Suspended License in Mississippi
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Whenever you need or want to check the status of your driver’s license, you can order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver’s license is currently valid. Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the DPS. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.
Although there are many reasons the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) could suspend your driver's license, one of the main reasons is when the court finds a driver guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Mississippi imposes stiff penalties if you drink and drive. In fact, judges and prosecutors are not allowed to reduce or suspend these penalties, except in certain hardship cases.
Penalties, suspensions, and revocations issued in other states for driving under the influence (DUI) are counted along with your offenses in Mississippi; for each subsequent offense, you will incur a stiffer penalty:
- First DUI conviction: Your license will be suspended no less than 90 days but possibly up to one year, and you'll pay fines between $250 and $1,000. Most likely, you'll spend at least 48 hours in jail.
- Second DUI conviction: You'll face a two-year suspension of your license and harsher fines. You'll spend at least five days and up to one year in jail, pay $600 to $1,500 in fines, and be sentenced to community service for 10 days to one year.
- Third DUI conviction: A subsequent offense will cost you a five-year license suspension, $2,000 to $5,000 in fines, one to five years in jail, and in-depth drug or alcohol assessments. Your vehicle will also be seized or you will be required to forfeit it.
Note: If you are convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license, penalties will be added to the ones already imposed, and your suspension times will lengthen.
Your license can be suspended if you are two months late paying court-ordered child support. If this happens, you will receive a notice giving you 90 days to make payment arrangements. Your license can be reinstated when you pay the past-due amounts.
Epileptic seizures, or seizures of any kind, can be cause for your license to be suspended. The DPS can reinstate your driving privileges when your doctor certifies that you have been seizure-free for one full year.
Traffic convictions ranging from speeding to vehicular homicide can cause the DPS to suspend your license. You can also lose your right to drive by accumulating a certain number of points against your license.
Getting your license reinstated in Mississippi is a four-step process:
- Pay your fines in the county where you were issued a traffic ticket and clear your record.
- Pay the license reinstatement fee required by the DPS. Call (601) 987-1224 or (601) 987-1231 to find out how much you owe. You can then pay the reinstatement fees in person or online. Reinstatement fees you owe due to returned checks cannot be paid online.
- Wait for the DPS to confirm that your record has been cleared. This could take several weeks. You can speed up this process by mailing a copy of your court abstract to:
- Mississippi Department of Public Safety
- Attn: Driver Records
- 1900 East Woodrow Wilson
- Jackson, MS 39216
- After confirmation, the DPS will reinstate your license.
When you have completed all of the above steps, the DPS will send you a letter of clearance for your license.
Sometimes you simply can't do without a license. Since you can't go back in time, you will need to weigh your options and look at your individual circumstances. If you are a first-time offender who was convicted of DUI or a similar charge that resulted in the suspension of your license, you might be eligible for a hardship license.
This license enables you to drive for very specific purposes, such as attending school or work, or to receive treatment for a medical condition. For DUI offenses, you have to apply for a hardship license in circuit court. For drug suspensions, you plead your case in county court.
There's a $150 filing fee, and you'll have to prove that without the license you are at risk of losing your job, you might be kicked out of school, or your health will suffer.
If you've been convicted of DUI or DWI and you have questions or need guidance, you might want to contact an attorney who specializes in that area.
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