If your license or driving privileges have been suspended or revoked, I urge you not to drive. If you are found driving on a suspended license, you could be arrested and prosecuted. If you are convicted of operating after suspension or revocation, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will impose an additional loss of license which will likely take effect only after your original suspension or revocation expires. This means that you will have to serve additional time without your license.
Depending on your criminal history and the suspension reason, operating after suspension may land you in jail. For example, if you lost your license due to drunk driving and you are convicted of operating after suspension for OUI, you will have a minimum mandatory sentence of 60 days in jail.
State and local police officers from various police departments across Massachusetts are being equipped with automatic license plate readers or ALPRs, to detect drivers whose licenses are suspended or revoked. ALPR systems automatically scan license plates and alert the police if a vehicle’s registered owner’s license has been suspended or revoked. This provides the police with justification to stop the vehicle and investigate the operator’s license status.
Being convicted of driving while suspended or revoked is considered a major violation under the Massachusetts Habitual Traffic Offender program and it may result in an additional 4 year HTO revocation. Also, the Board of Appeal views operating after suspension as evidence of a conscious disregard for the law and it is one of the reasons why the Board of Appeal denies hardship license requests.
Instead of taking the chance of being arrested, sent to jail, and losing your license for a longer period time, you should consider applying for a hardship license. In Massachusetts, hardship licenses are available to allow qualified individuals to drive for 12 hours each day, 7 days a week, during the term of a license revocation or suspension. A hardship license is a sensible alternative to driving while suspended and risking arrest.