Driving While License Suspended (DWLS)
There are a variety of reasons why an individual’s license may become suspended. Some reasons are more serious than others which will result in a more serious type of Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) charge. DWLS 1° is the most serious and DWLS 3° is the least. If you do not know why your license is suspended, the first call you should make is to DOL and they should explain things to you. Our office will also be able to answer a lot of your questions as well.
DWLS 1° is a gross misdemeanor, which means the maximum penalty is 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. While the maximum is not typically given to individuals convicted of this, there is a mandatory 10 days in jail with a conviction, which also comes with a 1 year license suspension which will be added to your current suspension. Your license is suspended in the 1° when you have been classified as a habitual traffic offender (HTO.)
DWLS 2° is also a gross misdemeanor with the same maximum penalties as a DWLS 1°. A conviction also comes with a 1 year license suspension; however, there is no mandatory jail. A DWLS 2° conviction counts as a strike for HTO status. Reasons for why your license would be suspended in the 2° include a DUI conviction, a Reckless Driving conviction, A Hit & Run conviction, and a DOL hearing loss due to a DUI arrest.
The least serious and most common type of suspension is DWLS 3°. This is a misdemeanor which means the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. When your license is suspended in the 3°, it means that you have a financial obligation to someone holding it up. This would include owing money to courts because of prior tickets, owing child support, or owing money to fix damages from an accident you were in without having insurance.