspended, in and of itself, will not necessarily get you kicked out of diversion. However, driving while suspended will violate your probation if you are on probation for a DUII conviction. Additionally, the driving while suspended could result in a new criminal charge.

Rob Crow
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Licensed to practice law in all State & Federal Courts in Oregon.
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