Driving after revocation (DAR), driving after suspension (DAS) and driving after cancellation (DAC) are commonly charged crimes in Minnesota. Each of these crimes is commonly referred to as “driving without a [valid] license.” What happens to you in Minnesota if you plead guilty to DAR, DAS or DAC?
- A DAR or DAS is always a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine per count of DAR/DAS.
- If you were caught driving on a suspended license four times, and all four charges are consolidated into one court appearance, you could go to jail for one year (four counts times 90 days is 360 days, or about one year).
- DAC is often a gross misdemeanor, meaning the maximum penalty for one charge is one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine.
- DAC is only a gross misdemeanor if the person was driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety (DAC-IPS) as a result of too many DWIs.
- Other forms of DAC, like driving after being canceled for failure to provide proof of insurance, are still a misdemeanor.
The Important Part
If you plead guilty to and are convicted of DAR, DAS or DAC, you automatically lose your license for at least 30 days, even if you had received a valid driver’s license by the time of your court appearance. Unfortunately, many prosecutors and judges do not tell people charged with DAR, DAS or DAC that a guilty verdict will cause them to lose their driver’s license again, and thereby risk more charges of driving without a license.
To make matters worse, the court system — in an effort to save money and supposedly to help drivers — has made DAR and DAS “payable offenses.” That means you can plead guilty by mail (or through the Web) by sending in your ticket and your fine payment. What the courts fail to explain is that by pleading guilty by mail, you are guaranteed to lose your license again. Moreover, you also lose your license if you are found guilty of no proof of insurance or no insurance.
The only way to protect your driver’s license status and keep it valid is to hire an experienced Minnesota driving after cancellation attorney today! Your attorney will know various ways to resolve your case without a finding of guilt for a charge that will cause you to lose your license. With a skilled Minnesota criminal defense and traffic law attorney, you can preserve your license, your job and your freedom.